The Naming Commission of the Department of Defense has made the ill-considered determination to remove Moses Ezekiel’s monument from Arlington National Cemetery. It leads one to wonder if they even know who he was.
Moses Ezekiel was the first Jewish cadet to be admitted to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). After his graduation, he went to Europe and became a very accomplished sculptor. One of his many excellent works of art is the monument “Religious Liberty” which stands in front of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ezekiel became a member of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith in its early days and the inscription on it reads “Religious Liberty, Dedicated to the People of the United States by the Order B’nai B’rith and Israelites of America.” Among his many other works were eleven marble sculptures for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. He was visited by many dignitaries in his studios in Europe. He fought with the VMI cadet corps at the Battle of New Market and was buried at the foot of his Arlington monument. His funeral in 1921 was the first one to be held in the new amphitheater at Arlington. It was presided over by US Secretary of War John W. Weeks. Many Presidents recognized Ezekiel as one of the nation’s greatest artists and honored his memory. One, President Warren G. Harding, said that Ezekiel was “a great Virginian, a great artist, a great American, and a great citizen of world fame.”
In his life, Ezekiel experienced the kind of discrimination that Jewish people have been subjected to and overcame it. He wrote: “The race to which I belong has been oppressed and looked down upon through so many ages, I felt that I had a mission to perform. That mission was to show that, as the only Jew born in America up to that time who had dedicated himself to sculpture, I owed it to myself to succeed in doing something worthy in spite of all the difficulties and trials to which I was subjected.”
In contrast, the grave of Willis A. Carto remains in Arlington National Cemetery. In my opinion, he should never have been allowed to be buried there in the first place. His burial there was allowed because he served in US Army in the Philippines in World War II and earned the Purple Heart. However, after the war, he converted to neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and white racism, and spent the rest of his life promoting these ideologies. He did more to spread them in the United States in the post-World War II period than anyone else, to the extent that they have been spread.
If the average American today was asked who the biggest promoter of neo-Nazism in the post-World War II period was, they would most likely reply George Lincoln Rockwell, who founded and led the American Nazi Party. Rockwell was a ham who knew how to do things to get media attention, which is why he is better known. However, he and his organization always had a miniscule following.
Willis Carto was born in 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, but spent his life after World War II in California. His first organization was called Liberty and Property, which promoted anti-Semitism and white racism. He later founded Liberty Lobby in 1958. This organization had a much greater following that Rockwell’s because, while it did things to promote neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and white racism, it did so in a more subtle manner designed to appear more mainstream. Originally, Liberty Lobby styled itself as a conservative organization, but it lost credibility with conservatives because of the above-mentioned ideologies which it advocated. Eventually, the organization denounced conservatism and espoused populism as its ideology. The conservative magazine National Review ran numerous exposes of Liberty Lobby and some informed conservatives called the organization “Liberty Lobotomy.” It had a newspaper called the Spotlight, which reached a circulation of over 300,000 in the 1980’s. It also contained numerous factual errors.
Populism is a term broadly used today to mean anti-elite or anti-establishment. However, the version of populism to which Carto and Liberty Lobby held was its original version promoted by the People’s Party, which lasted from 1892 to 1909. It was an early form of socialism which preceded progressivism. It originated in the Midwest and it appealed to Midwestern farmers against the Northeastern elite. It advocated fiat money, the graduated income tax, direct election of senators, a shorter work week, and the nationalization of the railroads and the telegraph and telephone systems, which were then the means of transportation and communication. Liberty Lobby did oppose the income tax, but supported most of the other populist positions, including nationalization of transportation and communication. It also eulogized the populist leaders, and even some progressive leaders, of this period. Some of the Spotlight articles extoling these leaders and some writings of Carto on populism were published by Liberty Lobby in a book entitled Profiles in Populism.
While populism originated in the Midwest, it also gained support in the West and South as well. Another thing which characterized the populist movement was that many of those in it, though not all, were anti-Semitic. This would follow from its Midwestern roots because there was much more anti-Semitism in that region of the country than in any other. The 20th Century Ku Klux Klan movement was strong in the Midwest for this reason, the state in the nation in which it was the strongest being Indiana. Populism was a major boon to anti-Semitism, which grew as a result. Anti-Semitism had been very miniscule in the South before the coming of populism, which is when it started there in larger measure. The Latin cross was considered for placement on the Confederate battle flag, but the St. Andrew’s cross was chosen instead, in part so as not to alienate Jewish Confederates. And the only Jewish military cemetery in the United States today is the Hebrew Confederate Cemetery on Shockoe Hill in Richmond, Virginia. There is no Jewish Union cemetery anywhere in the North.
Those Southerners who held to the principles of the Old South at that time were to be found in the ranks of the Bourbon Democrats, who were opposed to populism. The Bourbon Democrats represented the Jeffersonian position and were supporters of free enterprise, the gold standard and hard money, and states’ rights, and opposed imperialism and overseas expansionism. They were named for Bourbon whiskey, which is a Southern drink. The only Bourbon Democratic President was Grover Cleveland. Many former Confederates were among them, including Wade Hampton, John B. Gordon, Simon B. Buckner, and Lucius Q.C. Lamar. They lost influence in the Democratic Party when populist William Jennings Bryan, who had previously run for President on and then left the People’s Party, gained the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1896. Before this time, the Democratic Party was the party of limited Constitutional government in the Jeffersonian tradition. Bryan’s populism began the leftward turn of the Democratic Party which later accelerated further under Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Along with populism, the other ideology which Liberty Lobby promoted the most overtly was nationalism. This means centralization of power in the hands of the national state. Nationalism is opposed to the system of federalism held to by the Founding Fathers of the United States and the Confederacy. At the Constitutional Convention, the term “national government” was used at first to refer to the proposed new central government, but the term was soon stricken to be replaced with “federal government.” This is because they viewed the term national government as implying a central government with broad national powers. They wanted no such thing. The belief they had of state sovereignty where the Federal Government was delegated specific and enumerated powers is totally opposed to nationalism.
Carto also founded other entities which promoted neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and white racism. One was a publishing company called Noontide Press, which is still in operation and still publishes neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and white racist books. One in particular which Carto brought back into print through this press was Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics. It was written by Francis Parker Yockey under the alias Ulich Varange. Yockey, who had a strong influence on Carto, was an avid neo-Nazi who worked for the War Crimes Tribunal in Wiesbaden after World War II and used his position to help the Nazis. He was dismissed for doing so. He helped the Nazi and Fascist movements and spies before and during World War II and spent the rest of his life after the war building the neo-Nazi, Fascist, and Soviet Communist movements worldwide. Imperium was his testament. He dedicated the book to Adolf Hitler and in it, he called for a neo-Nazi European empire. One difference which he had with most neo-Nazis is that he favored the Soviet Union because of Joseph Stalin’s brutal campaign against the Jews. He saw the Soviet Union as taking part in his idea of a neo-Nazi European empire and he felt that the empire should side with the Soviet Union against the United States. (This idea of a fusion of neo-Nazism and Communism is currently seeing a resurgence through National Bolshevism.) Carto disagreed with Yockey on this point. Carto saw Communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy, as most all neo-Nazis do, but still strongly advocated the book, including through Liberty Lobby. Yockey is considered the father of Holocaust denial and also wrote hardcore pornography which included sadism and masochism. Another book published by Noontide Press was The Myth of the Six Million by David L. Hoggan, one of the first books denying the Holocaust.
The National Youth Alliance was another organization which Carto founded in 1969 to reach college students, and it also advocated all of the above-mentioned ideologies, but this organization did so openly and blatantly, unlike Liberty Lobby. The National Youth Alliance split with Carto in 1974 and, under the leadership of former American Nazi Party propagandist William Pierce, became the National Alliance, the most active neo-Nazi organization in the United States today. Carto also had control of the American Mercury, originally founded by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, from 1966 to 1980 and used it to promote the same ideologies. He formed the Populist Party in 1984, which ran David Duke as one of its candidates for President. But one of his other organizations, which he founded in 1978, was second in influence to Liberty Lobby and called the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). It had an academic sounding name, tried to appear scholarly, and claimed to advocate revisionist history, but it actually advocated Holocaust denial. It had a publication called the Journal of Historical Review.
In 1993, the IHR and Noontide Press developed a split with Carto over his financial mismanagement and a legal battle between Liberty Lobby and the IHR ensued which lasted for years. Carto ended up losing control of the IHR and Liberty Lobby went bankrupt in 2001. He used staff members from Liberty Lobby and its Spotlight newspaper to form two new publications, a journal called the Barnes Review (named for Harry Elmer Barnes, a historian who defended Germany in both world wars and advocated Holocaust denial) and a newspaper called the American Free Press. He ran these until his death in 2015. “Pastor” Thomas Robb of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, formerly headed by David Duke, presided at his funeral.
Drew Pearson published a letter by Carto in October 1966 in which Carto said:
“Hitler’s defeat was the defeat of Europe. And of America. How could we have been so blind? The blame, it seems, must be laid at the door of the international Jews. It was their propaganda, lies and demands which blinded the West to what Germany was doing….If Satan himself, with all of his super-human genius and diabolical ingenuity at his command, had tried to create a permanent disintegration and force for the destruction of the nations, he could have done no better than to invent the Jews.”
I once ran into a self-proclaimed National Socialist who had sat at the feet of and learned from both George Lincoln Rockwell and Willis Carto. He told me that both of these two men had taught him the “wisdom” of Adolf Hitler when he said, “Our purpose is not to protect the weak, but to protect the strong.” This neo-Nazi also advocated the extermination of the Jews and the non-white races to me. Of course, I strongly opposed him. One characteristic of Western Civilization is that we protect the weak.
Upon learning that he was accepted for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Carto boasted that he was glad that he, a Hitler supporter, was going to be buried among all of those World War II veterans. A veteran who I once told this to responded, “We ought to dig his [expletive deleted] up.”
The former Confederates who are buried in Arlington National Cemetery and elsewhere who survived the War Between the States spent the rest of their lives rebuilding the United States and relations between the North and the South. The reason Confederates were allowed to be buried in national cemeteries and Ezekiel’s monument was placed at Arlington was because many Confederate veterans fought alongside Union veterans in the Spanish-American War. This included three former Confederate generals, one of which was Fitzhugh Lee, a nephew of Robert E. Lee. This action was made by President William McKinley, a Union veteran, to help to reunite the nation. After fighting for the United States in World War II, Carto spent the rest of this life supporting the nation’s enemies. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to remove the graves of Confederate veterans from national cemeteries, but not to remove Willis Carto’s grave from Arlington National Cemetery. No doubt, Willis Carto would be overjoyed to see Moses Ezekiel’s monument removed from Arlington National Cemetery while his grave still remained there. What an afront this is to Jewish people everywhere. It is Willis Carto’s grave, not Moses Ezekiel’s monument, which should be removed from that cemetery.