Leon Lewis, pictured, was a Jewish attorney who helped foil Hitler’s plans for a Nazi takeover in America in the 1930s
A Jewish lawyer’s spy network has been credited with foiling Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over the west coast of the U.S. in the 1930s.
Leon Lewis was a Jewish attorney with his own spy network, unaffiliated with the government.
By the beginning of World War II, Lewis became an unofficial arm of American intelligence – and a highly valuable source of information about Nazis in this country.
Lewis was born in 1888 in Hurley, Wisconsin to German Jewish immigrant parents.
He earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and was the first national executive secretary for the Anti-Defamation League.
After moving to LA, he diligently tracked anti-Semitism in the area.
According to the book ‘Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America,’ by Steven J. Ross acquired by New York Post, a small group of Nazis met in Los Angeles to discuss a plan to take over the West Coast in September 1933.
Adolf Hitler, pictured, was the chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. His party gained a following in the U.S.
A group of 100 Nazis met in Los Angeles in September 1933 to plot a takeover of America’s West Coast. Among them was a spy for Lewis
Nazis had established strongholds and support in LA. The LA police chief once defended Hitler to a Jewish Lawyer.
One man at the September meeting in LA was a spy who had infiltrated Nazi ranks.
German-born U.S. Army Capt. John H. Schmidt was a mole for Lewis.
Blond-haired, blue-eyed Schmidt began spending time at the Aryan Bookstore in the San Pedro neighborhood of LA.
At the store people talked about how Franklin Roosevelt was a tool for the Jews and said that he should be replaced by a president with Nazi sympathies.
Schmidt quickly became a part of the FNG’s inner circle.
The meeting took place the year Hitler became Germany’s chancellor.
Around 100 Nazis met in LA to talk about unifying the area’s 150,000 Germans to promote Hitlerism in America.
The group was led by Dietrich Gefken, an organizer for Adolf Hitler’s paramilitary Brownshirts back in Germany.
Gefken had killed Jews in cold blood and ‘had not hesitated to throw acid in the faces of his enemies’, Ross writes.
In the early 1930s Gefken traveled the U.S. working as a cook and spreading Nazi propaganda before settling down in LA.
He became the leader in of a secret storm-trooper unit of the local branch of Friends of the New Germany (FNG), a Nazi front organization working to set up an invasion of America.
American Nazi party members, also known as German American Bund, march while carrying Nazi and American flags during an outing from nearby Camp Sigfried in Long Island, New York
U.S. flags, swastikas and a portrait of George Washington hang at a meeting of the German American Bund held at Madison Square Garden, New York City in 1939
Gefken had mapped out the Armory of the National Guard in San Francisco when he volunteered there.
It held enough weapons for an entire regiment. He also connected with members of the Navy who would sell him other stolen weaponry.
He planned to ‘launch spontaneous uprisings in San Francisco and San Diego’ using FNG storm troopers who had been ‘secretly training in street fighting and the use of bombs’.
Once these events had ignited other rebellions along the West Coast, Gefken and his troops would use machine guns to ‘corral [American] Army officers and lock them up.’
The troops who pledged their loyalty to Hitler would be taken into the storm troopers while the others would be killed.
Schmidt passed information from the meeting along to Lewis.
The information led to the arrest of ‘two Marine corporals who were selling government rifles and 12,000 rounds of ammunition to local [Nazi sympathizers],’ and also ‘dismantled storm-trooper units.’
Lewis never took credit for the arrests.
Ross writes that Lewis spent the next 14 years as one of America’s most powerful intelligence weapons against the Nazis.
Lewis’s network uncovered a Nazi plot to sabotage U.S. aircraft factories — including claims that workers inside the local Douglas Aircraft factory had ‘taken bolts out of planes.’
The Nazis had encouraged followers to apply for jobs at these factories so they’d have many people on the inside.
Lewis continued in his secret crusading role until 1947.
Nazi and fascist groups had murder plots targeting Lewis along with Hollywood figures including MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, Jack Benny, James Cagney, Eddie Cantor, Charlie Chaplin and Al Jolson.
Actor and director Charlie Chaplin plays dictator Adenoid Hynkel in The Great Dictator, a satire on Nazi Germany. Nazi groups in America targeted Chaplin and other Hollywood elite
Nazis never achieved any of their goals for the US on the scale that they had hoped for, but they helped build anti-Semitic sentiment in LA.
Lewis died at the age of 65 from a heart attack.
Ross writes that had Lewis done so much to stop the Nazis, LA could have fallen into their hands.
‘Without ever firing a weapon, they managed to keep Los Angeles and its citizens safe.’
‘Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America’ will be released Tuesday.
The cover of Ross’ book which makes the revelations is seen in the photo above