The Godfather of Evil Pays a Visit Downeast By Charles Francis In the summer of 1946, the man who many

consider the most despicable American of the last half of the twentieth century paid a visit to Nova Scotia. The man was George Lincoln Rockwell. In 1959 he would found the American Nazi Party. Rockwell and his wife Judy made their trip to Nova Scotia from Boothbay Harbor, Maine. They had moved to Boothbay Harbor in the spring of the year. At the time the couple were pressed for funds and because Rockwell had connections on his father's side of the family in the Maine community, the two opted for what they hoped would be a simple and relatively inexpensive lifestyle of catching lobsters and starting a small photographic and sign painting business. From what little is known of the couple's brief stay in mid coast Maine in 1946, it would appear that Rockwell failed at both lobstering and photography. Before winter set in the couple moved to New York. Rockwell's 1946 trip to Nova Scotia wasn't his first visit there. He had visited relatives in the Cumberland area several times as a youngster. His grandmother Mary (MacPherson) Rockwell was from Pugwash. Today George Lincoln Rockwell is remembered in the Downeast region of the 1960's for such noxious acts as casting wreathes into Portland Harbor to commemorate events in Nazi history like Adolph Hitler's birthday and giving speeches at various local landmarks denying the Holocaust and denigrating Blacks and homosexuals. Rockwell was the first of the neo-Nazis to meld anti-Semitism and racism, a philosophy which was taken up in later years by his only truly significant disciple David Duke. Duke went on to become the most influential leader in the history of the modern Ku Klux Klan. While George Lincoln Rockwell's 1946 visit to Nova Scotia may simply have been motivated by a desire to introduce his wife to some of his relatives, there is evidence that the future American Nazi had an additional purpose in traveling to the province. At the time an exiled sometime Nazi by the name of Otto Strasser was living in the Annapolis Valley community of Paradise. He had been there since 1942. The fact that Otto Strasser was living in Nova Scotia does not mean that Canada was harbouring Nazi war criminals. The British Foreign Office asked Vincent Massey, who was then serving as Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, if Canada would take Strasser in as a political refugee. The idea was that Strasser might start a free German movement in Canada and the United States. Strasser had fled Germany to escape Hitler. Nevertheless, he had legitimate Nazi credentials. Specifically, Otto Strasser had been one of the chief leaders of the Black Front Nazis. The Black Front had split from Hitler's Brown Shirts over the issue of support for workers. The split had resulted in Hitler eliminating the Black Front as opposition, in the process killing another of the group's important leaders Otto Strasser's, brother Gregor. Otto had then gone into exile. Regardless of its doctrinaire differences with Hitler over the issue of workers' rights, the Black Front was just as virulently anti-Semitic as more mainstream Nazis. While it would be a number of years before George Lincoln Rockwell would achieve

notoriety and infamy for his outrageous political leanings and bigotry, in 1946 he was well on his way to becoming the demagogue that would disgust the Downeast region and the civilized world with his antics. While it may seem surprising to some that the self-styled Commander of the American Nazi Party should choose the Downeast region for some of his more flamboyant demonstrations, it is not, given that Rockwell's father had a summer place in Maine and that the future American Nazi spent the summers of his formative years on the coast of Maine. In fact, he also spent a year at Maine's prestigious Hebron Academy, where he became involved in what he later referred to as his first political conspiracy. George Lincoln Rockwell- he always referred to himself as Lincoln Rockwell- was born in 1918 in Bloomington, Illinois, his mother's hometown. It has been mistakenly stated in several sources that he was the son of the great illustrator Norman Rockwell. While they may have been very distantly related, George Lincoln Rockwell was, in reality, the son of George Lovejoy and Claire (Schade) Rockwell. George Lovejoy Rockwell was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the son of John Rockwell of Providence and Mary (MacPherson) Rockwell of Pugwash, Nova Scotia. George Lovejoy Rockwell was one of the foremost vaudevillians of the first half of the twentieth century. Rockwell, who had divorced George Lincoln's mother and lived with a common law wife, appeared on stage as Doc Rockwell, a supposed chiropractor, whose chief prop was a banana. Doc Rockwell was such a popular stage performer that even during the Depression he was making $3500 a week. When George Lincoln visited his father in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, frequent house guests would include such well known figures from the entertainment industry as Fred Allen, Benny Goodman, Walter Winchell and Groucho Marx. Doc Rockwell, himself, spent the last years of his life in Maine, where he contributed a regular humor column on doings in Boothbay Harbor to Downeast Magazine. Lincoln Rockwell grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey with his mother. Most of the year, his father was on the vaudeville circuit. Each summer, however, the elder Rockwell summered at Boothbay Harbor, in what the founder of the American Nazi Party would later refer to as an "idyllic home in the Maine woods." Rockwell's typical summer adventures included sailing around Southport Island and Pemaquid Point. In fact, the summer before he entered Brown University, he lobstered off Boothbay and worked as a waiter at Green Shutters, a small Boothbay Harbor hotel. Most of Lincoln Rockwell's secondary schooling was at Atlantic City High School or else Central High School in Providence, Rhode Island. However, when his grades began to drop off at Atlantic City High School he was sent to Hebron Academy in the little central Maine town of Hebron. It was here that Rockwell became involved in his first political cabal. Rockwell would later describe the occurrence in his autobiography This Time The World, which he dedicated to, among others, Adolph Hitler. The most hated instructor at Hebron Academy was a chemistry teacher by the name of Foster. Rockwell and some of his fellow Sturtevant Hall cronies organized a secret society called the Phi Phi's. The Phi Phi's only reason for existing was to make Foster's life miserable. It's members posted derogatory signs maligning Foster all over the campus, held torch lite marches demanding his dismissal and even burned him in effigy. At one point they even tried to dupe the dormitory's biggest "boob" into throwing nitroglycerin into Foster's living quarters. It would appear the future "American Fuehrer" was already conversant with fascist tactics of intimidation. And, they worked, for Foster left Hebron.

Lincoln Rockwell enrolled in college at Brown University. After two years at Brown, he went into the Navy where he learned to fly P-38''s at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. He spent most of the latter part of World War II stationed at Pearl Harbor and was honorably discharged from the Navy shortly after the close of hostilities. George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party- Rockwell later changed the name to the Nationalist Socialist White People's Party- had at its height some 1000 members. In 1967, shortly after his last trip Downeast, Rockwell was killed in a hail of bullets as he was driving his car outside of Arlington, Virginia. It is thought, but never proven, that members of the party he founded conspired to kill him. An attempt was made to bury him in a military cemetery but protests prevented it. David Duke was a senior in high school when Lincoln Rockwell was killed. It is alleged that when he learned of Rockwell's death he said "The greatest American who has ever lived has been shot down and killed." Regardless of the veracity of the quote, Duke clearly regards Rockwell as the greatest early influence on his life. This was especially true in regard to anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Duke paid tribute most recently to Rockwell in a series of lectures entitled "The Roots of anti-Semitism." In the lectures he also mentions his and Rockwell's debt to Otto Strasser. The implication is that Rockwell was directly influenced by Strasser. If Rockwell and Strasser actually met as Duke seems to think, the meeting most likely took place in that now long gone summer of 1946. At the time Rockwell and his wife owned a Nash automobile with reclining seats for sleeping. One has a picture of the little car with its two occupants traveling down Highway 1 in the Annapolis Valley and pulling up in front of the general store in Paradise where Strasser lived in a second floor apartment. It is a picture engendering mixed images and emotions. At the time of Rockwell's death, cartoonist Bob Chambers of the Halifax Chronicle Herald and the Mail Star portrayed the demagogue as a giant spider weaving a web of deceit and deception. Another showed him as a Mafia-like godfather of evil. These characterizations were, without doubt, accurate as the American Nazi Party served as inspiration for such later right wing hate groups as the Skinheads and David Duke's Ku Klux Klan.