Bund Camp, Windham: Swimming, Hiking…Goose-stepping?

  |  August 8, 2014

Here’s a fascinating little slice of Catskills history, courtesy Slate.com’s history blog, The Vault. Windham Mountain in Greene County used to play host to a German-American Bund camp during the summer of 1937. The German-American Bund, for the uninitiated, was a Nazi-sympathizing organization made up of German Americans during the late 1930s. The group didn’t last long, for obvious reasons, but also partially due to its founder, Fritz Julius Kuhn, getting into some hot water with the Feds over embezzlement and tax fraud, and the organization dissolved and was eventually deemed illegal shortly thereafter. Before all of that, however, the Bunds sent their young boys to summer camp in Windham where they would do all the things other kids did during summer camp: Hiking, boating, learning wildness survival skills, and, of course, saluting the Fuhrer. Yikes. The blog post includes an interesting propaganda-like video of old film footage of the Bund camp. There’s no sound, but watch it, anyway, and reflect on how this took place in very recent history.


About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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