The 1930s in America were a period of rampant anti-Semitism, particularly in the Midwest. Father Charles Coughlin, Detroit’s “Radio Priest,” and William Pelley of Minneapolis, openly called for Jews to be driven from positions of responsibility, if not from the country itself. Organized Brown Shirts in New York and Silver Shirts in Minneapolis both outraged and terrorized American Jewry. While the older and more respectable Jewish organizations pondered a response that would not alienate non-Jewish supporters, others–including rabbis [such as Stephen Wise]-asked the gangsters to break up American Nazi rallies.
Historian Robert Rockaway notes that German-American Bund rallies in the New York City area posed a dilemma for mainstream Jewish leaders. They wanted the rallies stopped but had no legal grounds on which to do so. New York state judge Nathan Perlman personally contacted Meyer Lansky and asked him to disrupt the Bund rallies, provided that Lansky’s henchmen stopped short of killing any Bundists. Enthusiastic for the assignment if disappointed by the restraints, Lansky accepted all of Perlman’s terms except for one: he would take no money for the work. Lansky later observed, “I was a Jew and felt for those Jews in Europe who were suffering. They were my brothers.” For months, Lansky’s workmen effectively broke up one Nazi rally after another. As Rockaway notes, “Nazi arms, legs, and ribs were broken, and skulls were cracked, but no one died.”
Lansky recalled breaking up a Brown Shirt rally in the Yorkville section of Manhattan: “The stage was decorated with a swastika and a picture of Hitler. The speakers started ranting. There were only fifteen of us, but we went into action. We … threw some of them out the windows…Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up… We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults.”
In Minneapolis, William Dudley Pelley organized a Silver Shirt Legion to “rescue” America from an imaginary Jewish-Communist conspiracy. In Pelley’s own words, just as “Mussolini and his Black Shirts saved Italy and as Hitler and his Brown Shirts saved Germany,” he would save America from Jewish communists. Minneapolis gambling czar David Berman confronted Pelley’s Silver Shirts on behalf of the Minneapolis Jewish community.
Berman learned that Silver Shirts were mounting a rally at a nearby Elks’ Lodge. When the Nazi leader called for all the “Jew bastards” in the city to be expelled, or worse, Berman and his associates burst in to the room and started cracking heads. After ten minutes, they had emptied the hall. His suit covered in blood, Berman took the microphone and announced, “This is a warning. Anybody who says anything against Jews gets the same treatment. Only next time it will be worse.” After Berman broke up two more rallies, there were no more public Silver Shirt meetings in Minneapolis.
okay but fr can you imagine if wanda tried to kill tony because tony is the reason she doesn't have parents and a fucking home. tony stans are trying to justify tony trying to murder a POW of 70 years using PTSD, i wonder if they will do the same for wanda or just call her a straight up villain