White supremacists who organized a "Back the Blue" rally in front of the State House today found themselves joined by swastika-tattooed Nazis who rejected a requests from the white supremacists to leave and instead joined in the rally.
All were protected by a phalanx of baton-wielding Boston cops from a far larger group of anti-Nazi protesters across the street, along the Common.
After they secured their position at the head of the police barricades, the Nazis unfurled their Sonnenrad flag, a less obvious Nazi symbol than the swastika that was derived from it, except, of course, to fellow Nazis.
In the photo above, one of the flag holders is also wearing a Liftwaffe T-shirt (get it? It's lifting weights) and an SS grinning-totenkopf mask. To his right is another Nazi doubling down by wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a battle flag of the traitorous Confederacy emblazoned with a grinning-death's-head of his own. There's a better shot of the Confederate-skull guy, also showing him with the leader of NSC-131, which in Nazi lingo and numbering somehow stands for Nationalist Social Club - Anti-Communist Action.
The protest was at least more peaceful than an earlier time when Nazis showed up near the State House. In 1933, the Ford Hall Forum invited a professor from the University of Berlin to address Bostonians on "Why I Believe in the Hitler Government." Hundreds of Bostonians showed up to protest, a riot broke out and six people were arrested on Derne Street, as protesters battled police there and on other streets surrounding the State House as well as on the Common.
Inside the building where he gave his speech, even as rioting was going on outside, meanwhile, the professor faced jeers and chants of "Liar!" as, according to the Boston Globe, he denied that Hitler wanted war or that the Nazis had taken Einstein's property away from him.
The director of the Ford Hall Forum, George Coleman, later praised the professor for his "courage and patience" in giving the speech. Coleman added he had to hang his own head in shame at the disrespect. The Globe noted that when a woman in the balcony yelled "Down with Hitler!" a police officer working the crowd hushed her.
The professor was accompanied to the speech by Kurt von Tippleskirsch, the Nazis' consul in Boston.
From the Ford Hall forum program for 1933-34, from the Moakley Archive and Institute: