German American Bund

Purpose, Organization, and Historical Facts

The German American Bund (AV) was America's largest most well known nationalist organization in the 1930s. It was also the least understood, most maligned and scape-goated by distorted media coverage. The following synopsis will aid in a basic knowledge of this important American organization.

1) The purpose and goals of the AV consisted of the following:
A. Friendship and trade between Germany and the USA.
B. The adoption of those portions of National Socialism that it was felt would aid in the economic recovery of the USA.
C. Preservation of Germanic culture in the USA through history, language, and folk art for both members and the general public.
D. Family oriented social activities and gatherings at Bund meeting halls and summer camps. The family was considered the basic Bund unit.

2) Membership nationwide was between 50 and 60 thousand, with three times that many auxiliary members. The Bund security force (OD Ordnungsdienst- order division) consisted of between 5 and 6 thousand men nationwide. Early Chicago also had a unit of American SS.

3) About 100 local units were located in 47 different states. The Bund ran approximately 2 dozen youth summer camps across the country for family and youth activities. Nordland in New Jersey was the largest with 204 acres.

4) From scattered NS groups such as the ANSL (American National Socialist League 1923) came the Teutonia Club. The Teutonia was the first official NS organization in the USA, starting Oct. 12, 1924 and growing to about 600 members in 5 different units. From Teutonia came Freunde Des Neue Deutschland (FDND) Friends of the New Germany. FDND existed from 1933 to 1936 with a coast to coast membership of about 6000. FDND was reorganized in March of 1936 to become The German American Bund (1936-1941), with Fritz Kuhn as leader.

5) The Bund included apart from the OD*, a wives organization, a youth group for boys (Jugenschaft) and for girls the (Madenschaft) further divided by age. The Bund also owned various companies through which it published material and maintained economic solvency. These included AV publishing, AV Development, The German American Business League, a veterans group, (Frontkampferschaft), the consumers co op, and sympathizers auxiliary. The national membership approached 100,000 (including the auxiliary members), in some 100 units and 22 - 24 youth camps.

* The OD had been formed as an adjunct to Teutonia in the 1920s. Josef Schuster former leader of Munich SA troop #5 and a participant in The failed Putsch of 1923 was its founder. Returning to Germany in 1936, he and Peter Gisibl of Teutonia days formed Kameradschaft USA for former American comrades who returned permanently to Germany.

For more information please email Scott Freeland at