Fritz Kuhn (May 15, 1896 – December 14, 1951) was a German-American who served as the leader of the [[German American Bund]], a pro-[Nazi]( organization in the United States during the 1930s. Born in Munich, Germany, Kuhn served in the German Army during [[World War I]] and later studied at the Technical University of Munich, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. In 1927, Kuhn immigrated to the United States, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1934. In the early 1930s, Kuhn joined the Friends of New Germany, an organization aimed at promoting National Socialism among German-Americans. This group was later reorganized as the German American Bund in 1936, with Kuhn assuming the leadership role. Under his guidance, the organization sought to establish an [[isolationist]], pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic presence in the U.S. ## 1939 Madison Square Garden Nazi rally Kuhn's most infamous act as leader of the German American Bund was organizing a rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 20, 1939. This event, attended by over 20,000 people, featured Nazi imagery, anti-Semitic speeches, and American flags, aiming to demonstrate the compatibility of [[Nazis]]m with American ideals. The rally was met with widespread condemnation and protest. Nevertheless, the presence of such a large crowd advocating for a regime of [American fascism]( on the cusp of WWII was, to say the least, unsettling. With other popular advocates for [[isolationism]] and pro-[[Adolf Hitler]] sentiment from [[Charles Lindbergh]] to [[Henry Ford]] to [[William Randolph Hearst]], the question of whether or not America would enter the war against Germany was far from a settled question. ## Legal downfall Kuhn's leadership of the German American Bund ultimately came to an end due to legal troubles. In 1939, he was charged with embezzling funds from the organization, found guilty, and sentenced to serve two and a half to five years in prison. During World War II, the U.S. government also investigated Kuhn for possible espionage activities on behalf of Nazi Germany. Although no evidence of espionage was found, Kuhn's U.S. citizenship was revoked in 1943. After serving his prison sentence, Kuhn was interned as an enemy alien in a camp in Texas for the remainder of the war. In 1945, he was deported to Germany, where he lived out the remainder of his life. Kuhn died in Munich on December 14, 1951. Despite the failure of the German American Bund and Kuhn's criminal activities, his role in promoting Nazism in the United States remains a significant and controversial chapter in the history of extremist political movements in the country. See also: [[World War II Timeline]], [[antisemitism]], [[Nazis]], [[isolationist]]