Cover image for American fuehrer : George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party
American fuehrer : George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party
Simonelli, Frederick J. (Frederick James)
Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 206 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
The family -- The artist and the warrior -- The coming out -- The ANP's members, followers, funding -- Agitating for power -- Quarantine: leashing the beast -- The scorned -- The World Union of National Socialists -- White power -- Holocaust denial -- Christian identity -- Settling for notoriety -- Betrayal and death -- Epilogue: Rockwell's legacy of hate.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E748.R6745 S56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The founder of the American Nazi party and its leader until he was murdered in 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell was one of the most significant extremist strategists and ideologists of the postwar period. His influence has only increased since his death.A powerful catalyst and innovator, Rockwell broadened his constituency beyond the core Radical Right by articulating White Power politics in terms that were subsequently appropriated by the one-time klansman David Duke. He played a major role in developing Holocaust revisionism, now an orthodoxy of the Far Right. He also helped politicize Christian Identity, America's most influential right-wing religious movement, and welded together an international organization of neo-Nazis. All of these extremist movements continue to thrive today.Frederick Simonelli's biography of this powerful and enigmatic figure draws on primary sources of extraordinary depth, including declassified FBI files and manuscripts and other materials held by Rockwell's family and associates. The first objective assessment of the American Nazi party and an authoritative study of the roots of neo-nazism, neo-fascism, and White Power extremism in postwar America, American Fuehrer is shocking and absorbing reading.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

George Lincoln Rockwell, now a hazy figure from the political cauldron of the 1960s, headed an organization that never had even 1,000 members but still, says Simonelli, helped spawn today's far-right sociopolitical circus. The devilishly handsome "Link" "buried himself in . . . Hitler's Mein Kampf " and also "devoured the anti-Semitic writings of Gerald L. K. Smith" and the infamous forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Eventually, Rockwell met wealthy eugenics enthusiast, amateur anthropologist, and anti-Semite Harold Noel Arrowsmith Jr., who gave him the financial succor that allowed him to turn pro, as it were, proclaiming the American Nazi Party, a name he later changed to the National Socialist White People's Party. Rockwell's importance lies in the way "he brokered the marriage between racism and anti-Semitism and theology that provided a spiritual haven within the Christian Identity movement for those seeking justification from God for the hate that drives them," Simonelli maintains. Strong stuff that needs to see the light of day. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

His father was a popular vaudeville comedian and humor columnist. His mother was a graceful, delicate toe dancer. George Lincoln Rockwell achieved notoriety through an altogether different kind of showmanship, as the founder and leader of the American Nazi Party, who vowed to exterminate Jews, blacks and homosexuals. Although his neofascist crusade, at its height, attracted perhaps a few hundred hardcore followers, the Illinois-born demagogue was no mere powerless gadfly or eccentric crank, as Simonelli, who teaches at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, demonstrates in his chilling biography. Rockwell's Holocaust denial bequeathed a propaganda tool to racist right-wing extremists who seek to mute the moral lessons of Hitler's crimes. His links to the Christian Identity movement provided a camouflage for a later generation of white supremacists seeking theological justification for their hatreds. Moreover, in the months before he was assassinated in 1967 (possibly as the result of a conspiracy within his own party, as Simonelli reveals), Rockwell attempted to "sanitize" his anti-Semitism and racism for mass consumption. He thereby set an example, according to Simonelli, for David Duke, a Rockwell disciple. Rockwell's psyche remains elusive: the beatings he suffered from the aunt who raised him and the coldness of his domineering father only begin to account for his warped beliefs. Even so, this excellent biography sounds a timely warning against complacency toward contemporary extremists. Photos. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

George Lincoln Rockwell, notorious commander of the American Nazi Party, was assassinated by a disgruntled follower in 1967. Now two biographies have been published: Simonelli's work and William R. Schmaltz's Hate (1999). Schmaltz is a better storyteller, but Simonelli had access to Rockwell family remembrances and to letters written by Rockwell to his mother during his rise to infamy. Simonelli's research turned up previously unknown information, and his book includes extensive, detailed endnotes. Rockwell first made headlines by founding a US Nazi Party in 1958. A frustrated ex-naval commander with two broken marriages and several failed business ventures in his wake, Rockwell was an engaging, often offensive, personality. His attention-getting antics served to gain him publicity but few followers. His stated desire to "gas" American Jews for treason and deport all blacks to Africa embarrassed even others on the far Right and ensured he would be a political pariah. Simonelli provides insight into Rockwell's motivations and examines efforts of US Jewish groups to limit his influence. In the end, Rockwell is only a historical footnote, a part of the turbulent decade of the 1960s. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. K. Hauser; Marquette University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 The Familyp. 5
2 The Artist and the Warriorp. 14
3 The Coming Outp. 22
4 The ANP's Members, Followers, Fundingp. 33
5 Agitating for Powerp. 44
6 Quarantine: Leashing the Beastp. 52
7 The Scornedp. 72
8 The World Union of National Socialistsp. 81
9 White Powerp. 96
10 Holocaust Denialp. 106
11 Christian Identityp. 115
12 Settling for Notorietyp. 123
13 Betrayal and Deathp. 131
Conclusion Rockwell's Legacy of Hatep. 141
Notesp. 147
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 201