Silver Shirts

pelleyThe Silver Shirts was a white-supremacist, anti-Semitic group modeled after Hitler’s Brownshirts. The underground American fascist organization was founded by William Dudley Pelley and was headquarted in Asheville, North Carolina. Members wore a silver shirt with a tie along with a campaign hat and blue corduroy trousers with leggings. The uniform shirts bore a scarlet letter “L” over the heart –  an emblem meant to symbolize Loyalty to the United States, Liberation from materialism, and the Silver Legion itself. By 1934, the Silver Shirts had about 15,000 members and would eventually prove to be one of the largest pro-Hitler organizations in the United States .

With Nazi German funding, they had begun construction of the Murphy Ranch, situated on a secluded 55 acre site in the Los Angeles hills, which was meant to serve as a fortified world headquarters after the expected Fascist global conquest. The Silver Shirts, Pelley pledged, would spearhead a new “Christian Commonwealth” in the United States, which would register all Jews in a national census, then systematically reduce their role in business, government and cultural affairs, ultimately confining all Jews within one city in each state.

Silver Legion of America
Wikipedia

William Dudley Pelley
Wikipedia

William Dudley Pelley
American Jewish Committee Archives

THE SILVER SHIRTS ; THEIR HISTORY, FOUNDER AND ACTIVITIES American Jewish Committee Archives

New Age Nazi
Mountain Xpress, Asheville, North Carolina

William Dudley Pelley (1885-1965)
North Carolina History Project

It can’t happen here?
Confronting the fascist threat in the United States in the 1930s
International Socialist Review

THE REPERCUSSIONS OF HITLERISM IN THE UNITED STATES American Jewish Committee Archives

 

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