A city anti-Nazi group’s bold matchbook ad

In 1933, after Hitler came to power in Germany, an organization that would eventually be called the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights was formed.

The West 47th Street–based group’s goal: to convince Americans of all backgrounds to join in a total boycott of Germany.

This powerful matchbook cover advertisement plainly makes the case.

Throughout the 1930s, the boycott movement gathered steam, according to jewishvirtuallibrary.org.

“In January 1939 dissolution of the B’nai B’rith in Germany moved its American counterpart to join the boycott movement,” states one entry.

“However, the American Jewish Committee remained unalterably opposed to the movement throughout the Nazi era.

“In the United States, a non-belligerent until Pearl Harbor, the boycott was continued until 1941.”

Inside of the matchbook, it reads: “Help End the Nazi Dictatorship by becoming a member of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League.”

I have no idea how many people did.

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5 Responses to “A city anti-Nazi group’s bold matchbook ad”

  1. petey Says:

    there were still bund rallies on 2nd avenue when i was very young. i wouldn’t believe now that such a thing could have happened in the 60s if i hadn’t seen it.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    The Bund had a lot of support in Yorkville before and during the war. At least New Yorkers came out to picket and protest when they rallied in Madison Square Garden:

    http://www.heritage-images.com/Preview/PreviewPage.aspx?id=2358737&pricing=true&licenseType=RM

    • petey Says:

      thanks for the link. if i had posted more carefully i’d have said that there were neo-nazi rallies in yorkville even into the 60s, tho’ i can’t say for sure that they were the Bund. but they knew what neighborhood to set up in, that’s for sure.

  3. Tom B Says:

    How times have changed. Matchbooks are almost non existent and demonized for their purpose (smoking). Matchbook cover advertisments like that would be considered hate crimes now. Try talking like that about the radical muslim extremist world.
    I enjoy your blog on NYC history. An interesting wide variety of topics.

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