Neo-Nazis Picket White House in Favor of Vietnam War

This is another photo from the turbulent 1960s that we found in the Penn State Special Collections archive. It shows a group of neo-Nazis picketing in Lafayette Park across from the White House in 1965.

neo-Nazis picket the White House (1965)
neo-Nazis picket the White House (1965)

Source: Penn State Special Collections

Below is an article about the protest printed in The Baltimore Sun on April 18th, 1965.

Washington, April 17 — Thousands of students demanding an end to the war in Vietnam massed in Washington today, picketing, marching, singing and shouting for their cause.

The demonstration, one of the largest ever to take place around the White House, was billed by its sponsors, Students for a Democratic Society, as the start of a national protest movement against United States policy in Vietnam.

Demonstration leaders said 20,000 students responded to the call they sent to colleges across the nation for support. Police estimated the number at 12,000 to 15,000.

The huge demonstration attracted two groups of counter-demonstrators–a dozen members of the American Nazi party and about 100 persons representing Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative organization. They paraded the sidewalk across the street from the students.

Police lined both sides of the street and kept each group isolated, but printed and shouted insults were freely exchanged.

“Pink Colleges Turn Out Yellow Reds,” said a placard carried by a Young Americans for Freedom member. “Don’t Let Red-led Defeatniks Set United States Policy,” said another. “Peace Creeps Go Home,” blazoned a Nazi sign.

The Nazis, with their military uniforms and swastika armbands, touched off the only incident near the White House. One of them broke through the police line to stand on a record player a student had set up to play folks songs.

the Nazi sympathizer was hauled away by police after a brief scuffle with the student, but returned to resume picketing when the student declined to press charges.

At intervals, the Nazi faces across the street and shouted, “Death to the Peace Creeps,” “Gas the Peace Creeps,” and “To Hell with the Peace Creeps.”

The students countered with shouts that the Nazis “must go,” a chant widely used in civil rights demonstrations.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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