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German American Bund 1936-1941 (U.S.)

Amerikadeutscher Volksbund (AV)

Last modified: 2020-12-10 by rick wyatt
Keywords: av | german american bund | neo-nazi | united states |
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AV flag - NYC Bund image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 November 2011
AV Flag - New York City Bund

See also:

Introduction: German American Bund 1936-1941
Amerikadeutscher Volksbund (AV)

The German American Bund (AV), or "German American Federation," was a pre-World War II American Nazi organization active in New York between 1936-1939, whose roots can be found in the earlier Teutonia Club (1924-1933) and in the FDND (Friends of New Germany - Freunde Des Neue Deutschland) movement between 1933-1936. An internal power struggle fought for control over the Friends in 1934 resulted in Heinz Spanknöbel, Alter Kämpfer, and Fritz Julius Kuhn starting the new German American Bund in Buffalo, New York.

The Bund established training camps in New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin. Fritz Julius Kuhn was named Bund Leader (Bundesfûhrer), and under his leadership the Bund held rallies complete with Nazi insignia, emblems and rituals. They vocally attacked and held demonstrations against Jews, Communist, trade unions and the Roosevelt administration. In the process they claimed their main goal was to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany. However, the Bund received no financial or verbal support from Germany, and in 1938, the Nazi government actually declared that no Nazi emblems could be used by the organization. This was done to distance Germany from the Bund which had become an embarrassment to the then current German government policies with some of its rhetoric and actions. Naturally, the AV's public activities pretty well ended with the declaration of war against Nazi Germany in December of 1941.

The first two Bund flags shown here were seen at German-American Bund activities in New Jersey and in New York City. The first flag (top of page) was seen at the German American Bund parade in New York City (October 30, 1939). It seems to have been modeled after German military flags. Naturally, there were also large displays of both the Stars and Stripes and the NSDAP Swastika flag displayed at AV events.

Source: Historical Flags of Our Ancestors website
Pete Loeser, 7 November 2011

AV Flag - New Jersey Bund

AV flag - NJ Bund image by Vinson Nash, 17 December 2008

I was recently watching the film "Third Reich in Color" and during several scenes showing activities of the German-American Bund in New Jersey during the late 1930s several members were shown carrying a flag that I had not seen before and cannot identify. The flag was a dark blue with a white circle surrounding what appeared to be a black gear shaped object with what looked to be a red letter 'D' in a German-looking font. The flag had yellow/gold fringe. It doesn't look to be what was apparently the official flag for them. I thought perhaps you might have seen it before.
Vinson Nash, 17 December 2008

This page shows a 'D' hanging flag and other items (clickable photos).
Jan Mertens, 18 December 2008

AV Youth Unit Flag
(assumed to be the unit flag)

AV Youth Unit flag image by Tomislav Todorovic, 20 January 2013

The activities of the German-American Bund included several Bund Youth Groups, or DJ (Jugendschaft), who had (assumed) unit flags on black fields mirroring the German Youth Troop flags (Fahnleinfahne). These unit flags were of simple design and consisted of a single runic "S" thunderbolt on a black background. (The assumption they were unit colors is based on the fact that this flag many times had unit numbers inscribed in red in the canton)
Source: Historical Flags of Our Ancestors website
Pete Loeser, 20 January 2013

AV Youth House Banner
(assumed to be the general flag)

AV Youth House banner image by Tomislav Todorovic, 20 January 2013

The second type of Bund Youth Group flag consisted of a white runic "S" thunderbolt centered on the black field, surrounded by a white circle which was centered on a white cross. This elongated banner seemed to have served the purpose of a general Bund Jugendschaft, or house flag, since no unit designations were present
Source: Historical Flags of Our Ancestors website
Pete Loeser, 20 January 2013

USA under Nazi German domination

USA under Nazi German domination Flag - speculative     USA under Nazi German domination Flag - speculative
speculative images by Pete Loeser, 10 December 2020

An article in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 Feb 1948, page 1, on the search for the escaped Fritz Kuhn, reports testimony at the Nurenberg trials (as a development that may have caused him to flee): "... Fritz Gissibel, Kuhn's predecessor as head of the "Friends of New Germany" in the United States, which later became the German-American Bund....
Nazi plans were understood to call for domination of the U. S. by 1951. They were so complete that a flag was designed for a Nazi-dominated United States. The flag kept the same red and white stripes but the stars were replaced by the Nazi Swastika." (source)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 11 August 2015

These two speculative images examine possible designs for the described Nazi-dominated United States, may they never wave.
Pete Loeser, 10 December 2020

AV "Stars and Stripes" Flag
Questionable Variant

German American Bund Flag - questionable image by Eugene Ipavec, 1 December 2020
Based on this photo.

This is a questionable German American Bund Flag to me. Several were offered for sale on e-Bay in 2020. The original photograph referenced above and used to make this image of the flag appears to be a product of PhotoShop manipulation to me. It looks like somebody floated an image onto a existing photo of a 48-star American flag. Close examination shows pixel ghosting around emblem and it isn't quite aligned with the slightly distorted 48-star flag photo it was pasted on. Eugene's image is excellent and corrects all these problems and I thank him for taking the time to give us this illustration.
Pete Loeser, 19 November 2020

I think this is a real flag, the reference image was definitely a photo, not just a flat graphic. I think the emblem is sufficiently different from the version I did earlier.
Eugene Ipavec, 1 December 2020