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Lindbergh: From true American hero to American Fascist, lover of Hitler

Charles Lindbergh once captured the hearts of America. By embracing Hitler and his monstrous philosophy, he broke those hearts.

Why would a bona fide American hero embrace beliefs that are so antithetical to its democratic values?

Many people have wrestled with the actions of this in an effort to determine why the first man to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean fell from hero status in America to became a despised Hitler-supporter who loved Nazi Germany.

Lindbergh was a true “American-Firster” in the 1930s, along with people like Father Coughlin. And they became American fascists.

After becoming a veritable national hero, today, Lindbergh’s reputation has been reduced to tatters because people have learned of his anti-American philosophy and his sleazy personal life.

Behavior shocked Americans who revered him

The revelations of what he did in Germany in the 1930s shocked America,

While in Germany, Charles and Anne attended the [1936] Summer Olympic games as the special guests of Field Marshal Hermann Goering, the head of the German military air force, the Luftwaffe. Lindbergh toured German factories, took the controls of state-of-the-art bombers, and noted the multiplying airfields. He visited Germany twice during the next two years. With each visit, he became more impressed with the German military and the German people. He was soon convinced that no other power in Europe could stand up to Germany in the event of war. "The organized vitality of Germany was what most impressed me: the unceasing activity of the people, and the convinced dictatorial direction to create the new factories, airfields, and research laboratories...," Lindbergh recalled in "Autobiography of Values" …

By 1938, the Lindberghs were making plans to move to Berlin.

In October 1938, Lindbergh was presented by Goering, on behalf of the Fuehrer, the Service Cross of the German Eagle for his contributions to aviation. News of Nazi persecution of Jews had been filtering out of Germany for some time, and many people were repulsed by the sight of an American hero wearing a Nazi decoration. Lindbergh, by all appearances, considered the medal to be just another commendation. No different than all the others. Many considered this attitude to be naive, at best. Others saw it as an outright acceptance of Nazi policies.

“Lindbergh: Fallen Hero,” American Experience, PBS,

From hero to pariah.

The “Spirit of St. Louis”

The plane was one that became a symbol of American greatness in the 1920s as its pilot became the first to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. However, history treats him with kid gloves because after that heroism, and the horrific kidnapping and killing of his son, Charles Lindbergh changed — dramatically.

This paragraph summarizes how history now regards the man who became what many called a “Nazi-sympathizer,”

Charles Lindbergh was an American aviator who rose to international fame in 1927 after becoming the first person to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean in his monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis. Five years later, Lindbergh’s toddler son was kidnapped and murdered in what many called “the crime of the century.” In the lead-up to World War II, Lindbergh was an outspoken isolationist, opposing American aid to Great Britain in the fight against Nazi Germany. Some accused him of being a Nazi sympathizer.”

Charles Lindbergh,

American-firster, the isolationist

Many in the U.S. were isolationists in the 1930s because of what they had seen in the entrance of the country into World War I, and these people tried to prevent President Franklin D. Roosevelt from spending money to help defeat Adolph Hitler in Germany.

Isolationism is not wrong. The practice could have prevented America’s terrible ventures in wars that America lost like the one in Iraq and in Vietnam. Few, however, went so far as to do what Lindbergh did and embrace Fascism and Nazi Germany’s values,

In the lead-up to World War II, Lindbergh was an outspoken isolationist. He became the leading voice of the America First Committee—a group of some 800,000 members that opposed American entry into World War II.

Lindbergh spoke at several AFC rallies in 1941. The group was characterized by anti-Semitic, pro-fascist rhetoric, leading some to call Lindbergh a Nazi sympathizer.

The “America First Committee”

These were dangerous people,

Many joined the [America First Committee] as a way of attacking President Roosevelt and the New Deal. Still others had more sinister reasons. The evolution of the America First movement in the eighteen months of debate preceding Pearl Harbor revealed xenophobic and anti-Semitic sentiment both within the AFC leadership, and among its supporters …

The central task of the Committee therefore became to reduce support for Britain. Building on the fears of the electorate, its leaders set out to convince Americans that aid was synonymous with war.

But America First did much more. It claimed the nation could work peacefully and profitably with Germany. It consistently minimized or ignored Hitler’s crimes in Europe. At the same time the Committee’s unceasing criticism of the British Empire helped convince at least some voters that democratic England was not only an unworthy recipient of American aid, it was also undeserving of American sympathy.

David Gordon, “America First: the Anti-War Movement, Charles Lindbergh,

and the Second World War, 1940-41,” Historical Society and The New York Military Affairs, September 26, 2003

Lindbergh’s propensity toward authoritarianism

The problem for Lindbergh was that he basically opposed Democracy, as do many 21st Century Republicans,

Charles Lindbergh was among the most extreme AFC spokesmen.[37] He also introduced a troubling new theme into the America First campaign. It was support for Germany. Most AFC supporters opposed war. Many had criticized Britain and France simply to balance the general American dislike of the Nazis. To justify their position, they had noisily opposed British imperialism.

Some were also anti-English, but the England they hated was largely the City of London’s financial establishment. Many America Firsters, like most Americans, still wanted Britain to win the war, even if they didn’t want to do anything to help.

Very few AFC members discounted the importance of democracy and personal freedom. Lindbergh, with what one critic called an “Olympian contempt for all democratic processes,” did. Despite formulaic protestations about its “excesses,” he found much to admire in the new German state. He also shared many of its leaders’ racial beliefs. Lindbergh was not against war. He simply opposed war with Germany.

David Gordon, September 2003

His illegitimate children

In addition to his reputation being destroyed by his love of Fascism and Nazi Germany, his personal dalliances resulted in as many as seven illegitimate children with three mistresses.

Three of his children that Lindbergh had with a mistress have taken DNA tests to confirm their lineage. Those three children also allege that he had four other children out of wedlock,

Three siblings who claim they are Charles Lindbergh's out-of-wedlock children are releasing a book next week that alleges the famous flier had, in all, seven illegitimate children from relationships with their mother, her sister and his German private secretary.

"The Double Life of Charles A. Lindbergh" alleges Lindbergh had three children with Munich hatmaker Brigitte Hesshaimer, two children with her sister Marietta, and another two children with his German private secretary, identified only as Valeska, the publishing company said.

Brigitte Hesshaimer's children, Dyrk and David Hesshaimer and Astrid Bouteuil, said in 2003 a DNA test proved they were the U.S. aviator's children, adding they had met their American half-siblings in the United States.

They also offered as evidence a bundle of 112 letters they said Lindbergh wrote to their mother.

“Lindbergh had 7 illegitimate children, book alleges,”

Associated Press, February 23, 2019

Charles Lindbergh once captured the hearts of America. By embracing Hitler and his monstrous philosophy, he broke those hearts.

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