Organized Anti-Semitism in America: The Rise of Group Prejudice during the Decade 1930-40

By Donald S. Strong | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
The Industrial Defense Association

THE Industrial Defense Association was organized in 1924 and incorporated in 1926. Its stated aim is "to inculcate the principles of Americanism to industrial, religious, fraternal, and educational circles." The organization is small in importance when compared with such groups as the Defenders of the Christian Faith, the German- American Bund, or the Silver Shirts. Like the majority of anti-semitic organizations, it is a one-man affair; the entire work of the association is performed by its secretary. In many aspects it resembles Harry Jung's American Vigilant Intelligence Federation. Both organizations existed long before the depression, both wield influence in narrowly restricted geographical areas, and both have leaders with similar backgrounds.


LEADERSHIP

Edward L. Hunter, he head of the Industrial Defense Association, was born in 1875. The fact that two of his marriages were performed in New Hampshire and that his first employment was obtained there indicates that much of his early life was spent in that state. When he was married in 1908, he gave his occupation as "traveling man." About five or ten years afterward, he entered the line of endeavor that he was to follow for the rest of his life -- that of unmasking and denouncing people as criminals or as revolutionaries.

He began his detective career in a humble way. At first, he worked in a Boston department store catching shoplifters and later on for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in New Hampshire, securing evidence for court use in cases of allegedly false accidents.1 By 1919 he had progressed to the point where he felt competent enough to offer his detective services in murder cases. But his career in this field was not successful because of two pronounced flascos. One concerned the murder of Herbert Clifford of Manchester, New Hampshire, in 1919. Hunter was employed by the county government to handle the case. He successively accused three persons, each of whom was found innocent. The sheriff finally dismissed Hunter and, when questioned years later, referred to him as a "fraud and a liar." The other fiasco in Hunter's life occurred when a Manchester newspaper hired him

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