Letter to WSWS about Frank Buchman

Dear WSWS Editors,

This is a response to your web page
"An exchange on Frank Buchman and the Nazis"
, dated 9 July 2008.

The author Paul Bond's reply to a critical letter was accurate and detailed, but there is even more — so much more — that Bond did not mention. It just so happens that studying the history of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman, and his "Oxford Group" and "Moral Re-Armament" organizations has been a personal project of mine for the last seven years, so I have some more tidbits to add.

There is no doubt that Dr. Frank Buchman was a Nazi sympathizer. He attended the Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies in 1934 and 1935 as a guest of the German aristocrat Moni von Cramon, who was personally invited to the rally by Hitler's right-hand-man Heinrich Himmler. Both years, Frank, Moni, and Heinrich Himmler had lunch together and discussed religion and politics. (Frank Buchman spoke fluent German because he was "Pennsylvania Dutch" — really "Deutsch" — the child of German-speaking Swiss immigrants, and Frank grew up speaking German in his home town of Allentown, PA.)

At the 1935 rally, Frank Buchman sat on together with two of the Mitford sisters on the same bench in the stands. Those sisters were Unity Mitford and Diana Guiness (nee Mitford), who would go on to marry Sir Oswald Mosley, the founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists. At one Nuremberg rally, Unity Mitford gave a speech to the whole gigantic assembly, praising Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Henry Williamson reported in his book Goodbye West Country that, at the 1935 Nuremberg rally, Frank Buchman was Heiling Hitler with the same fascist stiff-right-arm salute that the other Nazis were doing.

In 1936, Frank Buchman was the personal guest of Heinrich Himmler at the Berlin Olympics, where Buchman declared to the British Member of Parliament Mr. Kenneth Lindsay, MP for Kilmarnock Burghs and Civil Lord of the Admiralty, that Heinrich Himmler was "a wonderful fellow". Heinrich Himmler was the commander of the Gestapo secret police and the vicious S.S. storm troopers, both of whom had already gotten a reputation for exceptional brutality. Himmler would go on to murder 6 million Jews and countless more intellectuals, gays, Gypsies, handicapped people, and political opponents (including socialists). But Himmler liked the Oxford Group. The British writer Robert Byron reported in 1938 that "Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them."

After the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Frank Buchman sailed back to New York City, where he declared to a New York World Telegraph newspaper reporter, "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism..." In the same newspaper interview, Frank Buchman also advocated Christian Fascist dictatorships as the cure for all of the world's problems.

When World War II broke out, Frank Buchman declared that he and his Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament organizations were very "patriotic", but Frank refused to ever denounce Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. Not ever — not even after the Holocaust was discovered at the end of World War II. Instead, Buchman concentrated his attacks on the "selfishness of the British and American people." Buchman's idea of patriotism was to wave the American flag and declare that we must all enlist in his cause and help to fight "chaos" and "selfishness".

Frank Buchman's British followers didn't want to join the British Army and fight against the German Army and the Nazis, so they fled to the USA where Buchman hid them from the British draft in a remote backwoods camp in Maine. Then the Buchmanites pulled strings with U.S. politicians like Senator Harry Truman and Senator Henry Wadsworth, and got the American Senators to send requests to the British government, asking that the British government exempt the Buchmanite men from the British draft, and to extend their visas to America for many more years, because, the Buchmanites claimed, those British subjects were vital to the war effort — they were putting on Buchmanite propaganda theatrical productions.

Then, when the U.S. Government starting drafting eligible allied foreign nationals, the Buchmanites again contacted their politician friends and gamed the system to dodge the draft. When all of their attempts to dodge the draft ultimately failed and the Buchmanites were finally drafted after years of delays, the Buchmanites then declared that they were very "patriotic", and had always wanted to serve their nations — that it had all just been a misunderstanding.

There is much more information on these subjects available on these web pages (which I wrote):
https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-rroot240.html == Partying With The Nazi Party
https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-rroot480.html == What is Fascism? How Fascist was Frank Buchman?
https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-rroot420.html == Dodging the Draft
https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-rroot390.html == You, Not Me, Can Defend America

Oh, and as socialists, you will also be interested in how Frank Buchman opposed organized labor and acted as a union-buster and "spiritual strike-breaker" — that is, he used cult religion to convince people not to strike or demand higher wages:
https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-rroot600.html == Frank Buchman, Anti-Communist, Union-Buster, Spiritual Strike-Breaker

Thank you, and have a good day.
== Terrance Hodgins (a.k.a. "Orange" )

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Last updated 11 August 2013.
The most recent version of this file can be found at https://www.orange-papers.info/orange-wsws-Frank_Buchman.html