Douglas Amedeo, a New York attorney and leader in the Skylands Tea Party, recently posted the following on social media:
We respectfully disagree with attorney Amedeo. No less than the top Nazi architect himself, Albert Speer, held that National Socialist (Nazi) architecture was reflective of its ideological attitudes. We suggest attorney Amedeo read "Inside the Third Reich", written by Speer while serving a prison sentence for crimes against humanity.
For our part, we can find nothing "charming" in National Socialist architecture, although we do understand that taste is a very subjective and often personal matter.
To the leaders of Andover Township we have a question and a suggestion.
The Question: Why hasn't Andover Township placed a plaque on the property to honor the victims of the ideology that was practiced at the American National Socialist Bund's Camp Nordland (what attorney Amedeo refers to as the "Barn in Hillside Park")?
The Suggestion: That Andover Township place a plaque at the site of the American National Socialist Bund's Camp Nordland, to honor the victims of the ideology practiced there; and that Andover Township donate all proceeds from events held at the former Nazi Beer Hall to organizations representing the victims of the Holocaust and their families.
As for Tea Party leader Amedeo's suggestion that Great Britain's constitutional monarchy was somehow equivalent to the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler... well, that is simply preposterous. America owes its democratic roots to English Common Law and our representative system of government to "the mother of parliaments" -- British representative democracy.
Perhaps we could arrange a public debate on the Tea Party's assertion that the British monarch is an equivalent to the Nazi dictator. Attorney Amedeo could argue for the proposition, and perhaps Professor Murray Sabrin, who lost family in the Holocaust, could argue against.
And far from being "an administrative seat of King George's colonial government," Independence Hall was constructed in 1753 as buildings to house the colonial Legislature of the Province of Pennsylvania. The refining simplicity of its construction and its layout are the very essence of representative democracy.
To compare Independence Hall to a Nazi beer hall is asinine. We trust that the Tea Party and its leadership will further their reading on this. We can recommend several good authors on the subject, although "Philadelphia, A 300-Year History" (edited by Russell F. Weigley, published in 1982) is a good place to start. For more in-depth reading, we recommend beginning with "Watson's Annals of Philadelphia" (John F. Watson, 1884).
A scene from Camp Nordland, Andover Township, New Jersey.