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|1st President of the National Socialist Party of America|
|Succeeded by||Harold Covington|
November 3, 1944|
|Political party||National Socialist Party of America|
|Profession||Political activist, New Age author|
|Part of the Politics and elections and Politics series on|
Francis Joseph "Frank" Collin (born November 3, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American former political activist and Midwest coordinator with the National Socialist White People's Party. After being ousted for being part Jewish (which he denied), Collin founded in 1970, the National Socialist Party of America. In the late 1970s, its plan to march in the predominantly Jewish suburb of Skokie, Illinois was challenged, but the ACLU defended its freedom of speech and assembly in a case that reached the United States Supreme Court. The court in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie (1979), a major First Amendment decision, ruled that the party had a right to march and to display a swastika, despite local opposition. After Collin was convicted and sentenced in 1979 for child molestation, he lost his position in the party.
After being released early on parole from prison, Collin created a new career as a writer, publishing numerous books under the pen name Frank Joseph. He wrote New Age and "hyperdiffusionist" works supporting the hypothesis that Old World peoples had migrated to North America in ancient times and created its complex indigenous societies. This thesis is rejected by mainstream scholars.
Collin was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, where he went to local schools. His father, Max Frank Collin, born Max Simon Cohn in Munich on August 23, 1913, the son of Jewish parents who later perished in the Shoah, was a survivor of Dachau. His mother, Virginia Gertrude née Hardyman (b. at Chicago on August 18, 1920), was Catholic.
National Socialist organizations and the Skokie march
As a young man, Collin in the 1960s joined George Lincoln Rockwell's National Socialist White People's Party. He became the Midwest coordinator. He broke with the NSWPP due to a disagreement with Rockwell's successor, Matt Koehl, who was elected as the party leader by popular vote after Rockwell was assassinated on August 25, 1967. The falling out stemmed in part from published accounts by Max Collin, Frank's father, who said that he was a Jewish Holocaust survivor and had changed his name from Cohen (or Cohn) to Collin. Frank Collin denied having Jewish roots and maintained that his father was not telling the truth.
In 1970, Collin set up another organization, the National Socialist Party of America, later known as the American Nazi Party. It attracted other disaffected members of the NSWPP, as well as Michael Allen, Gary Lauck and Harold Covington. Covington helped buy a building for the group which they called Rockwell Hall, where Collin and some other members lived in a barracks in upper floor. Collin ran for alderman of Chicago in 1975 and pulled 16% of the vote.
The NSPA began holding anti-black demonstrations in Chicago's Marquette Park. The Chicago authorities became concerned about violence and passed an ordinance which required demonstrations to post large insurance bonds. Collin went to the ACLU and they filed a suit. While the case was proceeding without public notice, Collin attempted to contact other cities about holding demonstrations. Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, responded with a notice that the group would need to post a bond, similar to the recently enacted ordinance in Chicago. Collin's plan for his neo-Nazi group to march in uniforms through Skokie, which was heavily Jewish with numerous residents who were Holocaust survivors, generated public outrage and the media attention which Collin sought.
The National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie case made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled on June 14, 1977 that the NSPA could march wearing uniforms with swastikas under the constitutional protections of freedom of speech and assembly. Instead of marching through Skokie, Collin and a handful of NSPA members decided instead to march through Chicago, where they were outnumbered and jeered by thousands of counter-protesters.
Also in 1977, Koehl's NSWPP began a campaign in their paper White Power about Collin's father being Jewish, including publications of what they stated were Max Simon Cohn's naturalization papers. Collin and the NSPA leadership continued to deny the claim and said the images were fakes.
During this time, according to Jeffrey Kaplan, Covington found pictures in Frank Collin's desk that linked Collin to pedophilia. In what Kaplan describes as a play for power in the organization, Covington and the other NSPA members turned the evidence on Collin over to the police. After Collin was arrested, Covington took over leadership of the NSPA and moved the headquarters from Chicago to North Carolina. A 1980 article in The New York Times reported that "Frank Collin was expelled from the American Nazi Party for illicit intercourse with minors and the use of Nazi headquarters in Chicago for purposes of sodomy with children. The report indicates that the Nazis "tipped" the police who arrested Collin. Collin was convicted of child molestation and sentenced in 1979 to seven years in prison at the Pontiac Correctional Center. He served three years.
Upon his release from prison, Collin "reinvented himself as 'Frank Joseph,' a New Age writer and pagan worshiper." In 1987 he had a book published, The Destruction of Atlantis: Compelling Evidence of the Sudden Fall of the Legendary Civilization.
He wrote articles for Fate magazine, and was the editor of The Ancient American magazine. The Ancient American is a diffusionist-inspired magazine that focuses on what it says is evidence of ancient, pre-Columbian transoceanic contact between the Old World and North America. It suggests complex indigenous cultures were directly influenced by migrants from Old World Europe.
- Collin has appeared as himself in several documentaries. The video Chicago Nazis documented the Skokie march. The History Channel special, Nazi America: A Secret History, included extensive footage of Collin.
- He was played by George Dzundza in the 1981 television film Skokie, about the planned march and court case.
Books (as Frank Joseph)
- Atlantis in Wisconsin: New Revelations About the Lost Sunken City, 1995, ISBN 1-880090-12-0
- Edgar Cayce's Atlantis and Lemuria: The Lost Civilizations in the Light of Modern Discoveries, 2001, ISBN 0-87604-434-8
- Lost Pyramids of Rock Lake: Wisconsin's Sunken Civilization, 2002, ISBN 1-931942-01-3
- The Lost Treasure of King Juba: The Evidence of Africans in America before Columbus, 2003, ISBN 1-59143-006-2
- Synchronicity & You: Understanding the Role of Meaningful Coincidence in Your Life, 2003, ISBN 1-84333-102-0
- Last of the Red Devils: America's First Bomber Pilot, 2003, ISBN 1-880090-09-0
- The Destruction of Atlantis: Compelling Evidence of the Sudden Fall of the Legendary Civilization, 2004, ISBN 1-59143-019-4
- Survivors of Atlantis: Their Impact on World Culture, 2004, ISBN 1-59143-040-2
- The Atlantis Encyclopedia, 2005, ISBN 1-56414-795-9
- The Lost Civilization of Lemuria: The Rise and Fall of the Worlds Oldest Culture, 2006, ISBN 1-59143-060-7
- Opening the Ark of the Covenant: The Secret Power of the Ancients, The Knights Templar Connection, and the Search for the Holy Grail, 2007, ISBN 1-56414-903-X
- Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds, 2008, ISBN 1-84837-085-7
- Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America: The Lost Kingdoms of the Adena, Hopewell, Mississippians, and Anasazi, 2009, ISBN 1-59143-107-7
- Power of Coincidence: The Mysterious Role of Synchronicity in Shaping Our Lives, 2009, ISBN 1-84837-224-8
- Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45, 2009, ISBN 978-1906033569
- Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate, 2010, ISBN 1-59143-116-6
- Atlantis and 2012: The Science of the Lost Civilization and the Prophecies of the Maya, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59143-112-1
- Elizabeth Wheaton, Codename GREENKILL: The 1979 Greensboro Killings, 2009, pp. 3-4
- Kaplan, Jeffrey (2000). Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 62–. ISBN 9780742503403. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Steiger, Brad; Steiger, Sherry (2012). Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier (2nd ed.). Visible Ink Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1578593682.
In 1979 Collin’s ambition to lead a new Nazi America was thwarted when he was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison on child molestation charges.
- Pick, Grant (2008). The People Are the News: Grant Pick’s Chicago Stories. Northwestern University Press. p. 68. ISBN 9780810124455. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
- Peters, John Durham (2010). Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition. University of Chicago Press. p. 159. ISBN 9780226662756. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
- Durham, Martin (2007-10-23). White Rage: The Extreme Right and American Politics. Routledge. pp. 23–. ISBN 9780203012581. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Victor Watia (July 1, 1970). "Frank Collin is Leader of Own Party". The Times-News. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- UPI (April 24, 1970). "Nazi denies Jewish blood, but dad claims otherwise". The Bulletin. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Marcovitz, Hal (2010-09-01). Extremist Groups. ABDO. pp. 32–. ISBN 9781604538595. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Walker, Samuel (1994). Hate Speech: The History of an American Controversy. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 120–. ISBN 9780803297517. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY v. SKOKIE, 432 U.S. 43 (1977)". FindLaw. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Hate Groups, Racial Tension and Ethnoviolence in an Integrating Chicago Neighborhood 1976–1988," by Chip Berlet; in Betty A. Dobratz, Lisa K. Walder, and Timothy Buzzell, eds., Research in Political Sociology, Vol. 9: The Politics of Social Inequality, 2001, pp. 117–163.
- Kaplan, Jeffrey (1997-01-01). Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah. Syracuse University Press. pp. 36–. ISBN 9780815603962. Retrieved 21 January 2014. "Covington, his rival for NSPA "power", made the fortuitous discovery (while rifling through Collin's desk) that the half-Jewish fuehrer also had a weakness for pedophilia and did not hesitate to photograph his dalliances with a number of young boys. As a result, Collin was sent to prison."
- Irving Louis Horowitz; Victoria Curtis Bramson (Spring 1979). "Skokie, the ACLU and the Endurance of Democratic Theory". Law and Contemporary Problems. 43 (2).
- Bernstein, Arnie (2013). Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund. St. Martin's Press. p. 301. ISBN 9781250006714. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Editors of Salem Press (2008). American Villains, Volume 1: Joe Adonis–Jim Jones. Salem Press Inc. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-58765-453-4.
- Birmingham, Robert A.; Eisenberg, Leslie E. (2000). Indian Mounds of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-299-16874-2.