WATCH: Footage Shows Forgotten 1939 Pro-Nazi Rally Held in Madison Square Garden

Footage has been discovered showing 20,000 people cheering on the idea of a white supremacist USA in New York’s Madison Square Garden – in the guise of a “pro-American rally”.

The footage, shot on February 20, 1939, shows the audience throwing Nazi salutes as the American flag is carried to a stage bedecked with a 30-foot-high painting of George Washington flanked by swastikas.

The Pledge of Allegiance is then read out before the group’s leader, German-American Fritz Kuhn, gets up to denounce the “Jewish media” and call for America to be “returned to the American people … a white, gentile-ruled United States”.

August’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which saw Nazis openly chanting about Jews and assaulting counter-protesters, seemed to some like an aberration in modern America.

But the seven-minute clip, compiled by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry for Field Of Vision, shows an even larger gathering – in New York, which even in the 1930s was considered a liberal bastion.

Curry edited together the clips from fragments showing unrest outside Madison Square Garden, while inside Kuhn spouts anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The rally is interrupted when Isadore Greenbaum, a 26-year-old Jewish plumber’s helper from Brooklyn, rushes the stage.

He’s then thrown to the crowd and beaten by a group of fascists before the police arrive to haul him off. He was stripped of his trousers, Curry said.

The NYPD arrested him for disorderly conduct and fined $25 ($431 today).

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Source: New Zealand Herald