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Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jan 9, 2005.
National Hero? Anti-semitic isolationist? Both? What are your thoughts?
Both - there is a new book out, a "what if" story.
What if Republicans had nominated Lindburgh and he had been elected in 1936 (or maybe it was '40).
Would be interesting.
I read a biography by Steve Berg less than a year ago.
Linbergh biography web link
The sense I got was that Lindbergh was not anti-semitic but an idealist and isolationist. He didn't want America to enter the War. Unfortunately, most Americans preceived his friendliness with several German Nazi officers and officals as being supportive of the Nazis. In less than 10 years he went from being the most beloved American to the most hated. That was an amazing tranformation.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s he took several trips to Germany to tour their manufacturing industries. He came back and told the American government that Germany has a huge capacity to product military hardware especially military aircraft. He strongly supported a large ramp up of the aircraft industry in America. Of the course the government basically ignored him. When WW II started America was way behind in aircraft production and technology. The US was still using bi-planes in the military.
One thing I didn't know was that FDR hated Linbergh. He made sure that Lindbergh would have no part of the war effort. Lindbergh tried to enlist in the military and was denied. One of America's greatest pilots was not allowed to fight in the War. Lindbergh eventually did tour the Pacific and even went on a few bombing runs as an "observer".
Lindbergh was a National Hero. After his famous flight he was the most famous person in the world. In essense he was the first "modern" celebrity. It got so bad that he moved to Europe after his son Charles was murdered.
One strong theme in the book was that Lindbergh didn't like being around people. In the last years his life he traveled constantly, almost never being home at all. He rarely saw his family. He eventually moved to Hawaii were he died in 1974. He is bured in Hawaii of all places.
I am actually reading this book right now, and because of it did some research into Lindberg's association with Nazis and Hitler. I was somewhat surprised by what I found.
He was the first NAZI to fly solo across the Atlantic.
The book's title is: The Plot Against America by: Phillip Roth.
Oh come on billwald, that it a bit harsh don't you think?
http://www.charleslindbergh.com/americanfirst/index.asp </font>[/QUOTE]Are there any actual specific "anti-Semitic" statements made by Lindbergh that are documented? I didn't remember any from the biography. I'll pull out the Lindbergh biography and look for some. Sounds like political correctness was alive and well in the 1930s.
http://www.charleslindbergh.com/americanfirst/index.asp </font>[/QUOTE]I would consider this to be a highly inflammatory and anti-semitic statement looking at it from hindsight. However, I must give Lindy some credit that he at least had enough decency to shut his mouth espousing the anti-war sentitment and support the war after Pearl Harbour occurred. Too bad we don't have people with the same amount of decency today. But, then again, it wasn't really the slaughter of millions of Jews that bothered him and his America First crowd as much as it was the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Had it not been for that event, Europe would have probably fallen, the Jews would probably have been eliminated completely, and America would have faced a far stronger and more dangerous enemy later on, because it was fairly clear that detente wasn't going to appease Hitler. It was not simply an internal conflict. And American national security would come under attack.
Since the Nazi's didn't win their remembrance is mostly negative these days but I have read that there were actually a lot of supporters in the US back in the 30s. I can't speak for Lindberg though but he was an agnostic though the Nazi's superior technology might have inpressed him and he didn't have the moral basis as an agnostic to resist anything else about them.
Please forgive me. But, I honestly couldn't follow the train of thought from all of your run-on sentences. Would you mind re-posting and more clearly articulating your point.
I think we should look at the facts as perceived by Lindbergh. Many isolationists existed before WWII. Hitler also fooled many people and although he was slaughtering Jews by the thousands, most didn't know it or believe he would actually do it even though he preached it in Mein Kamph.
Many people sound anti-semintic. I hear it all of the time myself. Statements like: "Oh yeah, those Jews know how to make money." or "Those Jews will stick it to you." In my humble opinion, this certainly does not mean that a person making these types of remarks would put Jews to death or even approve of it.
Lindbergh was a pilot and like engineers that I used to hire. Their thinking is very one-track so to speak. Not all, but some. They are impressed by technology and often not very skilled in the understanding of politics.
Hitler was basically an unknown and I don't think Lindbergh was more impressed with the technology than anything. After all, he did suggest the US build up its military aircraft force.
Also notice the Lindbergh paid most attention to Hitler's aviation, which further shows that his narrow focus and ignorance or disinterest in other technologies.
One final thing to remember was the stress Lindbergh was under after loosing his child.
Just my humble opinion. We have to be careful to judge someone in history since hindsight is often 20/20 and foresight of Hilter was not always clear until he started taking over the world. Although many Americans saw right through him, maybe Lindbergh was just not one of those.
I would tend to agree with Phillip.