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A Selection of Recent Media

I'm interviewed on the PBS series American Experience for the documentary "Nazi Town, USA" In February 1939, more than 20,000 Americans filled Madison Square Garden for an event billed as a “Pro-American Rally.” Images of George Washington hung next to swastikas and speakers railed against the “Jewish controlled media” and called for a return to a racially “pure” America. The keynote speaker was Fritz Kuhn, head of the German American Bund. Nazi Town, USA tells the largely unknown story of the Bund, which had scores of chapters in suburbs and big cities across the country and represented what many believe was a real threat of fascist subversion in the United States. The Bund held joint rallies with the Ku Klux Klan and ran dozens of summer camps for children centered around Nazi ideology and imagery. Its melding of patriotic values with virulent anti-Semitism raised thorny issues that we continue to wrestle with today.

On Camera:
Video & TV presentations

"Inside for Indies" is a campaign to raise awareness of the threat posed to independent bookstores from Covid-19. Here's my contribution to the series, exploring my workspace, talismans, my favorite indie bookstore, Bookies of Chicago, and my love for writing on typewriters

In 1977, Skokie, Illinois was home to around 40,500 Jews, thousands of whom were Holocaust survivors. Then, the National Socialist Party of America, a group of self-styled Nazis planned a march. In March of that year, the group requested a permit to march through the village, and were sued by Skokie to prevent it. The American Civil Liberties Union decided, controversially, to represent the Nazis on the basis of free speech, and the case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court, who ruled they should be allowed to march due to free speech concerns. Join Arnie Bernstein, author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, and Dr. Philippa Strum, former ACLU National Board member and Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in conversation about the case and its implications for our current time. Arnie Bernstein is author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn & The Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund. He’s written for Tablet, AISH, and The New York Journal of Books, and been interviewed about the German-American Bund by The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic Channel, BBC & NPR radio, and German Public Television. Arnie knows about the Skokie Nazi rally from personal experience. Philippa Strum is Professor Emerita at the City University of New York as well as the former director of U.S. Studies at the Wilson Center in Washington. Her prize-winning books include When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for the Speech We Hate; and Louis D. Brandeis: Justice for the People. She was also the founder of an organization that litigated and educated for civil liberties in Israel. Her most recent book is “On Account of Sex”: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Making of Gender Equality Law.

On October 1, 1937, Wolfgang Jung purchased 178 acres of land in Southbury, Connecticut for the German-American Bund to build a Nazi camp. The residents of Southbury fought back against this Nazi invasion of their town. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut explore this remarkable story in a discussion with Rebecca Erbelding, historian, archivist, and curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Ed Edelson, former First Selectman of Southbury and the author of Lois’s Story: A Young Girl’s Inspiration Helps to Stop Hate and Fear; Arnie Bernstein, author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn & the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, and Melinda K. Elliott, president of the Southbury Historical Society, and moderated by Rabbi Eric Polokoff, founding Rabbi of B’nai Israel of Southbury..

A panel discussion with Bess Wohl, playwright of Camp Siegfried; Bradley W. Hart, author of Hitler’s American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States; and Arnie Bernstein, author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn & the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund. The conversation is moderated by Randi F. Marshall, Editorial Writer at  New York Newsday. This program is co-presented by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the New York City College of Technology (CUNY), and the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

A presentation on Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing-Updated and Expanded Edition, as part of the Historical Society of Michigan's event "Michigan in Perspective: Local History Conference

Trailer for The American Führer, a German documentary by filmmaker Annette Baumeister. The film is on German Public Television

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