Charles A. Lindbergh

A Nazi Sympathizer?

According to an article from the PBS website titled “Fallen Hero: Lindbergh in the Forties,” after the Lindberghs moved to Europe in 1935, Charles Lindbergh was found to hold some “quite controversial views on the nature of man.” In an interview he shared his opinion that not all men were created equally (“Fallen Hero”). To some people, these ideas seemed to be very close to the beliefs of the Nazi party in Germany at the time (“Fallen Hero”). 
Lindbergh receives the Service Cross of the German Eagle
The Service Cross of the German Eagle
In 1936, Lindbergh was asked “to report on the state of Germany’s military aviation program” (“Fallen Hero”). He continued to visit Germany over the next few years and in 1938 was planning to move his family to Berlin (“Fallen Hero”). In October 1938, Lindbergh received the Service Cross of the German Eagle “for his contributions to aviation” (“Fallen Hero”). Even though Lindbergh only saw it as just another medal, many people saw an acceptance of the ideals of the Nazi party (“Fallen Hero”). About a month later, after the Nazi’s “brutal assault on Jews that came to be known as Kristallnacht” occurred, the Lindberghs cancelled the move to Berlin and returned to the United States in April of 1939 (“Fallen Hero”). 

Upon his return to the United States, Lindbergh, convinced a Germany victory would be certain in a war, supported the isolationist views that many people had at the time and encouraged the American people to stay neutral (“Fallen Hero”). According to an article on Time’s website, written by Charles Lindbergh’s son, Reeve Lindbergh, “[a]t odds with President Roosevelt and the interventionists, my father was branded a traitor, a Copperhead and even a Nazi.” In a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Lindbergh gave a speech naming the groups he thought were trying to push America into the war as “the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt Administration” (“Fallen Hero”). This speech “fully knocked him off his pedestal” (“Fallen Hero”). 

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Lindbergh work as a consultant to Henry Ford, who was “manufacturing B-24 bombers in a Michigan Plant”, after Roosevelt refused to allow him to “fight for his country” (“Fallen Hero”). In 1943, Lindbergh was sent to the Pacific by United Aircraft as an observer (“Fallen Hero”). While there he flew over 50 combat missions (“Fallen Hero”). 
A political cartoon by Dr. Seuss
Even after the war ended in 1945, Lindbergh “refused to admit he was wrong in his assessment of the Nazis” (“Fallen Hero”). However he did say that he had hoped that “Hitler and Russian leader, Joseph Stalin, would destroy each other and leave the world safe for the ‘preservers of Western civilization’” (“Fallen Hero”).