Joseph Hansen

Father Coughlin Attacks
American Labor Movement

(August 1939)

Source: Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 55, 1 August 1939, p. 1.
Transcription/HTML Markup: 2016 by Einde O’Callaghan.
Public Domain: Joseph Hansen Internet Archive 2016; This work is completely free. In any reproduction, we ask that you cite this Internet address and the publishing information above.

Father Coughlin, the “radio priest,” succeeded this week in utilizing Liberty magazine (Aug. 12) for an exposition of his Americanized version of anti-labor Jew-baiting.

Coughlin claims that he is not an anti-Semite, but rather a self-appointed protector of the interests of the Jews in general against their own “atheistic” leaders who foster communism by refusing to join his crusade.

“Then Father,” asked Liberty’s Edward Doherty, “why don’t you make it clear that you are opposed to Communists?” Why make a sharp distinction between Jewish communists and Gentile communists?

Because the leaders of the Russian revolution were Jewish, explains Coughlin, and the Jewish people are silent about communism.

Coughlin’s Cloven Hoof

Having put the finger on the non-religious Jews and labelled them as responsible for the Russian revolution, although it is well known that Jewish capitalists, like other capitalists, opposed it and only the Jewish workers like other workers, fought for the revolution, Coughlin justifies Hitler with the assertion that Nazism “was a defense mechanism against Communism ...” and “Nazism found Communism too closely allied to Judaism to make any distinction between the two.”

Wall Street Talk

Then he indicates his real target, the labor movement: “See what the C.I.O. has done already in the United States ... it has been able to bring chaos in industry ... the C.I.O. is pretty well contaminated with leaders who are Red in thought and action.”

Wall Street should contribute heavily to Coughlin’s treasury for that attack against labor, maybe even add a station or two to Coughlin’s network.

For this was the exact line of propaganda pursued by Hitler and Mussolini – both political agents of Big Business – on their road to power and de-truction of the labor movement.

First they made a scapegoat – the Jews, whom they blamed for all the country’s ills. Then they labelled their victim, the labor movement, as Jewish – “led astray by Jewish Communist leaders” – and wiped it out with terror and violence.

Praises Fascism

Coughlin ends his diatribe against the non-religious Jews with a big hand to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and Fascist Spain which he claims, in the teeth of all facts to the contrary, have “escaped the international banker” and eliminated unemployment.

“There,” ends Coughlin. “I’ve actually said a good word for the totalitarian countries, so naturally, I’ll be called both a Fascist and a Nazi.”

No, Father Coughlin – not both a Fascist and a Nazi. Only a fool would accuse you of being merely an agent of Germany or Italy. You are an agent of Big Business right here in the United States – you are an AMERICAN fascist demagogue.


Last updated on: 12 March 2016