Gerald Burton Winrod

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Gerald Burton Winrod
Gerald Burton Winrod.jpg
Winrod c. 1940–1950
Born (1900-03-07)March 7, 1900
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Died November 11, 1957(1957-11-11) (aged 57)
Wichita, Kansas
Occupation Evangelist, Baptist preacher
Children Gordon Winrod
Parents Mable E. (1881–1971)
John W. Winrod (1873–1945)

Gerald Burton Winrod (March 7, 1900 – November 11, 1957) was a pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic evangelist, an author, and political activist.[1] He was charged with sedition during World War II.

Biography[edit]

He was born on March 7, 1900 to Mable E. (1881–1971) of Illinois, and John W. Winrod (1873–1945) of Missouri.[2]

His father was a former bartender whose saloon was attacked by Carrie Nation.[3] In 1918 he was the chief clerk at the Kansas Gas and Electric Company in El Dorado, Kansas.[4] By 1925 he formed the Defenders of the Christian Faith, a fundamentalist Christian organization that opposed teaching evolution in public schools and supported Prohibition and racial segregation.[5]

Winrod professed strongly antisemitic views, earning him the nickname "The Jayhawk Nazi" (Jayhawk is a nickname for a Kansan). Winrod offered the following defense of his views in the introduction to his book The Truth About the Protocols which proclaimed the veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: "After observing the title of this book, some will accuse me of being anti-Semitic. If by this they mean that I am opposed to the Jews as a race or as a religion, I deny the allegation. But if they mean that I am opposed to a coterie of international Jewish bankers ruling the Gentile world by the power of gold, if they mean that I am opposed to international Jewish Communism, then I plead guilty to the charge." Winrod believed the United States to be the chosen land of God and, when the Great Depression struck, publicly stated that it was the work of Satan. He believed Franklin D. Roosevelt was a "devil" linked with the Jewish-Communist conspiracy and that Hitler would save Europe from Communism.[6]

Winrod spread these views through his newspaper, The Defender, which by 1937 achieved a 100,000 monthly circulation.[7] Some of the articles reproduced materials from the pro-Nazi and virulently antisemitic international Welt-Dienst / World-Service / Service Mondial news agency founded in 1933 by Ulrich Fleischhauer.

Winrod ran for a U.S. Senate seat from Kansas in 1938 but was defeated in the Republican primary when a popular former governor, Clyde M. Reed, was lured out of retirement by the party establishment to run against him. With 21.4% of the vote, Winrod was a distant third after Reed and Dallas Knapp of Coffeyville, Kansas.[8]

Winrod developed a strong following among German-speaking Kansas Mennonites who identified with his religious, anti-World War II, and pro-Germany views. The Defender was printed by Mennonite-owned Herald Publishing Company of Newton, Kansas from 1931 to 1942.[7] Winrod found support in Bethel College and Tabor College[6] and from editors of local Mennonite papers, and some Mennonite precincts voted predominantly for Winrod in the 1938 Senate primary.[8]

According to the 1941 Theologue, the yearbook of Practical Bible Training School (now Davis College) located just outside of Binghamton, New York, Winrod was a member of the school's administration. No details are given as to what Winrod's duties were.

In 1942 the federal government indicted Winrod for sedition, alleging conspiracy against the U.S. government.[8] The political aspect in attempting to suppress free speech troubled civil libertarians in what critics derided as the Great Sedition Trial. The death of the judge ended the trial in 1944. The government decided not to renew the prosecution and Winrod and his fellow defendants were freed.[citation needed]

He died on November 11, 1957 in Wichita, Kansas of pneumonia.[9] He was buried in White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Wichita, Kansas.

Family[edit]

In 1940 Winrod's wife sued for divorce. Their son, Gordon (born 1926), is a Christian Identity minister and convicted kidnapper.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Winrod Legacy of Hate". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 2010-12-23. Gordon Winrod, 73, is the pastor of Our Savior's Church in Gainesville, MO. His two children who were arrested with him are Stephen Winrod, 33, and Carol Winrod, 27. The elder Winrod is the son of the late Reverend Gerald Winrod of Wichita, Kansas, a pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic preacher active in the 1930s and 1940s. 
  2. ^ Winrod in the 1910 US census living in Wichita, Kansas
  3. ^ James C. Juhnke (1975). A People of Two Kingdoms: the Political Acculturation of the Kansas Mennonites. Faith and Life Press. p. 137. ISBN 0-87303-662-X. 
  4. ^ World War I draft registration; September 12, 1918
  5. ^ American Jewish Yearbook, covering the period from July 1, 1938 to June 30, 1939, pg. 216
  6. ^ a b Juhnke, pg. 138
  7. ^ a b Juhnke, pg. 139
  8. ^ a b c Juhnke, p. 140.
  9. ^ "Gerald B. Winrod, Wichita Minister. Baptist Clergyman, Writer Dies. Accused of Fascist and Nazi Sympathies. Sought Senate Nomination. Stated His Position.". Associated Press in the New York Times. November 13, 1957. Retrieved 2014-08-15. The Rev. Dr. Gerald B. Winrod, evangelist and publisher whose controversial views led to a sedition charge in World War II, died here last night of pneumonia at his home. He was 57 years old. ... 

External links[edit]