Harold Keith Thompson
|Born||September 17, 1922|
New Jersey, US
|Died||March 3, 2002(aged 79)|
|Part of the Politics and elections and Politics series on|
Harold Keith Thompson (September 17, 1922 – March 3, 2002) was a New York City-based corporate executive and a figure within American far right and fascist circles. Thompson was a graduate of Yale University.
Thompson was born in New Jersey in 1922.:85 He began his political career before America's entry into World War II when he campaigned against involvement as a member of the German American Bund and the America First Committee.:85 In this role, he came to the attention of Nazi Germany and was appointed as a Special Agent of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Overseas Intelligence Unit on July 27, 1941.:86
After the war, Thompson returned to Yale University in 1946 and completed his studies before embarking on an expedition to Antarctica.:86 This was as part of Operation Highjump under the command of Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd. He would soon befriend Otto Skorzeny and worked alongside him in setting up ODESSA.:86–87
Thompson became a close ally of Otto Ernst Remer and in 1951 when he registered with the United States Department of Justice as the American representative for the Socialist Reich Party, a position he held until the group was banned in 1952. Around the same time, he also became involved with the National Renaissance Party. His political involvement brought him into contact with Francis Parker Yockey while both men were campaigning for Remer's release from prison during the 1950s. Thompson and Yockey remained close allies until the latter's death in 1960.:103–106
Thompson definitely stated his position by writing an article entitled 'I Am an American Fascist' for Exposé magazine in 1954. In the article he praised the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler and condemned the Nuremberg Trials as 'vicious and vilely dishonorable'. As a result of this, he became linked to the International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics and published a number of pamphlets on their behalf.
Seeking to expand international contacts, Thompson visited Cairo in an attempt to forge links with the Nasser regime.[better source needed] More concrete links were established with Mohammad Amin al-Husayni and Johann von Leers as part of a wider policy of building up contact with the Islamic world.
Along with a number of right wing activists Thompson was also involved on the fringes of the Republican Party. Independently wealthy, he contributed to the campaigns of such right wing figures in the GOP as Jesse Helms, Oliver North and Pat Buchanan. His monetary contributions to the party were such that he was awarded membership of their Presidential Legion of Merit as a result.:387
In his later years, Thompson largely disappeared from public view. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing he re-emerged, initially welcoming the attack; afterward, however, he later revised his position and denounced it as a government act designed to destroy the reputation of the far right.:354
Thompson's involvement in writing dated back to his early post-war years, whilst he also worked as a publisher and literary agent (where his clients have included Fulgencio Batista, Carol II of Romania and Hans-Ulrich Rudel).:114 Alongside this he has since became a writer for Journal of Historical Review, his articles including Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz: Last President of a United Germany. A subsequent book Dönitz at Nuremberg: A Re-Appraisal was also edited by Thompson. Thompson was offered a position on the board of policy of the Liberty Lobby, although he turned it down stating that he only wanted to take one loyalty oath in his life (to Hitler when he joined the SD).:225