Nazis in Newark

Nazis in Newark

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by Warren Grover
     
 

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After Hitler came to power in 1933, Nazis established organizations in major American cities to propagate their racial doctrines. Newark, New Jersey, with its considerable ethnic mix of Jews, Germans, Italians, Irish, and African Americans, was a primary target. Throughout the thirties and up to America's entrance into World War II, Newark's Nazis worked to

Overview

After Hitler came to power in 1933, Nazis established organizations in major American cities to propagate their racial doctrines. Newark, New Jersey, with its considerable ethnic mix of Jews, Germans, Italians, Irish, and African Americans, was a primary target. Throughout the thirties and up to America's entrance into World War II, Newark's Nazis worked to convert the city's sizeable German-American population to their cause. Their efforts did not go unopposed.

Nazis in Newark is a comprehensive chronicle of local Jewish resistance, both organizational and private, and it also records the efforts of Newark's other ethnic groups to fight the Nazi presence that shook Newark during these years. At the center of Warren Grover's account is the story of two unlikely bedfellows: S. William Kalb, a physician who led the Newark Division of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, and Nat Arno, a prizefighter and gang member who led the Minutemen. Together they forged an alliance against Nazism, employing propaganda, public relations, and physical assaults. Among the extraordinary events that resulted were Jewish prizefighters who had protected Newark crime boss Longie Zwillman's bootleg whiskey shipments—turning their attention to stopping the Nazis after Prohibition ended in 1933.

Grover looks at the major ethnic components of Newark, analyzing alliances and conflicts as they reacted to the Nazi presence. He records battles between the German community's democratic and Nazi factions and conflicts between isolationists and interventionists. He describes the unsuccessful efforts of liberal Protestant leaders to convince their co-religionists to oppose Nazism and anti-Semitism, and analyzes, as well, the strained relations between the city's black and Jewish populations.

Grover uses archival information, contemporary newspaper accounts, and interviews to produce the first in-depth study of Nazism and the responses to it in an important American community during the crucial years of 1933-1941. Nazis in Newark is an colorful contribution to the history of the period preceding World War II.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Well researched, readable, and very interesting" —Choice "Nazis in Newark is a model local history that reaches well beyond the border of Essex County, New Jersey, to the national and international arenas. By recounting so many sides of the complicated encounter between Nazis and Jews in Newark, Warren Grover has fashioned a world of street politics, boycotts, Nazi louts and Jewish bruisers that is as compelling and telling in its detail as any grand tome on the supposed failures and successes of American Jewish resistence to the Holocaust... I recommend Nazis in Newark. I intend to use it as a cornerstone of my teaching for some time to come." —Professor Michael Alexander The Jewish Quarterly Review "Very few people today realize that the U.S. mainland was the scene of battles against the Nazis. Warren Grover has produced an outstanding work on this subject. The writing is incisive, the ideas are both original and insightful and the thesis masterfully developed and executed. Must reading for anyone interested in American history and ethnic studies." —William B. Helmreich, CUNY Graduate Center and author of The Enduring Community "Thanks to tenacious research and deft story-telling, Warren Grover has put the politics of extremism in one city in the shadow of Fascism, Nazism and Communism, and has thus illuminated the terrible dilemmas of the 1930s. His book also compels the reader to consider an historical anomaly: champions of the Third Reich come across as victims whose civil liberties were infringed, and the gangs of Newark responsible for these violations tended to be Jewish. Such ironies make Nazis in Newark worth the interest of anyone intrigued by ethnic conflict and politcal violence in urban America." —Stephen Whitfield, Max Richter Professor of American Civilization, Brandeis University "In this fast-paced, thorough study of anti-Nazism in Newark, scholar Warren Grover tells the compelling story of how that city's Jews battled their Nazi enemies in the streets and in the marketplace. With meticulous research, Grover adds an important new chapter to our understanding of Jewish reaction. He chronicles how tough, blue collar Jews physically intimidated home-grown Nazis in such groups as the German-American Bund, while a mild-mannered Jewish physician organized an economic boycott against German goods being sold in some of Newark's finest stores. Grover amply demonstrates that Newark's Jews were neither oblivious nor passive toward the enemy in their midst." —Alan M. Kraut, American University "Warren Grover tells a fascinating story in Nazis in Newark. He is a prominent local historian who knows the demography and history of Newark and its environs like the back of his hand. His analysis of the attitude of various groups in Newark toward the threat to Jews posed by Nazism is especially insightful." —Bennett Muraskin, Jewish Currents

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765801937
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/2003
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.16(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Warren Grover, a Newark native, serves on the boards of the New Jersey Historical Society, the Jewish Historical Society of MetroWest, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He is a founder of the Newark History Society.

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Nazis in Newark 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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I felt the story about my dad did for the nation was great... Bruce Arnol