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felt that Ford may have accepted the medal to spite President Franklin
D. Roosevelt, whom he hated. This feeling had been longstanding; Roosevelt
had criticized Ford's Peace Ship mission in 1915 when he was the Assistant
Secretary of the Navy. When going through a list of things Ford despised,
an acquaintance would later say, "FDR was first on the list, and after
that was what he called "monied" Jews, and all those whom he even suspected
of admiring the monied Jews."263 Roosevelt
had once actually set up a meeting between himself and Ford at the White
House. Ford, however; remained unimpressed. When a friend asked Ford what
the two of them had talked about, Ford snapped, "Well, he took up the first
five minutes telling me about his ancestors. I don't know why, unless he
wanted to prove he had no Jewish blood."264 It is interesting to note that
union men, in 1936, accused foremen at Ford of distributing anti-Semitic
literature that referred to Roosevelt as "Roosenfelt."265
About the only good thing Ford had to say about Roosevelt's New Deal concerned
the appointment of Henry Morganthau Jr. as Secretary of the Treasury. It
made sense, Ford would say, to have the nation's money under the control
of a Jew.266
At this rime,
Ford was convinced that reports of impending war in Europe were nothing
more than false rumors. To close acquaintances, Ford put down reports of
German aggression and persecution as being propaganda. Three days before
the invasion of Poland, Ford praised Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
for his policy of appeasement, calling him "one of the greatest men who
ever lived."267 That same day, when reporters
asked Ford for his opinion of Hitler; Ford responded, "I don't know Hitler
personally, but at least Germany keeps its people at work. Apparently England's
reason for going to war is that she doesn't make enough use of her land."268
asked about the possibilities of a war in Europe, Ford claimed that it
was all a bluff; "They don't dare have a war and they know it."269
When war was
declared, Ford was unsympathetic to the cause of the Allies. An Englishman
once came to Ford and asked for help in bringing English children over
to America for safety from The Blitz. Ford refused the request and mockingly
voiced his new opinion of Chamberlain. "Why did you send that fool with
the umbrella to talk to Hitler?" Ford asked. "Why didn't you send a man?"270
Privately, Ford had no doubt as to who had started the war. He talked to
John Dykema, his friend from the Huron Mountain Club, about the matter
soon after the war had been declared. "You know, John," Ford stated," there
hasn't been a shot fired. The whole thing has just been made up by Jewish
strong ties with fellow isolationist, Charles Lindbergh, at this time.
Both publicly declared their belief that the United States should stay
out of the conflict. Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Robert Sherwood,
accused Ford and Lindbergh as being exponents of "a traitorous point of
view" and of being "bootlickers of Hitler."272
However; Ford was also viewed with suspicion within the isolationist America
First organization. Ford became a member of the America First National
Committee in 1940 at the same time as businessman Lessing J. Rosenwald.
When the Jewish Rosenwald found out about Ford's membership, he promptly
resigned from his post in protest. Ar this stage, the America First Committee
did not want to be labeled as being anti-Semitic and voted to drop Ford
as a member. The America First leadership justified this by explaining
that Ford was not able to commit much time or energy to the movement and
"because the committee could not be sure that from time to time Mr. Ford's
views were consistent with the official views of the committee.273
continued his good friendship with the prominent America First member Lindbergh.
The FBI believed that someone had been leaking classified information to
Lindbergh from the War Department, and had Detroit agent John S. Bugas
question Ford over the matter. "When Charles comes out here," Ford told
Bugas in July 1940, "we only talk about the Jews."274
Lindbergh visited Ford for two weeks in the summer of 1941. One month later;
Lindbergh gave a speech in Des Moines, Iowa in which he expressed the decidedly
Ford-like view that "The three most important groups which have been pressing
this country towards war are the British, the Jews, and the Roosevelt Administration."275
Shortly after America declared war on the Axis Powers, Ford offered the
then-unpopular Lindbergh a job in Detroit. Lindbergh immediately accepted
It was obvious in Ford's private circles that his anti-Semitism, though
less publicly proclaimed, was as strong as ever. In the late 1930's, Ford
befriended the notorious anti-Semite, Gerald L.K. Smith. Like Ford, Smith
hated the New Deal, referring to it contemptuously as the "Jew Deal." Similar
to Cameron, Smith believed that Jews had not descended from the Israelites
of the Bible, but "sprang from a tribe of roving bandits."276
The Ford Company provided bodyguards for Smith at an anti-Communist rally
and used him as a principal speaker at an Election Day gathering. Ford
was even once quoted as saying, "I wish Gerald L.K. Smith could be president
of the United States."277 According to
Smith, Ford informed him during an interview in 1940 that he had never
signed the 1927 apology for The International Jew. Bennett had signed it
and Ford did not show signs of regret for having published it in the first
place. "Mr. Smith," Ford allegedly stated, "I hope to republish The International
Jew again some time."278 Eventually, Ford
was to sever his relationship with Smith. However; that did not stop Smith
from republishing a copy of The International Jew in 1964 through his Christian
Nationalist Crusade and serializing it in his publications.
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263. Dahlinger; 216.
264. Collier and Horowitz, 130.
265. Lee, 100.
266. Collier and Horowitz, 130.
267. Sward, 459.
268. Lee, 121.
*269. New York Times, 28 August 1939, 8.
270. Bennett, 214.
271. Lacey, 406.
272. New York Times, 26 August 1940, 9.
273. Wayne S. Cole, America First: The Battle Against Intervention 1940-194
1 (Madison:University of Wisconsin Press, 1953), 132.
274. Collier and Horowitz, 205.
275. Lee, 126.
276. Lee, 110.
278. Ford, The International Jew, 7.