The residents of a small town in Connecticut were surprised to learn a Pro-Nazi organization was building a Hitler-styled youth camp in their midst.
The German-American Bund secretly purchased 178 acres of land just south of the main road. Their goal was to host 1,000 campers each week, with at least 10,000 visitors for weekends and special occasions at Camp General von Steuben.
Southbury residents needed to come to terms with the situation quickly and decide if they wanted Nazi philosophies to clash with their stanch New England values. A number of determined every-day heroes emerged who felt the need to do something, while the First Selectman was quietly trying to find legal means to stop the camp.
Some people wrote letters or resolutions, while the pastors warned against the evil of Nazis. In spite of their differences in background or politics, the townspeople decided to establish a zoning commission to “keep Southbury much as it always was.”
In the process, the Bund land would be zoned as residential in the hopes of preventing Camp General von Steuben from being built.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Melinda K. Elliott, who lives in Southbury, Connecticut, first became interested in one-room schoolhouses from her mother's exciting stories of school-room adventures. Melinda is involved in several historical endeavors, including being a director and docent of an 18th century brick schoolhouse. She enjoys historical research and sharing her latest finds through the historical society newsletter, brochures, panel displays, blogs, and a children's book on local history. Melinda and her husband have three children, all living nearby, and several grandchildren to spoil.
Publisher: America Through Time
Imprint: America Through Time
Publication Date: 27th February 2023
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
HISTORY / Military / World War II
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / General