When Boston was America’s ‘capital’ of anti-Semitism

Matt Lebovic in the Boston Herald:

ScreenHunter_2814 Sep. 06 21.53You won’t find it mentioned along the city’s “Freedom Trail” route, but Boston was once home to a thriving network of Nazi supporters. Not only did the Cradle of Liberty’s anti-Semitic activists receive funds and direction from Berlin, they also helped incite “small pogroms” against Jews well into the war.

During the same years as the Holocaust, “marauding anti-Semitic bands severely restricted the physical movement of many Jews in [Boston and New York], rendering it difficult for them to carry on normal religious, business, or social activities,” wrote Stephen H. Norwood, a history professor at the University of Oklahoma.

In Boston and elsewhere, anti-Jewish incitement was fueled by Father Charles Coughlin, the “founder of hate radio.” Although he was based in Michigan, Coughlin’s largest following was in Boston, where members of his Christian Front heeded the priest’s calls to organize boycotts and mass mailings against Jews.

“When we get through with the Jews in America, they’ll think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing,” said Coughlin during a tirade in the Bronx. The hate-monger also published “Social Justice,” a newspaper that reprinted “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in 1938, just as the persecution of German Jews reached a fever pitch.

Coughlin’s largely Irish American adherents earned Boston the moniker, “the poisonous city.”

More here.