Before WWII, Jewish mobsters kept Nazis at bay in the US - with their fists


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Members of the German-American Bund parading through the streets of New York City in 1938.

(JTA) — The way author Michael Benson tells it, one day in 1938, New York judge and Jewish communal leader Nathan Perlman sat at a bar and thought, “How come these Nazis get to march down 86th Street, goose-stepping and ‘sieg heiling’ like it’s the Macy’s Parade? Why are they so brazen?”

It was because they were not worried about the consequences. Too few people in then-isolationist America really cared about what was being said about the Jews or what was happening to them in Europe, Benson said. What was needed, then, were Jews who weren’t afraid to break some laws — and...

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