Chapter Seven – Roosevelt and Lindbergh

Chapter Summary

In a 1939 and 1940, when the Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, was appealing to the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, for military assistance for England to defend against Nazi Germany, the people of the United States were mainly isolationists and did not want to get involved in the European war.

Roosevelt did not want the Germans to over run England as they had done to: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. He told Churchill “I will wage war, but I will not declare it”.

The pacifist’s actions of Lindbergh to persuade American public opinion against getting involved in the defense of England, dismayed Roosevelt. In addition to making speeches, writing articles, Lindbergh was making radio broadcasts, reaching millions of Americans,  to keep the United States out of the war. President Roosevelt thought it in his best interests and the best interests of the United States to discredit Lindbergh as a NAZI sympathizer. Experienced White House politicians worked to demonize him, calling him unpatriotic, a Nazi supporter, and anti-semitic. Since England thought that they could not defeat Germany on their own, the British Secret Service also worked to discredit Lindbergh for fear that he would successfully influence many Americans that the United States should not get involved in the European war. Lindbergh continued working to keep the United States out of the war, until Pearl Harbor, and then he flew combat missions as a fighter pilot against the Japanese.