How Southbury Kept a Nazi Camp Out of Their Town
Find out how a quaint Connecticut town of 1,200 shut down the Nazis in the 1930s.
The Amazon Prime series, The Man in the High Castle is about an alternate reality where we actually lost World War II and the United States becomes very different. Back in 1936, the Nazis were attempting to infiltrate America by starting up large youth camps under the direction of the German American Bund Federation.
According to the Nov. 23, 2018 edition of Connecticut Magazine, pro-Nazi U.S citizens marched through the streets spreading their message of racism and hatred and then they tried to march into Southbury.
Bund camps had already been set up in New York, Long Island, New Jersey, and California and now a Bund official who had purchased a 178-acre parcel of land in the Kettletown section of Southbury was attempting to establish the largest Bund Camp in the country. Check out the trailer preview of a documentary created in 2013 titled, Home of the Brave: When Southbury Said No to the Nazis.
Southbury's first selectman at the time, Ed Coer was given the heads up that 100 German Bund members and their families were congregating to build a private road to their new property in Kettletown. Coer immediately went to work to find ways to keep the new Bund camp out of Southbury. These Bund members claimed to be American patriots saying,
We are a group of Americans who have only the benefit of the United States in our mind.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I've recently heard those same sentiments from groups around the country. Membership applications were sent to many Southbury residents requiring applicants to pledge: "I am of Aryan origin, free from Jewish or colored blood."
Back in 1939, there was no such thing as zoning laws in Southbury, so the Selectman and other town officials got to work establishing a zoning commission which was ultimately the downfall for the German Bund Camp in Southbury.