Ellen Cardona


The Evil is Usury, neschek
the serpent
neschek whose name is known, the defiler,
Beyond race and against race
the defiler [1]  

      This essay marks Pound’s progression into supporting a conspiracy theory that involved international financiers and their role as usurers. As seen in the previous essays, Pound gradually developed a belief that Jews were involved in usury, but he did not accuse them directly of usury until the end of World War II. Throughout his prose and radio speeches, he maintained that only the “big” Jews and the "aryio-kikes" were responsible for usury. The enemy for Pound was not the bureaucracy or the “munitions makers,” as seen in the previous essay, but the usurious Jews, who took on the role of Pound’s chosen enemy. The first section of this essay discusses various factors that actually triggered Pound’s descent into conspiracy theory. Such reasons include why he stayed in Italy, his anger over the war, and certain works that influenced his belief in a conspiracy. The second part of the essay examines Pound’s articles from 1940 through 1943 and Pound’s radio speeches from 1941 through 1943. In this section, two elements of Pound’s anti-Semitism are explored: belief in conspiracy and usury, which are mentioned repeatedly throughout his writings. The last section surveys his articles, written from 1943-1945, in Il Popolo di Alessandria, a journal of the Republic of Salò. The articles show how Pound’s depiction of Jews turned directly into racial anti-Semitism. This essay ends with Pound’s arrival in America in November of 1945 to stand trial for treason.

      There were several factors that led up to the reason why Pound stayed in Italy during the war and why his broadcasts turned into diatribes against Jewish conspiracy and usury. Surprisingly, however, the environment that surrounded him in Italy was not a crucial factor in his anti-Semitism.

      It is true that programmatic anti-Semitism did exist in Italy, if to a much lesser extent than in Germany. For example, in the 1940s, the Fascist authorities took a series of measures against native and foreign Jews, such as blocking all bank accounts, the arrest and internment of foreign Jews, and the expulsion of Jews from Sicily and Sardinia.[2]   On September 5, 1940 “1,650 out of 3,000 Jewish refugees in Italy had been taken into custody.”[3]   Jews were also excluded from the public services of hotels and commercial agencies; they could not sell textbooks, act as brokers, or participate in the scrap iron business, and “by the end of the year it was estimated that no less than half of Italy’s Jews had lost their means of earning a living.”[4]   Renzo De Felice, in his work, The Jews in Fascist Italy, explains how anti-Semitism also existed as a tool of propaganda: “Once the war had been declared, anti-Jewish propaganda became a convenient diversion from other more pressing problems, affecting all Italians. The first military defeats, and the war itself, were blamed on the Jews. The overwhelming majority of the journalists and writers, in their extreme slavishness, had found in anti-Semitism an easy and almost endless source of material. For all these reasons anti-Semitic propaganda was practically constant from 1939 to 1943.”[5]   Anti-Semitism also made its way through the air waves of Fascist Italy: “The most absurd ‘news items’ were transmitted daily over the airwaves, and there were even some real ‘cycles’ of a clearly anti-Semitic nature, such as the one sponsored by the Ministry of Popular Culture, which began broadcasting on October 15, 1941, and every Wednesday evening thereafter at 7:30 p.m., five programs of ten minutes each on the Protocols of Zion.”[6]   Even though there was anti-Semitic propaganda, Felice notes, “After the initial reactions of puzzlement and indignation, too many Italians, having concluded that Fascism ‘fundamentally was not serious about this’ and that the Jews, one way or another, were adapting to their new situation, ended up as accomplices, covering the persecution with a veil of silence out of a sense of ‘loyalty to their homeland.’ It became the subject of their more or less joking ‘grumbling’ in private and limited themselves to helping this or that Jew who was a personal friend or relative.”[7]  

      In another respect the condition of Jews in Italy was quite different from the one in Germany. In Italy, for example, on May 6, 1942, the Ministry of the Interior ordered all Jews between ages eighteen and fifty–five into forced labor.[8]   But the majority of the Jews were not actually forced to work. Over 15,000 individuals of Jewish birth were liable for labor, but only 2,000 were cleared and taken to labor camps.[9]   Felice notes the following statistics regarding the Jews who actually were forced to work: “those drafted were 15,517, of whom, 2,410 had been temporarily excused and 1,301 permanently excused for health or other reasons; of the 11,806 drafted, only 2,038 had actually been put to work: 1,335 within their province and 703 in another province.”[10]   Overall, Italy’s racial laws “had never been properly enforced, let alone followed up. On the contrary, there was an unmistakable tendency to avoid drastic measures, reflected in the retention of Jews in key economic positions, the Italianization of Jewish names, and the naturalization of foreign Jews.”[11]   Rome insisted that Jews of Italian citizenship should be regarded as Italian.[12]   Jews in Italy did not suffer at the extremist hands of Nazi Germany until September of 1943, when Germany set up the puppet government at Salò.

      The anti-Semitism in Italy that emerged during the war had little influence on Pound’s anti-Semitism, however, because his views regarding conspiracy and usury were already in place before the war started. The war did intensify these beliefs, and thus it was not until World War II that he directly accused all Jews of conspiracy and usury.

      There are other factors to consider to determine what actually drove Pound to voice these opinions in his writings and speeches.

      One of the factors that played into Pound’s anti-Semitism was his decision to remain in Italy. Tim Redman, in his article “The Repatriation of Pound, 1939-1942: A View from the Archives,” explains how difficult it was for Pound to return to America. First of all, Redman explains, the cost of returning was quite high: “the cost of a steamship passage also was $300 per person, so it would have cost $1800 for the Pound party to return to America, quite a sum for those days.”[13]   Redman writes: “There is considerable evidence to indicate that Pound was in increasing financial difficulties in 1940. Homer Pound’s pension checks were not arriving from the United States, and Italian banks in Rapallo and Genoa were refusing to cash American checks . . . .”[14]   Redman also notes that “Pound’s royalty checks were not arriving from England.”[15]  

      Redman points out that another problem was the relationship between Pound and the American consulate in Genoa. “It is well known that the relationship between Pound and the American diplomatic officials in Italy was less than cordial . . . The reference to Pound as a ‘pseudo-American’ made in a State Department memo . . . and the State Department action on July 12, 1941, to extend Pound’s passport only for six months and return to the United States are further indications of friction between Pound and state officials . . . .”[16]   According to Carpenter’s biography, Pound tried to get a renewal of his passport at the U.S. Consulate General’s office in Rome in 1941, but the passport was confiscated because of his broadcasts. Washington officials eventually agreed to renew his passport on the condition that he could not return to Italy until the war was over, and the passport would only be valid for his return trip to America.[17]   Of course, Pound would not agree to these terms. In his article Redman also notes that it was difficult to actually obtain a safe passage back to America. “In order to return to the United States an American citizen had to arrange rail transportation through invaded France and on through the Iberian peninsula to neutral Lisbon, and from there across the Atlantic. Considering the state of rail transportation during the time, and the hazards of crossing the Atlantic, the difficulty of such an undertaking was considerable.”[18]  

      Redman says that Pound did try to book a passage by Clipper in the fall of 1940, but it could not be booked until December of that year.[19]   In the same article, Redman also argues that Pound made no serious attempt to return to the United States after Pearl Harbor.[20]   Redman writes, “His decision was based . . . on a combination of family circumstance, personal ideology, and, to a lesser degree, hostility on the part of American diplomatic officials.”[21]   Regarding family circumstances, in November of 1941, Pound’s father, who had been housebound for two years, fell and broke his hip.[22]   Redman also notes that “Pound was firmly convinced that his actions as a radio propagandist were in no way treasonable . . . Pound had no treasonable intent, and believed that what he said over the radio was in conformity with the laws of the United States and his duty as an American citizen.”[23]   Pound stayed in Italy and supported his family through his writings and the broadcasts. This explains why Pound remained in Italy; but what exactly pushed him to accusing Jews of conspiracy and usury needs some additional explanation.

      One reason Pound took a path towards a conspiracy theory was his anger and frustration that he was involved again in another war. He wanted Italy as well as the U.S. to stay out of war at all costs; but as the war progressed, it must have been maddening to him:

In fact, as his own attempts to influence the world around him . . . grew more frantic, his anti-semitism grew more irrational and uninhibited. The more futile appeared his efforts at political puppeteer, and the more inevitably the world seemed to plummet towards war, the more single-mindedly anti-Jewish became his fulminations against ‘usurocracy’. . . and by the time of the radio speeches, having uncritically swallowed the Nazi version of anti-semitic propaganda, he had become totally convinced that the ‘usury racket’ was the foundation stone of a specifically Jewish plot to enslave the world.[24]  
      Indeed, through his writings Pound had been teaching ways to avoid war through Social Credit and stamp scrip, and when the world failed to notice, his frustrations were apparent. Noel Stock comments about Pound’s anger in his radio broadcasts: “We may safely assume then that when he began to broadcast from studios in Via Asiago, Rome, he was irritated by America’s refusal, especially during the past few years, to accept his ideas, and, at a higher level, he saw himself to be carrying out his mission as a man of truth.”[25]   Pound turned in the direction of the one scapegoat that he had imagined: the Jews.

      In “Pound and antisemitism,” Wendy Flory argues that Pound’s anti-Semitic words were caused by his frustrations that another war had been started; she argues, however, that when Pound raged against the Jews, he was actually in a delusional state. She writes that Pound’s delusion “was determined by the context of his long-standing campaigning for world-wide economic reform. His ‘great insight’ was his conviction of the ability of Social Credit policies to save the West from economic depressions and from a second world war.”[26]   Flory points out that Pound’s state of mind changed after Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia because Pound saw Mussolini as one who would change Italy through economic policies: “Here was irrefutable evidence that the leader whom Pound saw as Europe’s last hope for preserving peace was a warmonger. To acknowledge this evidence would be to abandon all hope and instead, Pound took the first fatal step in the process of lying to himself. . . . he began to rationalize away what he should have confronted.”[27]   Flory’s argument is plausible; Pound’s anti-Semitic ramblings, however, were more based on anger that the world was once again at war. This anger becomes apparent in his prose and radio speeches during World War II, especially when he focuses on usury and Jews.

      Through all of his published articles, Pound follows a pattern of finding an enemy and writing about this enemy until he has exhausted the subject and his readers. For example, in the late 1920s, Pound’s enemy was bureaucracy, specifically the passport and copyright laws, and in many of his articles, he insults the American government. In the early 1930s, Pound focused on “munitions makers,” and then in the mid- and late 1930s turned his attention to usury. By the beginning of World War II, Pound associated Jews directly with usury, and Jews became his enemy.

      It is interesting to note the chapter Wyndham Lewis wrote on Ezra Pound in Time and Western Man. Even though this work was published in 1927, it is by far one of the finest descriptions not only of Pound’s writing but also of his personality. Essentially, Lewis argues that Pound’s poetry falls apart when he describes events or people in the present: “When he writes about living people . . . he shows himself possessed of a sort of conventional malice . . . People are seen by him only as types.”[28]   Lewis also writes about Pound’s ability to write about the present: “But where the Present is concerned it is a different matter. He is extremely untrustworthy where that is concerned. . . . When he tries to be up-to-date it is a very uncomfortable business. And because he is conventional, and so accepts counterfeit readily where no standard has been established, he is a danger as far as he exerts any contemporary influence.”[29]   Lewis argues that Pound’s poetry is at its best when it is filled with classical allusions; he is working with what he loves best: men of the past. Lewis writes the following about Pound’s association with the past: “But his field is purely that of the dead. As the nature mortist, or painter essentially of still-life, deals for preference with life-that-is-still, that has not much life, so Ezra for preference consorts with the dead, whose life is preserved for us in books and pictures. He has never loved anything living as he has loved the dead.”[30]   With this argument that Pound is essentially the ultimate classicist, whose work should focus on the past, Lewis writes the following: “it is obvious how unfit he is to deal with living material at all. He has so much the habit of unquestioning obedience and self-effacement, that he cannot at all manage the unruly shape of things that are in-the-making, and which demand of him also some effort of creative sort—ask him to set them limits, or direct them even. Ezra, in such a situation, is at his wits’ end. He squints at them with an affection of shrewdness, squares his shoulders, shouts something shrill and incoherent, but contributes nothing to the situation.”[31]   Lewis description of how Pound shouts at events or people that he cannot possibly control is precise. One can actually envision Pound shouting through mediums of paper and later radio at the bureaucrats, munitions makers, usurers, and finally the Jews.

      It seems that whatever topic Pound becomes focused upon, and whomever he names as the enemy, he brings those subjects into his writings. One can compare what Pound wrote about the theme of Ulysses in 1933 and in 1942. In an article written in 1933 for the English Journal, Pound explains the theme of Ulysses: “Ulysses is a summary of pre-war Europe, the blackness and mess and muddle of a ‘civilization’ led by disguised forces and a bought press, the general sloppiness, the plight of the individual in that mess! Bloom very much is the mess.”[32]   The disguised forces are not the Jews, but the government and “munitions makers,” which he was writing about during that time. In a speech dated May 21, 1942, Pound turns the theme of Ulysses into one about usury: “Ulysses dishes up the capitalist situation, the HELL made in great cites by the usury system.”[33]   As one can see, Pound’s explanations of the theme of Ulysses are quite different from each other, yet the two themes are indicative of what Pound is focused upon during each time frame. Clearly, Pound brings forth his anger during World War II upon his adversary, the usurious Jew.

      As seen from "Pound in Italy, 1924-1939: The Progression of Pound's Anti-Semitism", Pound’s anger towards his chosen adversary is carried forth in terminology taken from language for disease, e.g. syphilis and parasites. During World War II, Pound again returned to these phrases in his prose and radio speeches to describe Jews and usury. Robert Casillo, in his book The Genealogy of Demons, suggests that the term “syphilis” that Pound uses in many of his radio speeches to describe Jews and usury is in fact “a variation on the metaphor of castration.”[34]   Casillo uses Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, which shows that one source of anti-Semitism can be traced to circumcision: “According to Freud, circumcision ‘reminds’ non-Jews ‘of the dreaded castration idea of things in the primeval past which they would fain forget.”[35]   Casillo also writes that “Freud has also shown that, whenever an abnormally great amount of worth is attached to a particular human quality or characteristic, one should look for its opposite. This rule applies to Pound’s fascination with and great estimation of phallic potency, which discloses a deep anxiety over sexual debility and castration, both of which Pound associates with the Jews.”[36]   Though this argument does sound a bit extreme, Casillo does have a point regarding Pound’s fascination with “phallic potency”: the sculpture of Pound’s head, which was created in 1914 by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, is complete with a phallus on the back of the statue. Casillo argues that Pound sees the Jews as castrated; however, this fear is really Pound’s own, which he embodies in the Jew.[37]  

      The majority of Casillo’s book is filled with this type of Freudian terminology; however, there is one section that is quite valid about Pound’s anti-Semitism. Casillo dates four stages in Pound’s anti-Semitism. The first stage involves a “suburban prejudice” which “alludes to Pound’s social origins in the upper-middle class suburbs of Philadelphia (Wyncote, Pennsylvania), where anti-Semitism was probably common in the last decades of the nineteenth century.”[38]   Casillo’s second stage of Pound’s anti-Semitism “began with his return to America in 1910-1911, when Pound first became aware of the extensive Jewish immigration to American shores.”[39]   The third phase of Pound’s anti-Semitism, according to Casillo, “extended from the late 1920s to the late 1930s and was marked by ambivalence and equivocation culminating in violent and open hostility.”[40]   The 1940s began the last stage, in which Pound’s anti-Semitism was “colored by biological racism.”[41]   While Casillo’s argument shows that Pound’s anti-Semitism was gradual, his last two stages are indeed two areas of concern. Pound’s anti-Semitism in the 1930s was focused on Jews and others as usurers; however, Pound never accused the Jews directly of usury until the 1940s. There was more ambivalence in this stage towards Jews as usurers, and the hostility was more directed towards Jewish usurers and the “usurious Aryan bastards.” Regarding Casillo’s final stage in the 1940s, Pound’s remarks, specifically in his radio speeches, do focus on biological racism, with such terms as “syphilis” and “disease.” But what Casillo fails to acknowledge is that Pound began using these words, such as “syphilis,” in the late 1920s and early 1930s in order to describe his disgust with the bureaucracy of the United States. It is clear that Pound’s anti-Semitism towards Jews in the 1940s follows the same pattern of finding an enemy, as in the 1920s, and thoroughly exhausting the subject. What Casillo also fails to acknowledge in this last phase is Pound’s view of history, albeit distorted, that centers on usury. This is a key to Pound’s anti-Semitism in the 1940s because it provides evidence, at least in Pound’s eyes, of a Jewish conspiracy.

      Indeed, there are three pieces of historical evidence that prove for Pound that a conspiracy existed involving the Jews and usury; these three pieces of evidence are seen entirely throughout Pound’s prose and radio speeches. The first reference that Pound cites frequently comes from Willis Overholser’s work, A Short Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United States. Overholser claims that the American Revolution was a direct result of England’s denying the colony use of money that the colony created: “Most of our historians would have us to believe that taxation without representation was the cause of the Revolution. Depriving the colonies of their paper money, and not the Stamp Tax, was the great cause of the Revolution . . . .”[42]   Overholser is correct that the colonies did create their own money. Robert Harvey, in his book, “A Few Bloody Noses:” The Realities and Mythologies of the American Revolution, explains that “Americans produced ‘community money,’ which the British refused to recognize in their contracts. . . . They printed paper money based on expected tax revenues, and issued money on the security of property alone.”[43]  

      What Overholser fails to note is that the value of the paper money was inflated: “The state of Massachusetts issued its first set of bills in 1690; by 1750 some 4.6 million [pounds] had been printed, with its currency eventually backed at a level of II to I against sterling. In profligate New Hampshire and Rhode Island the ratio was 25 to I. . . . These represent staggering rates of inflation, deeply damaging to ordinary Americans who bought the paper and soon found its value plunging. Only New York and Pennsylvania maintained sound currencies, worth around a quarter of the value of sterling.”[44]   Indeed, Overholser points out the colony of Pennsylvania as an example of a colony that created its own money: “Pennsylvania authorized the emission of 15,000 pounds in paper bills in 1723.”[45]   Overholser also blames Parliament for stopping Pennsylvania, as well as the other colonies, from creating money: “In 1763, Parliament 'declared all acts for issuing paper money void.’”[46]   Overholser is referring to the Currency Act, which actually passed in 1764 and “prohibited the issuing of further currency.”[47]  

      What Overholser also fails to note is that Parliament passed the Currency Act to curtail the paper inflation, which was caused by the colonies printing their own money. Overholser’s theory regarding the real cause of the American Revolution and his naming of the Pennsylvania colony are two points that Pound repeats in his writing. Interestingly, Father Coughlin’s work, Money! also attributes the American Revolution to the fact that the right to create money was taken away from the colonists; however, Coughlin does not blame Parliament but the Bank of England. Coughlin remarks that the Declaration of Independence was written and the American Revolution was started because the “Colonists refused to substitute the private money of the Bank of England for their own.”[48]   Many times, Pound alludes to how the bankers (the international financers, the usurers) were the cause of the American Revolution because the financiers, which included the Bank of England, took the control of money away from the people and put it into the hands of the bankers.

      The second reference that Pound cites frequently as evidence of a conspiracy involves the Hazard Circular, which is cited in full in Overholser’s A Short Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United States and also Father Coughlin’s Money! Overholser describes the Hazard Circular as the following: “The international bankers in their effort to bring about the enactment of the National Banking Act distributed among the other banks of the Country, in the year 1862, the circular known as the Hazard Circular.”[49]   Overholser, as well as Coughlin in Money!, cites the Hazard Circular in both their books as evidence of a conspiracy in which international bankers, they believed, contributed to the suppression of the state’s constitutional right to create its own money. The Hazard Circular states:

       Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery abolished. This I [not identified] and my European friends are in favor of, for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers while the European plan, led on by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages.
       The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used to control the volume of money. To accomplish this the bonds must be used as a banking basis.
       We are now waiting for the Secretary of the Treasury to make this recommendation to Congress.
       It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that.
       But we can control the bonds and through them the bank issues.[50]   (Also see Appendix A).

       The issue under controversy involves the state’s creation and circulation of the greenback, which was created by Congress in February 1862 in order to help fund the Civil War. The control of the value of the greenbacks was not in the hands of the bankers but rather in the control of the state or government. This is an important point because, as Surette points out, before 1862, the state only provided money in terms of gold and silver, but banks issued paper money.[51]   He explains, “Greenbacks represented a departure from this practice in that they were issued directly by the state.”[52]   Surette notes that the “reason that the United States has never had government paper currency is traceable to Alexander Hamilton’s distrust of the state, a distrust reinforced by the collapse in the value of the continentals, issued by the colonies to finance the Revolution but not redeemed after 1783. Instead of issuing government paper, Hamilton imitated the British system and created a private bank to issue currency.”[53]   Surette notes that both the First and Second Bank of the Unites States had a twenty-year charter, and it was not until 1836 that the “United States reverted once again to multiple banknotes until the National Banking Act of 1862 put the system on a more structured regime.”[54]  

      The National Banking Act was actually passed by Congress and approved by Lincoln on February 25, 1863. According to Overholser, the National Banking Act “provided for the chartering of privately owned National Banks. The Act granted these banks the privilege of issuing bank notes to circulate as money by depositing, with the Treasurer of the United States, Government bonds, upon which the bank would, nevertheless, continue to draw interest, thus drawing interest from two sources—from the Government on the bonds and from the public upon the bank notes loaned out as money.”[55]   Not surprisingly, this explanation leaves out some valid details. According to Heather Cox Richardson’s work, The Greatest Nations of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War, the National Bank Act “was designed to establish a national currency secured by United States securities.”[56]   Richardson explains those that wanted to start a national bank would have to provide a capital stock of not less than $50,000 and to pay at least 30 percent of the bank’s capital before starting business; they were also “required to invest not less than one-third of their capital stock in interest-bearing United States bonds and to deposit those bonds with the United States Treasury.”[57]   Richardson points out that the Bureau of Currency “would issue to the institution national currency equal to 90 percent of the current market value of the deposited bonds. The total value of the government notes was not to exceed $200 million, half of which were to be distributed accordingly to the population, the other half to existing bank capital.”[58]   She then adds that "[n]ational banks could circulate the national notes just as they had previously circulated their own bills, but they were required to redeem the national notes they circulated in greenbacks or specie on demand.”[59]   Overholser, however, writes that government sought the bankers because there was a huge deficit due to the war; Lincoln either had to accede to the bankers’ demands or confront the possibility of losing the war. [60]   Indeed, Coughlin also makes the same remarks regarding why Lincoln approved the National Bank Act: “Private bankers said they would lend [Lincoln] money if he would grant them a national charter to issue and lend money.” [61]   Richardson claims that, actually, Lincoln favored the National Banking Act. She explains that Congress decided on January 17, 1863, to pay the troops with $100 million worth of fresh greenbacks.[62]   She argues that Lincoln “worried about the rapidly depreciating currency, challenged the system of continued greenback issues. Although he signed the bill authorizing the new issue, he expressed to Congress his ‘sincere regret’ that the measure was necessary. Lincoln urged that Congress, instead of repeatedly issuing greenbacks, pass a national bank bill and tax state bank notes to contract the currency.”[63]   Overholser, like Pound, wanted control of money in the hands of the people not private bankers. The fact that Lincoln gave the people the right to create their own money in the form of greenbacks is instrumental for Overholser and Pound in that Lincoln understood that the people had a constitutional right to create their own money. In fact, Overholser cites a letter that was written on December 1864 by Lincoln to Col. Edmund Taylor; Lincoln makes the following comments about greenbacks: “THE GREATEST BLESSING THEY EVER HAD—THEIR OWN PAPER TO PAY THEIR OWN DEBTS.”[64]   Not only does Pound often cite these words from Lincoln when he writes about how money should be in the hands of the people, but he alludes to the Hazard Circular frequently in his radio speeches and prose. When Pound cites from the Hazard Circular, he states that the bankers (the international financiers, the usurers) were responsible for the failure of the greenback and the passing of the National Bank Act.

      The third reference involves a letter, dated June 25, 1863, that was sent by the Rothschild Brothers to the firm of Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould, who were located in New York. This letter is also printed in its entirety in Overholser’s and Coughlin’s books (See Appendix B). Pound actually uses an excerpt from this letter in “Canto XLVI,” published in New Directions in Poetry and Prose in November of 1936. In “Canto XLVI,” the reference appears as followed:

Said Mr RothSchild, hell knows which Roth-schild

1861, ’64 or there sometime, “Very few people will understand this. Those who do be will occupied getting profits. The general public will probably not see it’s against their interest.”[64]  

      Pound’s quote is attributed to one of the Rothschilds; however, the actual quote is from John Sherman, whom the Rothschilds quote directly in their letter written to the firm in New York. John Sherman was a Senator from Ohio and in late January 1863, he “introduced a bill (S. 486) that would become the path breaking National Banking Act.”[66]   Sherman had written the Rothschilds and told them that the time was ripe to enquire about setting up a bank in New York because of the National Banking Act passed in February of that year. He wrote the following to the Rothschilds: “The few who can understand the system will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantages what capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interest.”[67]   The Rothschilds quote Sherman directly in their letter to the banker in New York, and this quote is what Pound cites in the canto. When Pound cites this letter, he usually refers to the “great betrayal,” which involved the Hazard Circular of 1862 and this letter. Pound refers to this letter as “the great betrayal” because the Rothschilds became more involved in the American banking system. Also, according to both Coughlin and Overholser, this bank of New York sent the Rothschilds a circular that consisted of sixteen points about how to establish a bank in America (See Appendix C). Pound also refers to this circular as “the great betrayal.” In Pound’s prose and radio speeches, he will make a reference to Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould or quote from the letter itself, which pertains to the Rothschilds’ inquiry about establishing a bank in New York.

      It is interesting to note that a least two key pieces of evidence, the Hazard Circular and the Rothschilds’ letter, appear in Overholser and Coughlin; however, Pound credits only Overholser and also Arthur Kitson for educating him on the conspiracy involving international Jewish financiers. Surette argues that Pound’s ideas regarding conspiracy can be traced directly to Coughlin’s Money!; he notes that Father Coughlin “was the most important single influence pushing Pound towards conspiracy theory and anti-Semitism.”[68]   Surette points out that in Pound’s radio speech 119, Pound credits Willis A. Overholser’s A Short Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United States as converting him to a belief in a conspiracy among the Jews. Surette argues, however, that “Overholser certainly does ‘expose’ a conspiracy to control the American state by bankers, but everything in Overholser is also found in Father Coughlin’s Money! which Pound had read two years earlier.”[69]   Surette is correct because Pound first mentions Gertrude Coogan and how Money! was recommended to him in an article entitled “American Notes” published on April 2, 1936 in New English Weekly.[70]   Surette also points out that in “Canto XLVI,” published in New Directions in Poetry and Prose in November of 1936, Pound refers to a letter that appeared in Coughlin’s Money! Surette argues that since this letter was first seen in a canto that was dated 1936, Pound must have been using Coughlin rather than Overholser as the source. Surette’s argument concerning how Coughlin’s Money! pushed Pound into thinking in terms of conspiracy cannot be ignored; Coughlin was influential in Pound’s anti-Semitism. Pound did borrow Coughlin’s evidence, such as this letter and the Hazard Circular, to prove a Jewish conspiracy.

      Surette also raises the questions regarding the validity of the Hazard Circular and the Rothschilds’ letter; neither Coughlin nor Overholser provide any reference for them. Surette notes that “[a]ll of this material has the flavor of the forged Protocols—an improbable frank admission of bad motives, disregard for public welfare, unrestrained greed, and a claim to surreptitious access to government.”[71]   Certainly, these key pieces of evidence, as in the case of the letter from the Rothschilds, may be in fact fictional. According to Derek Wilson’s book, Rothschild: The Wealth and Power of a Dynasty, an agent of the Rothschilds, August Schonberg, who changed his name to August Belmont, arrived in New York in 1837.[72]   Wilson comments that Belmont “walked into one of the greatest financial and political crises in American history.”[73]   Wilson explains, “Small banks sprang up all over America, especially after President Jackson, siding with the radicals, made it clear that the central bank’s charter would not be renewed after 1836. In that year, when the last restraints were removed, there was a frantic rush of investors into the market looking for quick profits. Within months the inevitable happened: the overheated economy burned itself out.”[74]   Wilson writes that millions of dollars’ worth of Rothschild investments were trapped in this confusion. “Seven weeks before Belmont’s arrival the Rothschild agents, J.L. and S.I. Joseph and Company, had gone bankrupt. Belmont simply took their place . . . he began using his employers’ prestigious name and their money to acquire shares in the depressed market.”[75]   Even though Belmont represented the agency for the Rothschilds, there was not a Rothschild bank in New York. Wilson notes that in 1848 Alphonse Rothschild, eldest son of James Rothschild, who was sent to America to decide whether a bank should be established in New York, in fact advised his family to establish a bank at this time, but Alphonse was called home and the idea was dropped.[76]   Wilson writes: “This was the greatest opportunity the Rothschilds ever lost. Had they established a bank in New York at this early stage in the nation’s growth, there could be little doubt that the wealth derived from that one source would have dwarfed, within a generation, all that they had amassed so far in Europe.”[77]   In Wilson’s work there is not any mention of the Rothschilds' wanting to establish a bank during the 1860s. As Surette noted, the Hazard Circular and the letter from the Rothschilds could be forgeries. What is disturbing is that Pound took these documents as fact. Throughout Pound’s writing for prose journals and radio speeches, when Pound writes specifically about conspiracy which he connects with usury, he uses three key references for evidence: the colony in Pennsylvania, the Hazard Circular, and the letter from the Rothschilds to the bank in New York.

      By examining Pound’s writing in the years 1940 through 1945 and his radio speeches from 1941 through 1943, one can see how he uses these references in the context of writing about usurers. Also, one can see a pattern in his writing and radio speeches during these years. Before Pearl Harbor, Pound’s anger was focused on usurers in general; but after Pearl Harbor, the rage becomes more prominent in Il Meridiano and the radio speeches. In the radio speeches, in particular, Pound accuses certain Jews of usury and of conspiracy. Taken in chronological order, Pound’s prose for Il Meridiano from 1940 through 1943 and Pound’s radio speeches from roughly 1941 through 1943 reveal key points in his descent into conspiracy theory. To begin with, his articles for Il Meridiano in 1940 do not contain any accusatory remarks against Jews or racial sentiments. Actually, Pound wrote for Il Meridiano di Roma from 1939 through 1943. Redman notes that Pound’s articles for Il Meridiano “are almost exclusively on political and economic topics.”[78]   Redman is correct because throughout these publications, there are few anti-Semitic claims, and those claims focus on usury. However, the articles for Il Meridiano are nothing like the racial hatred that appeared in Pound’s radio speeches. For Pound to publish in such a journal as Il Meridiano aided his reputation as a political commentator: “Il Meridiano‘s publishing Pound’s work . . . demonstrates that he had achieved a certain status in Italy as a political and economic commentator . . . .”[79]  

      Indeed the articles in 1940 for Il Meridiano focus on economics; but Pound also writes about conspiracy and uses the same three examples as evidence. At this point in 1940, he does not single out Jews but only bankers and usurers. In an article entitled “Ancora Pericolo” (“Still Danger”), published in January 7, 1940, Pound makes the following remarks, “L’abdicazione del Congresso in favore dei finanzieri privati a metà della nostra guerra civile: 1862-1863, cedendo al disegno di creare una nuova schiavitù ‘controllando il debito pubblico e così contrallare il volume di moneta disponibile per il pubblico.’ Tutta la psicologia e la subdola scaltrezza dei Sherman, degli Ikleheimer sono state nascoste per ottanta anni, al cento per cento, agli allievi delle nostre scuole.” (“The abdication of the Congress in favor of the private financiers [was] the goal of our civil war: 1862-1863, yielding to the design to create a new slavery, 'controlling the public debt and controlling the volume of currency for the public.’ All the psychology and the sneaky shrewdness of the Shermans and Ikleheimers have been hidden for eighty years, a hundred percent, from the students of our schools.”)[80]   This quote is referring to the National Bank Act of 1863, which, according to Pound, took the power of money out of the hands of the people and put it into the hands of the bankers. In another article entitled “Gli Ebrei E Questa Guerra” (“The Jews and this War”), published on March 24, 1940, Pound refers to the letter from the Rothschilds as proof of a Jewish conspiracy. In the article, he writes that this war had been ongoing since Lincoln’s time, and he mentions the letter from Rothschilds to the bankers in New York as confirmation that the Jews are trying to cheat the gentiles out of their money.[81]  

      Interestingly, in the same article Pound also describes the Kahal as follows: “Ogni giudeo era obbligato ad appartenere ad una fraternita ed a pagare le sue tasse.” (“Every jew was obliged to belong to one fraternity and to pay its taxes.”)[82]   He is actually correct about this characterization of the Kahal: “The Hebrew word ‘kahal’ means simply ‘community-organization.’ As Jews in medieval Europe were normally allowed a certain degree of local self-government, each Jewish settlement was automatically a kahal.”[83]   The term “kahal,” however, took another meaning with Jacob Brafmann’s work, entitled The Book of the Kahal, published in 1869. Jacob Brafmann was a Russian Jew, “who not only underwent a tactical conversion to Orthodoxy but went on to become a police spy.”[84]   Cohn explains that in 1866, “this man laid before certain high-ranking officials strange evidence concerning what he called ‘the Kahal . . . . In Russia a similar state of affairs existed until 1844, when the kahals, and with them all traces of Jewish autonomy, were abolished. But according to Brafmann ‘the Kahal’ was something quite different and far more menacing.”[85]   Cohn explains: “In reality this was based on some minutes of routine business kept by the officially recognized kahal of Minsk from 1789 to 1829, supplemented by some similar material from other towns. But to this material Brafmann added a commentary which made it look as if the kahal in each town aimed at enabling Jewish traders to oust their Christian competitors and in the end to acquire possession of all the property of the Christians.”[86]   Cohn further explains, “The Book of the Kahal was issued at public expense and distributed to government officials to guide them in their dealings with the Jewish population . . . . The word ‘kahal’ passed into the international vocabulary of antisemitic propaganda as an immensely sinister term—often described as ‘a name which few Gentiles are ever allowed to hear.’”[87]  

      Pound uses the Kahal in his radio speeches often as a derogatory term; however, at this point in time, his reference to the Kahal is focused on a definition. In his correspondence with Noel Stock, discussed in Chapter Four, Pound writes many times that he only focused on “big Jews,” who were part of the Kahal organization. According to the correspondence, Pound believed that the Kahal was a central authority of rich Jews, who controlled Jewish communities. Pound defined the Kahal as the following: “In all this the goy shows the highest magnitude of stupidity, part of which is due to his ignorance of jewish institutions and tendencies. . . . The kahal system, as distinct from either British or American constitutional government, is the rule by an irresponsible group of rich men, who keep a number of their fellows at starvation level so that they will do anything for a quick buck or a quick ruble.”[88]   Interestingly, Pound’s description of the Kahal sounds like plutocracy, which is what Orage in his column, “Notes of the Week,” for the New Age accused the British government of supporting. Orage accused the “rich” of not participating in fighting during World War I, while the working class suffered conscription. Pound’s reference to the Kahal in Il Meridiano is one of the first times he makes mention of the organization.

      In another article for Il Meridiano entitled “Faust, I Protocolli Ed Il Principio Satanico,” “Faust, The Protocols and the Satanic Principle”), published in May 12, 1940, Pound comments on the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: “Un libretto molto discusso ma poco diffuso, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, non ha bisogna di titolo. . . . Solamente osservo che sparisce, quando viene stampato, se insorgono proteste e processi. ” (A booklet much discussed but little understood, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is in no need of a title . . . . I only observe that it vanishes, when it is printed, if protests and trials rise.”)[89]   It is debatable whether Pound actually read the Protocols, and Redman notes that Pound’s own copy of the Protocols is unmarked, “showing that he did not have a high regard for the book.”[90]   It is important at this point that Pound mentions the Protocols in the 1940s because in 1934, he did not even respond to Kitson’s enquiry about them. (Kitson sent him a copy of the book in 1934 and asked Pound’s opinion about it.) At this point, Pound does acknowledge the Protocols.

      During the summer of 1940, key events were happening in World War II. On May 12, 1940, the Germans invaded France and on June 10 Italy opportunistically declared war on France. When Pound was writing these articles in 1940, the war was indeed a reality; however, he still does not fall into racial sentiments but does support conspiracy theory, as seen in such excerpts from the Japan Times Weekly and the Delphian Quarterly. For example, in an article of June 1940 for the Japan Times Weekly, Pound also explains how the nation was betrayed during the Civil War: “During the Civil War of the 1860s the nation was betrayed by a ganglia of Sherman, Ikleheimer etc. working with foreign (mainly English and Jewish) financiers.”[91]   Pound is once again referring to the 1863 letter from the Rothschild brothers of London to the New York bank of Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould. The great betrayal occurred when the New York bank sent the Rothschilds a circular that told them how to set up a bank in New York. In both Coughlin’s and Overholser’s works, this circular follows the Rothschild’s letter to the New York firm; the circular is composed of sixteen points about how to establish a bank in America. In an article published in July 1940 for the Delphian Quarterly, Pound writes, “From 1863 onwards the American system gradually slumped down into usuriocracy . . . .”[92]  

      The end of 1940 marks an important time in Italy as far as the war is concerned: Mussolini was fighting and losing a battle on two fronts. The attack on Greece was launched on October 29, 1940, and by November 5, 1940, the initiative had passed to the Greeks.[93]   On December 4, the Greeks broke through the Italian lines.[94]   A couple of days later, on December 9, the “Duce suffered a further grievous blow when the British launched a surprise attack in Egypt which led to the headlong retreat of the Italian forces back across Libya.”[95]   Mussolini then had to ask Hitler for aid: “Faced with disaster on all fronts, Mussolini had no choice but to turn to his Axis partner for help. In December he addressed to Hitler two urgent appeals for military and material aid which marked the end of the ‘parallel’ war and paved the way for the German occupation of his country. From now on hordes of German experts . . . swarmed into Italy and began to interfere in every aspect of Italian affairs.”[96]   Michaelis notes that “German intervention in the Balkans and North Africa saved Italians from defeat; but it brought the Germans into areas which had hitherto been recognized as Italy’s sphere of influence.”[97]   It is at this point that it can be argued that Mussolini became a sub-partner under Hitler. Certainly, Pound must have been frustrated at the turn of events, but his work for Il Meridiano shows anger not towards Mussolini or Hitler and their continuation of their wartime efforts but anger towards usurers, who he believed started the war.

      Starting in January of 1941, Pound’s work for Il Meridiano includes many references to the key pieces of evidence that he read in Coughlin and Overholser and, as always, references to usury. However, in 1941, there are not any racial sentiments involving Jews. For example, in an article that appeared in Il Meridiano on January 19, 1941, Pound makes the following comments about usury: “La politica degli strozzini ed usurai è sempre la stessa sia contro individuo, che contro un nazione.” (“The politics of the usurers and usury is always the same both against an individual, and against a nation.”)[98]   This comment is made in the context of the “vera storia della rivoluzione americana” (“true story of the American revolution”), which resulted, Pound believed, because the colonists in Pennsylania wanted to create their own money. Pound writes, “Essi sono in gran parte discendenti dagli uomini di quella guerra del 1776, che ricordano le sanzioni decretate dal putrido governo di Londra contro gli abitanti della colonie, per esempio le sanzioni contro la carta moneta della colonia di Pennsylvania, nel 1750 . . . .” (“They are in a large part descendants from the men of that war of 1776, who remember the sanctions decreed from the rotten government of London against the inhabitants of the colonies, for example the restrictions against the paper currency of the colony of Pennsylvania in 1750 . . . .”)[99]  

      In another article for Il Meridiano, entitled “Liberta’ E Dovere” (“Freedom and Duty”), published in February 1941, Pound mentions the word, Anglo-Jew, which is similar to the neologism, aryio-kike: “Il pubblico americano è un asino. Ha speso almeno dieci miliardo di dollari per finanziare questa guerra degli anglo-ebrei . . . .” ("The American public is an ass. It has spent at least ten billion dollars to fund this war of the Anglo-Jew . . . .”)[100]   He then writes, “La risma degli usurai rimane la stessa, perfida immutabile e puzzolente.” ("The quality of usurers remains the same, treacherous, unchangeable and stinking.")[101]   He then again names Iklehemer, Sherman, and the Rothschilds. This article shows that Pound has yet to blame Jews directly and entirely for usury; instead, he remains ambivalent with “Anglo-Jew.” But he still writes about the three pieces of evidence, even without implicating Jews completely. For example, in “Ancora Jefferson ” (“Still Jefferson”), published on May 25, 1941, Pound writes, “La natura della nostra Rivoluzione continua; ovvero della serie di rivoluzioni che hanno mantenuto il sistema dei padri della repubblica deglo S.U.A. dal 1780 sino al 1863 è ignorata dal 99% degli stessi Americani.” (“The nature of our revolution continues; that is the series of revolutions that have maintained the system of the fathers of the republic of the U.S.A. from 1780 until 1863 and ignored by 99% of the same Americans.”)[102]   In the same article, Pound writes, “gran tradimento del 1863, cioè quello manipolato da Sherman, Ikleheimer e dai banchieri esteri.” (“the big treason of 1863, that is to say manipulated by Sherman, Ikleheimer, and the foreign bankers.”)[103]   In the same article, he writes, “Per non cadere nell’antisemitismo cieco che fa parte del programma del nemico, io mi oppongo ad un sistema dove il governo è anonimo, segreto ed irresponsabile, dove non arriva nemmeno a pretendere di governare ‘a beneficio del popolo’ . . . Non m’importa se questo groviglio si chiama kahal, o se si chiama governo liberale composto al 100% di ariani.” (“In order not to fall into blind antisemitism that is part of the program of the enemy, I oppose a system where the government is anonymous, secret and irresponsible, where it does not claim to govern ‘for the benefit of the people’ . . . It does not matter if this muddle calls itself the kahal, or if it calls itself a liberal government composed at 100% Aryans.”).[104]   This quote once again displays ambivalence; he does not yet commit to accusations of only Jewish conspiracy.

      Likewise, Pound’s radio speeches broadcast before the summer of 1941 do not mention Jews and conspiracy. Pound actually made his first recording for the Ministry of Popular Culture on January 11, 1935. In a broadcast called the American Hour, a program of music, news, and editorials broadcast to the U.S., Pound was to talk about “Italy As I have Seen It,” but ended up speaking about “How Mussolini resolves the problem of distribution.”[105]   Leonard Doob, in his collection, “Ezra Pound Speaking:” Radio Speeches of World War II, has gathered Pound’s speeches that the FCC recorded from October 2, 1941, until December 7, 1941; from January 29, 1942, through July 26, 1942; and from February 18, 1943, through July 25, 1943. Pound actually began to write speeches for the radio at the end of 1940: “The first scripts to be accepted were read in English by regular speakers of Radio Rome. In January 1941 he was able to record his own speeches, which were broadcast . . . twice a week.”[106]   Doob also included four transcripts that were written in 1941 before the FCC monitoring that began in October of that year. These speeches are not dated and consist of topics that range from John Adams, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the present state of war in 1941. (Incidentally, Pound published a set of cantos, LXII-LXXI, in 1940 that were a summary of the works of John Adams.)

      In Pound’s radio speech #114, broadcast circa 1941 before the FCC started recording in October, Pound says the following about John Adams: “Johnnie Adams, the first, the real father of his country, the man who picked General Washington, George, to lead the Colonial armies against a damned stinking and cheating British Government, no better than Roosevelt and Morgenthau, or Churchill or any set of enemies of the people of the public purse . . . .”[107]   Pound begins to praise Adams but then the sentence falls into insults against Roosevelt and Churchill and all meaning is lost in his anger. Pound’s anger was present when he wrote about the bureaucrats and munitions makers in the 1930s; however, the reader could usually understand his meaning. When Pound rages about the usurers, the Jews, and the aryio-kikes in his radio speeches, it is more fury than anger. It is as if he is trying to jar the listener as with a hammer to stand alert and pay attention to him. But the exact opposite happens. In his fury, the meanings of his words are lost in racial slurs, and the listener turns away. In a speech that was recorded in 1941, Pound uses the word, “kike” to vent his anger, and it is difficult to understand his words; also in the speech, the way he uses “kike” shows his ambivalence: “They [Americans] git that way [“UNamerican”] reading Jew papers for 40 years. They git that way hearin’ kike radio, and I propose to use the word KIKE regardless of race. Use it to cover honorary Jews, AND TO EXCEPT honest Jews when we find ‘em” (#113, 1941). Once again, the way the term is used shows his ambivalence. At this point, he does not accuse Jews directly of conspiracy.

      Doob explains that there was some difficulty with the FCC’s transcription of the broadcasts. "There are egregious errors and omissions in these FCC transcripts because recording equipment in those days was crude, because atmospheric conditions interfered with the monitoring, and because, I assume, the transcribers sometimes did not recognize Pound’s references.”[108]   Doob’s assumption is correct because Pound’s references, such as the three key allusions regarding Jewish conspiracy from Coughlin and Overholser, are indeed vague. In fact, in an article entitled “Ezra Pound and the Italian Ministry for Popular Culture,” Robert Corrigan explains that Pound was pulled off the air in April of 1941 because of suspicions that his broadcasts were “in code” to the United States. Apparently the FCC was not the only government force that had problems interpreting the speeches. Corrigan cites a quote from Camillo Pellizzi, the former President of the Institute for Fascist Culture, who had recalled a “some high –ranking personality” asking him: “'What does this man want? Can we be absolutely sure that he does not use a code system in his speeches?’”[109]   Corrigan notes that Pound was put back on the air within two weeks.[110]   From the speeches that are included in Doob’s section of the four transcripts that the FCC had not yet transcribed before October 1941, there are references to the Pennsylvania colonists, the Rothschild’s letter, and the Hazard Circular. Certainly, Mr. Pellizzi, as well as anyone else listening who was not familiar with Pound’s own historical references, would be confused. This is a key point because Pound is not communicating with his audience.

      It was during the summer of 1941 that events turned and Pound’s writing for Il Meridiano took a slight turn towards implicating all Jews. On June 22, 1941, the Germans invaded Russia and on August 11 of the same year, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed on the Atlantic Charter, which was a joint declaration on the purposes of the war against fascism. Interestingly, in an article entitiled, “Il Grano,” published on September 7, 1941, Pound makes the following remarks about Jews: “Prima, gli ebrei prendono possesso di Dio, della religione, poi della stampa, poi del cinema, poi della radio, paralizzando i centri nervosi di mezzo mondo occidentale, paralizzando il sistema postale, el mercato dei libri.” (“First, the Jews take possession of God, of religion, then of the printing press, then of the cinema, then of the radio, paralyzing the central nervous system of the western world, paralyzing the postal system, and half of the book market.”) [111]   This quote is interesting because he does not accuse Jews of usury but of infiltrating everything else. However, in another article for Il Meridiano di Roma, entitled “L’Ebreo, patologia incarnata” (“The Jew, pathology incarnate”), published in October 12, 1941, Pound writes about how Jews are involved in usury: “L’ebreo è usuraio e nomade insieme . . . . Il nomade è troppo pigro, o troppo impaziente per coltivare la terra. Vaga, ruba. . . . L’usuraio impone una tassa. Aumenta sempre questa tassa finchè il contadino muore di fame.” (“The Jew is usurer and nomad together. . . . The nomad is too lazy or too impatient to cultivate the land. He wanders, he steals. . . . The usurer imposes a tax. He continually increases the tax until the peasant dies of hunger.”)[112]   At this point in the fall of 1941, there is a decisive turn in his anger, now aimed at Jews; but it is also aimed at usurers, who include Roosevelt and Churchill. It seems that as it becomes more apparent that there is no end in sight for the war, the more intense Pound’s anger and frustration grow.

      Pound generates this anger especially in his radio speeches, which the FCC began recording in October 1941. There are only five speeches from October 2, 1941, through December 7, 1941, but the anger and frustration over the war are quite apparent in each one. For example, in a speech dated October 26, 1941, Pound makes the following remarks about Churchill: “Mr. Churchill, EVEN Mr. Churchill hasn’t had the brass to tell the American people WHY he wants ‘em to die to save what. He is fighting for the gold standard and MONOPOLY. Namely the power to starve the whole of mankind, and make it pay through the nose before it can eat the fruit of its own labor. His gang, whether kike, gentile, or hybrid is not fit to govern” (#2). Pound’s use of “kike” in this sentence is anti-Semitic, but the key word is “whether,” because it shows that his anger is still widespread towards what he calls “hybrid” or aryio-kike. The last speech of 1941 occurs on December 7th, and then he does not broadcast until January 29, 1942. The speech of December 7th is similar to the other speeches that the FCC transcribed in 1941: he vents his frustration on why the United States should be involved in the war. After Pearl Harbor, in Pound’s writing for Il Meridiano and in his radio speeches, the tone changes to accusations of Jews involved in a conspiracy.

      A memoir, written by Felice Chilanti, tells of his time with Pound during the winter of 1941. Felice Chilanti’s home in Rome served as the editorial office of the biweekly Domani from April until August 1941, when Mussolini ordered the paper suppressed. Pound visited Chilanti frequently in the winter of 1941 and met the group of dissident Fascists and anti-Fascists who had worked for Domani and who still gathered at the Chilanti’s apartment to discuss politics and economics.[113]   Chilanti was arrested on April 1, 1942. He describes why Pound visited him and his group of other dissidents: “Like Pound, and like our mutual friend Odon Por, we too were inventing our own economic doctrines that were going to destroy economics, dismember the laws, and ‘overcome’ all necessities—once the ideas were put into effect—in order to bring about the triumph of spirit, will, poetry, the single law of a universal supreme power.”[114]   Chilanti further explains, “We were Fascists in crisis; in crisis since the very beginning. And in the days Pound was coming by, we had reached the point of a true break within Fascism. . . . Pound listened to us, attentive and friendly. The very fact that he would visit us, join us, meant that he did not like the Fascist Fascists, the real Fascists. He listened to and shared our disgust for the party hierarchs’ stupidity and criminal activities.”[115]   This quote is quite revealing because it shows that Pound, at least in Chilanti’s opinion, listened to complaints about flaws in the Fascist government. In fact, Pound claimed he was a left-wing fascist.[116]   What Pound had in common with this group of dissidents, as Chilanti called them, was the following: “The war had been lost, we used to say, and it became a plank in the platform of our sedition. We have to get out of the war before the catastrophe is irremediable. . . . They [Italian capitalism] are also guilty for the war because they wanted it to start, and guilty for the defeat, which came from the sordid souls of the usurers and profiteers.”[117]   Chilanti does not, however, mention Jews in the article, let alone implicate them in a conspiracy.

      When Pearl Harbor came on December 7, 1941, and Hitler declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, there was not any hope to be salvaged for a peaceful ending. Pound’s anger and frustration thus grew, and as he had done in the past, he focused his anger on an enemy: this time, the usurious Jews. However, Pound focused only on what he called “usurious Jews.” He did not link all Jews to usury and conspiracy until 1944. Pound’s “Canto Proceeding (72 circa),” published in Vice Versa in January of 1942, is an example of his anger over the war but also his ambivalence, still, with Jews and usury:

The Evil is Usury, neschek

the serpent

neschek whose name is known, the defiler,

Beyond race and against race

the defiler

      Tóxoς? [usury] hic male medium est [here is the center of evil]

Here is the core of evil, the burning hell without let up [118]  

      Pound’s use of the Hebrew word, “neschek", which means usury, and his description of how neschek is beyond and against race are important keys to his interpretation of usury at this time. In A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound, Terrell explains that Pound “uses the Hebrew word to show that the Jews from the time of Moses had rules against usury.” [119]   What Terrell is referring to is that passage from Deuteronomy that states that Jews should not be usurious against each other. Terrell’s point is valid because in the canto, Pound rages against usury, but he pinpoints only those Jews that commit neschek: “Sassoon [British banker] doing evil in place of the Rothschild.”[120]   Likewise in his radio speeches during 1942, Pound only attacks specific Jews when he connects usury with Jews.

      However, he does accuse Jews in general of using anti-Semitism to their advantage. In an article entitled “Mondiale”(“World”), published January 18, 1942, in Il Meridiano di Roma, Pound writes that anti-Semitism is actually used as a diversion to take the attention away from the goyim [Gentiles], so that the usurers can operate the money-system: “Il secondo punto dei ‘Protocolli’ che si deve meditare è il disegno di adoperare lo stesso ‘anti-semitismo’ come diversivo, cioè come mezzo per distogliere l’attenzione dei goyim dal modo di operare del monopolio . . . .” (“The second point of the `Protocols' that one must attend to is the plan to adopt the same `anti-Semitism’ like a diversion, that is to say as a means to take the attention of the goyim from the manner of operating monopolies . . . .”)[121]   Once again, it is doubtful that Pound read the Protocols, since the Protocols are written in such a broad manner that it really does not specifically note exactly that the Jews could use anti-Semitism to stop the Gentiles from operating monopolies. In fact, there is a reference to monopolies in the sixth protocol, but it indicates the Elders amassing great monopolies, “reservoirs of colossal wealth, in which even the large fortunes of the Gentiles will be involved to such an extent that they will sink together with the credit of their government the day after a political crisis.”[122]   There is also a statement in the Protocols that the Elders will use anti-Semitism but not to stop the Gentiles from paying attention to monopolies but as a control factor for Jews themselves. If Jews become refractory or unruly, “this is to be coped with by stimulating outbreaks of antisemitism.”[123]   Pound’s idea regarding anti-Semitism in this article is more in line for what he wrote in Guide to Kulchur: “The red herring is a scoundrel’s device and usurer’s stand-by . . . . Race prejudice is red herring. The tool of man defeated intellectually, and of the cheap politician. No one will deny that the jews have racial characteristics, better and worse ones.”[124]   What Pound is referring to is that anti-Semitism is used to throw off the scent, as a red herring is dragged across a trail. According to Guide to Kulchur, anti-Semitism is used to throw off the scent of usury. In the January article for Il Meridiano, Pound uses anti-Semitism in the same way. Pound is suggesting, however, that the Protocols actually state that anti-Semitism is to be used as a diversion from attention to usury. In the same article, Pound also advises the reader to re-read the Protocols: “bisogna rileggerli ogni tanto.” (“it is necessary to re-read them every so often.”)[125]   He is coming very close to actually supporting the Protocols.

      Pound started broadcasting again on January 29, 1942. Doob notes that after his first speech in January, Pound was introduced by the following statement that he drafted: “Rome Radio, acting in accordance with the fascist policy of intellectual freedom and free expression of opinion by those who are qualified to hold it, has offered Dr. Ezra Pound the use of the microphone twice a week. It is understood that he will not be asked to say anything whatsoever that goes against his conscience, or anything incompatible with his duties as a citizen of the United States of America.”[126]   Pound’s statement is important because he takes full responsibility for his words, which he did not think were treasonous.[127]   Pound began his first speech, dated January 29, 1942, after Pearl Harbor with the following words: “On Arbour Day, Pearl Arbour Day, at 12 o’clock noon I retired from the capital of the old Roman Empire to Rapallo to seek wisdom from the ancients” (#6, January 29, 1942). The reference to “Arbour” Day is more than likely due to an error in the FBI’s transcription. Believing that the war, as well as all the other wars, is one that evolved from gold, usury, and monopoly, Pound offers this piece of advice to those listening in the United States: “It bein’ my private belief that I could have avoided a war with Japan, if anybody had had the unlikely idea of sending me out there, with any sort of official powers” (#6). Clearly, this statement does verge on megalomania; however, it also shows Pound’s frustration that he had in fact failed in his attempts to avoid war. After this speech, the majority of his speeches in 1942 become full of Coughlin and Overholser’s evidence that involve Jews in a conspiracy. By the beginning of 1942, the Jews have become his target for usury, and he repeats constantly the three pieces of evidence from Coughlin and Overholser.

      Pound relied on key pieces of evidence that he gathered from Coughlin and Overholser to implicate Jews. He scattered and repeated the evidence throughout his broadcasts, but a good example of how he placed all three pieces together appeared in his prose work, “A Visiting Card,” published in 1942. In “A Visiting Card” Pound also discusses the history of banking and provides his reader with a list of dates which have historical relevance in his own interpretation of the history of American banking:

1694-6—Foundation of the stinking Bank, a private company, styled ‘of England.’

1750—Sanctions against Pennsylvania, forbidding the colony to issue its own paper money.

. . . .

1776-Beginning of the American Revolution

. . . .

1791 and 1816—Foundation of the first and second Banks ‘of the United States’. .

. . .

1861-5—The Civil War, between debtors and creditors, on the moral pretext that the debtors possessed negro slaves.

Right in the middle of this war the Government was betrayed and the people were sold into the hands of the Rothschilds, through the intermediaries John Sherman, Ikleheimer, and Van der Gould.

1865—Assassination of Lincoln, followed by eighty years of decadence.

But one can understand nothing of American history unless one understands the great betrayal. [128]  

      In this work, one can find the three pieces of evidence from Coughlin and Overholser that Pound scatters throughout his radio speeches in 1942. For example, the date of 1750 refers to the colony of Pennsylvania and the reference to the “betrayal” refers to the Rothschilds’ correspondence. Pound also lists the American Revolution as an important date because in his opinion, and that of Overholser and Coughlin, this war was fought in order that America could possess the right to create its own money. Pound also mentions the dates of the First and Second Banks of the United States because in his view, as well as that of Overholser and Coughlin, America’s constitutional right to create its own monies was destroyed with the founding of these banks, which were controlled by private bankers rather than the people. Pound also mentions the assassination of Lincoln because Lincoln “`gave the people of this Republic the greatest blessing they ever had—their own paper money to pay their debts.’”[129]   Pound attributes this quotation, as well as these dates, to Overholser. In fact, Pound credits the Hazard Circular, the Rothschild letter, and the history of banking to Overholser, but he never mentions Coughlin, whom, as Surette has proven, Pound read first. The fact that Pound does not credit Coughlin is indeed puzzling, but it is clear that the dates and references that he lists in “A Visiting Card” are for him key pieces of evidence suggesting conspiracy.

      The following speeches broadcast in 1942 represent common themes that Pound repeats in his speeches: the present war dates back to the American Revolution; powerful Jews are involved in conspiracy as evidenced from the Hazard Circular and the Rothschild letter; the American Revolution began as a result of England’s denying Pennsylvania the right to create its own money; and usury is the root of all wars. Once again, if one were not familiar with Pound’s beliefs and were not aware of certain allusions, these speeches would be incomprehensible. In a speech dated February 17, 1942, Pound makes the following comment on how the American Revolution and the Civil War were part of the same war: “Until you see this war as an incident in a series, you cannot understand it or judge it or qualify yourselves as judges of the rights and wrongs of the present act in the story” (#10). This is the first appearance of this comment, which Pound inserts periodically in his speeches.

      Pound's broadcast on March 8, 1942, is quite revealing because he actually explains what he will call the great betrayal: “Ikleheimer handed it over to Rothschild. Can’t let em print national money, all American money much be controlled by the DEBT. And the debt controlled by the Rothschilds . . .” (#15). Pound is referring to how the international financiers, who included the Rothschilds, petitioned against the greenbacks, as stated in the Hazard Circular in 1862. Pound believed, following Coughlin and Overholser, that the Hazard Circular actually led to the passing of National Banking Act in February of 1863. Later that year, the Rothschilds wrote to the New York firm of Ikleheimer about setting up a bank in New York. The great betrayal occurred when the firm sent them a pamphlet consisting of steps for starting a bank. This pamphlet is printed in full in both Coughlin and Overholser’s books. In the same speech, Pound also makes the following statement, which sounds like Nativism: “The white remnants of England, the white remnants of the races of England must be FOUND and find means to cohere; otherwise, you might as well lie down in your grave yards.” Pound explains further, “In the year 1942 Anno Domini, there is only one start you can make. And that is the start toward being England. A refusal to be a province of Israel, or an outpost of Yankee-Judaea” (#15). This remark is made in the belief that powerful families, like the Rothschilds, control England.

      In another speech dated April 9, 1942, Pound makes another racial remark: “I said two children MINIMUM, cause if two people don’t reproduce two people, the race DIMINISHES and you get invaded: as the United States has been invaded by VERMIN, among whom the Rothschild, and Sassoon, and Warburg, [international bankers] are more deadly than syphilis” (#23). Doob notes the topic of race is only mentioned about twenty-one percent in the speeches.[130]   True, most of Pound’s anti-Semitism in these speeches focuses on economics rather than race; however, the fact that Pound is making racial comments in 1942 when he was not making them in his prose in 1941, shows that his frustration and anger over the war are now in full force. As in the past when he unleashed his anger on munitions makers, bureaucrats, and aryio-kikes, his wrath is now turned on Jews, specifically those who he believes are involved in a conspiracy for control of governments. Indeed, in a speech dated April 23, 1942, Pound says, “Had you the sense to ELIMINATE Roosevelt and his Jews, or the Jews and THEIR Mr. Roosevelt at the last election you would not now be at war” (#29). Pound’s anger towards Roosevelt is the result of the U.S. entry into World War II.

      The Jews that Pound believes are part of the conspiracy are members of the Kahal. In fact, in his speech dated April 30, 1942, Pound blames the Kahal for instigating World War II: “SOMETIME the Anglo Saxon may AWAKE to the fact that the Jewish kahal and secret forces concentrated or brought to focus in the unappetizin’ carcass of Franklin D. Roosevelt do NOT shove Aryan or non-yittisch’ nations into WARS in order that those said nations may WIN wars. The non-Jew nations are shoved into wars in order to destroy themselves, to break up their structure, to destroy their social order, to destroy their populations . . .” (#32). In the same speech, Pound advises a possible solution to rid the world of the Kahal: “Don’t start a pogrom. That is, not an old style of killing small Jews. That system is no good whatsoever. Of course if some man had a stroke of genius and could start pogrom UP AT THE top, there might be something to say for it”(#32). But he says immediately: “But on the whole legal measures are preferable. The sixty Kikes who started this war might be sent to St. Helena as a measure of world prophylaxis. And some hyper-kike, or non-Jewish kikes along with ‘em” (#32). Pound’s neologisms, hyper-kike and non-Jewish kikes, are in line with aryio-kike. This statement shows that Pound is not focused only on Jews, but those aryio-kikes, hyper-kikes, and non-Jewish kikes, who are involved in usury; the Jews that are part of the usurious system are, as Pound has claimed, members of the Kahal. This radio speech is disturbing because it shows a change of perception in how Pound perceives Jews: it is a call to violence. In 1941, Pound first mentioned the Kahal in an article for Il Meridiano; however, Pound’s description of the Kahal in the article was a matter of definition; in this radio speech, a year later, he is asking for a limited pogrom.

      These racial sentiments do not at all appear in Pound’s writings for Il Meridiano in 1942; however, there are statements in regards to usury and the Kahal. For example in reference to usury, Pound flat out accuses Jews. In an article entitled “La guerra degli usurai” (“The War of the Usurers”) published in May 3, 1942 for Il Meridiano di Roma, Pound states that Jews are involved in a war against humanity and against Europe: “la guerra dell’usura contro l’umanità ; ovvero degli ebrei contro l’Europa.” (“the war of usury against humanity; rather of the jews against Europe.”)[131]   However, these remarks are focused on a specific group of Jews: those who are usurious, those who are part of the Kahal. Pound has yet to implicate all Jews. In regards to the Kahal, in an article dated July 5, 1942, Pound writes: “Da più d’un secolo l’economia, pratica e teorica, ivi comprese in gran parte le cattedre d’economia, sono state sotto il dominio, o sotto la pressione e l’oppressione, rabbinica. O diciamo kahalistica, per non ripetere sempre la parola ebraica.” (“For more than a century, the economy, practical and theoretical, included in a big part the chairs of economy, who were under rabbinical dominion, or under pressure and oppression. Or we say kahalistic, in order to not always repeat always the jewish word.”)[132]   This statement falls in line with the radio speech on April 30, 1942, where he blamed the Kahal for starting World War II. In another article entitled “Nella pelle di pantera” (“In the skin of the panther”), published on November 1, 1942, Pound writes about the Kahal: “Ma i monopolisti del dio ebraica non tolleravano qualsiasi mistero o rito religioso se non portava soldi al fisco ebraico.” (“But the monopolists of the Hebrew god did not tolerate any mystery or religious rite if did not carry money to the Hebrew treasury.”)[133]   There are not any racial slurs, as in the radio speeches, that appear in Il Meridiano. Pound’s style of writing for the journal is more subdued than the radio speeches. Perhaps, the reason lies in the fact that Il Meridiano was indeed a prestigious cultural journal in Italy. Pound saved his rage for his radio speeches.

      In 1943 Pound’s words in his radio speeches indeed become angrier, which was probably a result of the inevitable surrender of Italy to the Allies. At this point in time, the Libyan front had collapsed and in November of 1942, the Allies had already landed in Morocco and Algeria.[134]   On January 31, 1943, the German army surrendered at Stalingrad. In the summer of 1943, the Axis forces surrendered in North Africa, and the Allies invaded Sicily; on September 3, 1943, Italy surrendered. Pound’s last broadcast occurred July 5, 1943, the date that Mussolini was captured; his last article for Il Meridiano was published on September 12, 1943. Interestingly, Pound’s emotions are visible in his radio speeches in 1943, but in his articles for Il Meridiano, there is still restraint in his words. For example, in an article entitled “Seconda censura” (“Second censorship”), published on February 7, 1943, Pound writes: “Oh la loro ubiquità ! Sono dappertutto, sono dovunque. Mi ricordo a Londra, un ebreo, tipo baccalà morto, con voce di gallo castrato, era dovunque. A ventitre anni andai alla ricerca della buona compagnia (che non è precisamente la buona società, ma qualche cosa di più vivo) evitavo una diecina di salotti perchè c’era sempre quella pestilenza.” (“Oh their ubiquity! They are everywhere, they are wherever. I remember in London, a Jew, dead–cod type, with the voice of a castrated rooster, was everywhere. At twenty-three years old, I went in search of good company (that it is not precisely good society, but something livelier) I avoided ten salons where there was always that pestilence.”)[135]   However, in another article for Il Meridiano published on March 7, 1943, Pound clearly shows his ambivalence on the Jewish involvement in usury: “Ammettiamo, per lasciare aperta la discussione, che la centrale degli usurai, e del sistema usurocratico, non sia ebraica, o non completemente ebraica.” (“We admit, to leave open the argument that the central station of the usurers, and of the usury system is not Jewish, or not entirely Jewish.”)[136]   Indeed, in Pound’s broadcasts in March and April of 1943, he attacks only the Kahal, whom he believes is part of the conspiracy. In his speech dated March 14, 1943, Pound’s message is clear: “The U.S.A. will be no use to itself or to anyone else until it gets rid of the kikes AND Mr. Roosevelt. I don’t mean the small kikes. I mean the LARGE kikes” (#66). Again, this is a call to violence. In another speech, dated March 25, 1943, he attacks usury but does not claim that it is only Jewish: “The war is PART of the age old struggle between the usurer and the rest of mankind: between the usurer and the peasant, the usurer and the producer, and finally between the usurer and the merchant, between usurocracy and the mercantilist system” (#67).

      In keeping with the belief of a conspiracy by powerful Jews, Pound announces his endorsement of the ideas of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his broadcast dated April 20, 1943. He admits the Protocols are a forgery but then says: “Certainly they are a forgery, and that is the one proof we have of their authenticity” (#78). Actually, the Protocols were proven to be a forgery in 1921: the book was copied from the pamphlet, Dialogue Aux Enfers entre Montesquieu et Machiavel, published in 1864.[137]   The pamphlet was written by the French lawyer, Maurice Joly, who structured his work as a dialogue between Montesquieu and Machiavelli: “Montesquieu would present the case for liberalism, Machiavelli the case for cynical despotism.”[138]   Cohn explains, “It was forbidden to criticize openly the regime of Napoleon III; but in this way it should be possible, through the mouth of Machiavelli, to present the Emperor’s motives and methods stripped of their usual camouflage of humbug.”[139]   Cohn points out that “What Joly put into the mouth of Machiavelli, the forger put into the mouth of the mysterious lecturer, the nameless Elder of Zion—but with certain important differences. Whereas ‘Machiavelli,’ representing Nalpoleon III, is describing a state of affairs which already exists, in the Protocols this description is recast in the form of a prophecy for the future. Again, ‘Machiavelli’ argues that a despot may find in democratic forms a useful cover for his tyranny.”[140]   Cohn also explains, “But the forger also borrows certain passages from ‘Montesquieu’: and here he makes it seem that the ideals of liberalism were invented by Jews, and are being propagated by them, for the sole purpose of disorganizing and demoralizing the Gentiles.” [141]   In the radio speech, Pound may have been alluding to Hitler’s explanation of the Protocols in Mein Kampf because Hitler uses the same explanation as Pound regarding the authenticity of the Protocols. In Mein Kampf, Hitler writes: “How far the entire existence of this people is based on a continuous lie is shown in an incomparable manner and certainly in the ‘Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion,’ . . . They are supposed to be a ‘forgery’ the Frankfurter Zeitunga leading German liberal newspaper moans and cries out to the world once a week; the best proof that they are genuine after all. What many Jews may do unconsciously is here exposed consciously.”[142]   It is interesting to note that Henry Ford and Father Coughlin also gave this type of explanation regarding the authenticity of the Protocols. Both Ford, who published the Protocols in his journal the Dearborn Independent in the 1920s, and Coughlin, who published the Protocols in his journal Social Justice in 1938, both claimed that the Protocols, even if a forgery, were an accurate picture of events that have taken place in the past.[143]   Pound has turned towards endorsing the Protocols rather than only commenting on them.

      On September 12, 1943, Mussolini was rescued by Germans; the Nazi Republic of Salò was set up on September 23, 1943. After Mussolini’s arrest in July, Pound visited his daughter in the Italian Tirol, and according to Stock, while on his way back home to Rapallo, made contact with the Republic of Salò in the autumn of 1943.[144]   Redman notes that in November of that year, Pound received a letter from his friend Giacomo Barnes, who had seen Alessandro Pavolini, the new secretary of the Republican Fascist party; Barnes told Pound “that they the Republic of Salò were in the process of organizing a new English-language propaganda service with transmission to be broadcast probably from Milan.”[145]   The final result was that Pound would write scripts for the broadcasts in Milan and someone else would read them; later, the station moved to Lake Como and Pound sent his scripts there.[146]   The recordings of the scripts that Pound wrote during this time period have yet to surface; Carpenter doubts that the scripts were even read.[147]   Doob also confirms that these scripts have yet to surface: “No evidence exists to indicate that any of this material was ever broadcast to America in Pound’s name from Radio Milan while that station remained under the regime’s control.”[148]   In his dissertation, Jonathan Gill remarks about Pound’s support of the Republic of Salò : “Even if not a single audio or print text of a single broadcast survived, these activities demonstrate that Pound approved of the racial policies that were so central in the Axis countries, even if that approval was only implicit.”[149]   What Gill asserts is that Pound continued to write scripts for broadcasts during this period and thus support the Republic, including its racial policies. Felice explains what occurred after the Germans implemented their racial laws in Italy. “After the initial moments of chaos and confusion caused by the armistice of September 8, 1943, and once the front had stabilized to the south of Rome, the Germans began immediately, between September and October, to hunt down Jews. . . . In many towns, the Germans did the hunting themselves, in others they used Fascist units, in still others they simply “took custody” of Jews who had been interned by the Fascists and who in many cases had presented themselves on their own in response to the orders posted by the Germans . . . .”[150]   Felice writes, “Many Jews continued to believe, even after the armistice, that the kind of excesses done to them in other countries would never take place in Italy.”[151]   True, the racial laws were not stringent, and this gave Jews a false sense of security. Felice writes, “In Rome alone, those taken in raids were over two thousand (2,091). Venice, Genoa, Fiume, and Florence each gave over two hundred victims to the Nazi concentration camps. The total number of those deported from Italy between 1943 and 1945 was 7,495. Of these only 610 were able to return from the hell of the Lager; 6,855 died in captivity.”[152]  

      Even though there are no documented recordings or transcripts during this period, there do survive Pound’s contributions to Il Popolo di Alessandria, a paper controlled by the Republic of Salò , which appeared from November of 1943 through April of 1945. Il Popolo “was one of the major newspapers of the new republic; it had a circulation of 135,000 and appeared twice a week.”[153]   According to Pound’s Poetry and Prose, which contains the collection, Pound contributed fifty-eight articles. They have a much different tone from those articles in Il Meridiano. The articles in Il Popolo are indeed racist, and Pound does accuse all Jews directly of usury rather than remaining ambivalent. The articles also possess the anger of Pound’s broadcasts for Rome. Though there is no mention of Jews captured by Germans in his articles for Il Popolo, it can be argued that his articles do contain anti-Semitic propaganda that would fall in line with Germany. In Pound’s radio speeches, he only attacked the Kahal as the usurers, and in the pages of Il Meridiano, as late as 1943, he still maintained that usury was not entirely a Jewish system. However, there is no doubt in the articles for Il Popolo that all Jews are involved in usury, and usury is a system that rests entirely on the Jews.

      In a piece published February 10, 1944 for Il Popolo di Alessandria, Pound writes “UNA NAZIONE CHE NON VUOLE INDEBITARSI FA RABBIA AGLI USURAI” (“A nation does not wish to go into debt enrages the usurers.”)[154]   Yet in another article entitled “Il perno” (“The pivot”), published on February 13, 1944, Pound refers to the international usurers who have control of money: “ma nazióne e grandi industriale lasciano nelle mani dell’usurocrazia internazionale il controllo delle loro monete . . .” (“But the nation and industry are left in the hands of the international usurocracy, the controller of money.”)[155]   He does not name the international usurers, but on March 2, 1944, in an article entitled “Banchieri” (“Bankers”), Pound writes: “E’ inutile fare dell’antisemitismo lasciando in piedi il sistema monetario ebraici mondiale, che è il loro strumento piu tremendo di strozzinaggio.” (“It is useless to assert antisemitism leaving in place a worldwide Jewish monetary system, that is their most terrible tool of usury.”) [156]   In another piece, “La stampa” (“The Press”), published on March 2, 1944, Pound writes: “Ed ha lasciato la moneta mondiale nel controllo dall giudeocrazia mondiale. Primo tentativo di rompere il monopolio dopo l’assassinie [sic] di Lincoln . . . fu fatto dall’Asse.” (“And it has left the world-wide currency in the world-wide control of the Jews. The first attempt to break off the monopoly after the assassination of Lincoln . . . was made from the Axis.”)[157]  

      In Il Popolo di Alessandria, Pound takes his anti-Semitism into racial slurs. The article entitled “Razza o malattia” (“Race or illness”) appeared in the journal on March 12, 1944. In the article he refers to Jews as bacillus or as a disease that infects all around it. The following is an excerpt from the short piece:

E’ tempo di far analisi.
L’ebraismo non è razza, è malattia.
Quando una nazione muore, gli ebrei si moltiplicano in essa come i bacilli nella carogna. Come malattia se ne possono avere stadi [the last letter of this word “stadi”is indecipherable in text] gravi e gradi leggeri.
. . . .
Quando ariani o mezzi-ariani come Roosevelt, Churchill e Eden ne sono colpiti, diventano veri lebbrosi.
. . . . .
Pratica nell’America del Sud oggi: arrive una famiglia di ebrei. Un fratello si fà banchiere, un altro prete, e gli altri si dividono fra teatri, bordelli, e la stampa.

(It is time for an analysis.

The Hebrews are not a race, but a disease.

When a nation dies, the jews multiply in it like bacillus in carrion. Like illness, they can have stages of severe and lesser degrees.

. . . .

When aryan or half-aryans like Roosevelt, Churchill or Eden are infected, they become true lepers.

. . . . .

The practice in South America today: a family of jews arrives. One brother becomes a banker, the other a priest, and the others divide themselves among theaters, brothels, and the press.)[158]  

He ends the piece with the words, “organismi infetti con questo bacillo tendono verso la coalizione” (“infected organisms with this bacillus stretch out towards an alliance.”)[159]   This article is Pound at his worst; not even his radio speeches or any other articles for Il Popolo can compare with the poison in these lines.

      In yet another piece, entitled “Educazione,” published on March 23, 1944, Pound makes a reference to the Kahal:“La cosidetta legge ebraica non è un codice etico, è la codificata scaltrezza impostata da un ceto di preti per imporre multe.” (“The so-called Israeli law is not an ethical code, it is codified in shrewdness imposed by a class of priests to impose fines.”)[160]   This comment is about how the Kahal collected taxes from the Jews that made up their communities. In another article published on May 18, 1944, entitled “Mussolini e l’usorocrazia” (“Mussolini and the usurocracy”), Pound writes that Mussolini is not part of the system of usurers because he does not want to get his country into debt.[161]  

      In two other pieces for Il Popolo, Pound blames the usurers for censorship; he does not, however, specifically point to Jews, but uses the term “international usurer,” a code phrase, as in Coughlin’s and Kitson’s works, for Jews. On May 21, 1944, in another piece, Pound makes the following remarks: “Nessun libro arrivò in Italia senza essere selezionato dagli usurai internazionali e dai loro servi biechi e ciechi.” (“No book arrived in Italy without being selected from the international usurers and from their sullen and blind servants.”)[162]   In another piece, “Strategia” (“Strategy”), published on December 23, 1944, Pound writes: “E’concesso ai semplici di dire, e, magari, anche di stampare la verità,la loro verità , cioè la parte della verità che essi conoscono, la parte dei fatti che essi hanno visto o vissuto, ma di dirla o di stamparla solamente quando è troppo tardi per intralciare le attività dei nemici ovvero dell’usurocrazia. Questo fa parte della strategia plutocratica.” (“And granted to the simple to say, and, even if, also to print the truth, their truth, that is to say the part of the truth that they have know, the part of the facts that they have seen or lived, but to say it or to print it only when is too late to hamper the activity of the enemy that is usury. This is part of the strategy of plutocracy.”)[163]  

      As a side note, it was also during this year that two of Pound’s essays, “Gold and Work” and “An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States,” were both published in Italian. Both works differ from the contents of Il Popolo in that there are no racial remarks about Jews and, in fact, Pound does not accuse all Jews directly of usury. “Gold and Work” and “An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States” repeat the same themes regarding a Jewish conspiracy found in Pound’s broadcasts for Rome. For example, in “Gold and Work,” Pound writes about why usurers created war: “Usurers provoke wars to create debts, so that they can extort the interest and rake in the profits resulting from changes in the values of monetary units.”[164]   Pound also makes the following remark, which has been seen already, about anti-Semitism and usury: “It is, of course, useless to indulge in antisemitism, leaving intact the Hebraic monetary system which is a most tremendous instrument of usury.”[165]   In “An Introduction of the Economic Nature of the United States,” Pound explains that the economic history of the U.S. “oscillates between these two camps. . . . The people rebelled against the London usurers and instituted a government in America. This government fell prey to the resident usurers who kept in touch with the arch-usurers in the mother-country. . . . Today the Main Office is in New York, the Branch Office is in London.”[166]   What Pound is referring to is once again his claim that England took away the colonists’ right to make their own paper money, which led to the America Revolution, which itself was only part of the on-going war against usury. Once again, the ideas that appeared in both these essay are the same ones that appeared in the broadcasts from Rome; they differ from the articles for Il Popolo in that there is no direct accusation of all Jews.

      One can see the difference between the two essays, published in 1944, and Pound’s pieces for Il Popolo, published in 1945. Pound’s articles for Il Popolo maintained a direct accusation of all Jews and usury. In a piece entitled, "Ta Pum… Ta Pum E Ta Pum,” published January 9, 1945, Pound writes: “Gli usurai, monopolisti, ebraico-londinesi; erano già al lavoro nell’ottocentosessanta, cioè durante la guerra americana della secessione.” (“The usurers, monopolists, the London Jews were already to the work around 1860, that is to say during the American war of the secession.”)[167]   The reference to 1860 implies the Hazard Circular and the Rothschild letter. In this article, instead of implying international financiers, Pound blames Jews. However, in another piece, published on February 8, 1945, Pound again becomes ambivalent. He writes, “E’ inutile combattere l’usurocrazia anglo-giudaica, rimanendo nell’ignoranza dei meccanismi dell’usura.”(“It is useless to fight the anglo-Jewish usurocracy, remaining in ignorance of the mechanisms of usury.”)[168]   Instead of naming Jews as the only usurers, he falls back to the aryio-kike insult. This example is the only ambivalence Pound shows in Il Popolo. It is clear from the articles, except for one in Il Popolo, that Pound directly accuses all Jews of usury and uses racial stereotypes to describe the Jewish race.

      On April 28, 1945, Mussolini was executed by Partisans. Pound surrendered to American custody in May of 1945 and was transferred to a Disciplinary Training Center near Pisa. He was confined for almost two and a half weeks in a solitary cage and exposed to the elements. As a result, he suffered a breakdown and was moved to a medical tent and then to other accommodations in the camp; he left the facility in November of 1945 to stand trial for treason.[169]   When Pound arrived in America, he was examined by four medical doctors: Joseph L. Gilbert, Wendell Muncie, Marion King, and Winfred Overholser. In their report, dated December 14, 1945, to the Honorable Bolitha J. Laws, Chief Justice, U.S District Court, they advised the following regarding Pound’s condition: “In our opinion, with advancing years his personality, for many years abnormal, had undergone further distortion to the extent that he is now suffering from a paranoid state which renders him mentally unfit to advise properly with counsel or to participate intelligently and reasonably in his own defense. He is, in other words, insane and mentally unfit for trail [sic] and is in need of care in a mental hospital.”[170]   On December 21,1945, Pound was committed to St. Elizabeths Mental Institution, where he would remain for almost thirteen years. Pound foreshadowed his own imprisonment in his first radio broadcast (#6, January 29, 1943) after Pearl Harbor: “Whom God would destroy, he first sends to the bug house.”



1.   Ezra Pound, “Canto proceeding (72 Circa),” Ezra Pound’s Poetry and Prose: Contributions to Periodicals, eds. Lea Baechler, A. Walton Litz, and James Longenbach (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1991) 8:157. Forty one lines, reprinted with some changes in Drafts & Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVII (1969), A91—as a fragment unassigned.

2.   Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and The Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy 1922-1945 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1978), 291.

3.   Ibid., 292.

4.   Ibid.

5.   Renzo De Felice, The Jews in Fascist Italy, trans. Robert L. Miller (New York: Enigma Books: 2001), 367.

6.   Ibid., 371.

7.   Ibid., 373.

8.   Michaelis, 293.

9.   Ibid., 303.

10.   Felice, 360. Note: These statistics are cited from a report, dated July 31, 1943, and Felice points out that the report is missing much data.

11.   Michaelis, 318.

12.   Ibid., 317.

13.   Tim Redman, “The Repatriation of Pound: 1939-1942,” Paideuma 8, no. 3 (Winter 1979): 450.

14.   Ibid., 450.

15.   Ibid.

16.   Ibid. 451.

17.   Humphrey Carpenter, A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1988.), 600.

18.   Redman, 452

19.   Ibid.

20.   Ibid.

21.   Ibid., 455.

22.   Ibid.454.

23.   Ibid., 455.

24.   Daniel Pearlman, “Ezra Pound: America’s Wandering Jew,” Paideuma, no. 9 (1980): 478.

25.   Noel Stock, The Life of Ezra Pound (New York: Pantheon Books, 1970), 390-91.

26.   Wendy Flory, “Pound and antisemitism,” The Cambridge Companion to Pound, ed. Ira B. Nadel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 287.

27.   Ibid., 290

28.   Wyndham Lewis, Enemy Salvoes: Selected Literary Criticism, ed. C. J. Fox (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1976), 166-67.

29.   Ibid., 168.

30.   Ibid.

31.   Ibid.

32.   Ezra Pound, “Past History,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:42.

33.   Leonard Doob, "Ezra Pound Speaking:" Radio Speeches of World War II(Westport: Greenwood Press, 1978), 141.

34.   Robert Casillo, The Genealogy of Demons: Anti-Semitism, Fascism, and the Myths of Ezra Pound (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1988), 41.

35.   Ibid., 41.

36.   Ibid.

37.   Ibid., 38.

38.   Ibid.4.

39.   Ibid.

40.   Ibid., 5.

41.   Ibid., 7.

42.   Willis Overholser, A Short Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United States (Libertyville: Progress Publishing Concern, 1936), 29.

43.   Robert Harvey, “A Few Bloody Noses:” The Realities and Mythologies of the American Revolution (New York: The Overlook press, 2002), 24.

44.   Ibid.

45.   Overholser, 29.

46.   Ibid.

47.   Harvey, 24.

48.   Rev. Charles Coughlin, Money! Questions and Answers (Royal Oak: The National Union for Social Justice, 1936), 93.

49.   Overholser, 45.

50.   Ibid.

51.   Surette, 256.

52.   Ibid.

53.   Ibid., 256-57.

54.   Ibid., 257.

55.   Overholser, 45.

56.   Heather Cox Richardson, The Greatest Nations of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 86.

57.   Ibid.

58.   Ibid.

59.   Ibid.

60.   Overholser, 44-45.

61.   Coughlin, 100.

62.   Richardson, 85.

63.   Ibid.

64.   Ibid., 44.

65.   Pound, “Canto XLVI,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 233.

66.   Richardson, 86.

67.   Coughlin, 171.

68.   Surette, 261.

69.   Ibid., 240.

70.   Pound, “American Notes,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:41. Note: As already noted in "Pound in Italy, 1924-1939: The Progression of Pound's Anti-Semitism", Pound’s first mention of Overholser occurs in 1938.

71.   Surette, 257.

72.   Derek Wilson, Rothschild: The Wealth and Power of a Dynasty (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988), 177.

73.   Ibid.

74.   Ibid., 177-78.

75.   Ibid., 178.

76.   Ibid., 181-82.

77.   Ibid., 182.

78.   Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism, 198.

79.   Ibid.

80.   Pound, “Ancora Pericolo,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:5.

81.   Ibid., “Gli Ebrei E Questa Guerra,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:20.

82.   Ibid., 20.

83.   Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (New York: Harper & row, 1969), 54.

84.   Ibid., 53.

85.   Ibid., 54.

86.   Ibid.

87.   Ibid.

88.   Letter from Ezra Pound to Noel Stock, dated November 17, 1956. The correspondence is found in the “Pound Papers” at the Harry Ransom Resource Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

89.   Ibid., “Faust, I Protocolli ed Il Principio Satanico,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:34.

90.   Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism, 202.

91.   Ibid., “Why There is a War in Europe,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:43.

92.   Ibid., “The American System, Why Not Revive It?” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:47

93.   Michaelis, 296.

94.   Ibid., 297.

95.   Ibid.

96.   Ibid.

97.   Ibid.

98.   Pound, “La Moneta,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:103.

      99.   Ibid.

100.   Ibid., “Liberta’ E Dovere,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 104.

101.   Ibid.

102.   Ibid., “Ancora Jefferson,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:122.

103.   Ibid., 124.

104.   Ibid.

105.   Carpenter, 542.

106.   Doob, xi.

107.   Doob, 390. Note: All quotations from Pound’s radio speeches are from Doob’s work, “Ezra Pound Speaking:” Radio Speeches of World War II. Rather than using footnotes, speeches will be cited with the number of each speech and the date of the speech, unless otherwise indicated, in parenthesis following the text.

108.   Ibid., xii.

109.   Robert A. Corrigan, “Ezra Pound and the Italian Ministry for Popular Culture,” The Journal of Popular Culture 5 (1972): 772.

110.   Ibid.

111.   Pound, “Il Grano,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:139.

112.   Ibid., “L’Ebreo, patologia incarnate,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 144.

113.   Felice Chilanti, “Ezra Pound Among the Seditious in the 1940’s,” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Pound Scholarship, trans. David Anderson 6 (1977): 235.

114.   Ibid., 238.

115.   Ibid.

116.   Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism, 236.

117.   Chilanti, 240.

118.   Pound, “Canto Proceeding (72 circa),” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 157.

119.   Caroll F. Terrell, A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 724.

120.   Pound, “Canto Proceeding (72 circa),” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 158.

121.   Ibid.,“Mondiale,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 159.

122.   Cohn, 276.

123.   Cohn, 63.

124.   Pound, Guide to Kulchur (Norfolk: New Directions, 1952), 242-43.

125.   Ibid., “Mondiale,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 159.

126.   Doob, xiii.

127.   Note: This statement is actually a legal argument against treason. Pound’s case is discussed further in "Pound's Anti-Semitism at St. Elizabeths: 1945-1958".

128.   Pound, “A Visiting Card,” Selected Prose 1909-1965, ed. William Cookson (New York: New Directions Publishing Corp., 1973), 309-10.

129.   Ibid., 310.

130.   Doob, 421.

131.   Pound, “La guerra degli usurai,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:168.

132.   Ibid., “Moneta prescrittibile,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:174.

133.   Ibid., "Nella pelle di pantera,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 186.

134.   Michaelis, 299.

135.   Pound, “Seconda censura,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 198.

136.   Ibid., “Arretrati e Snobisti,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:203.

137.   Cohn, 73.

138.   Ibid.

139.   Ibid.

140.   Ibid., 75.

141.   Ibid.

142.   Adolf Hilter, Mein Kampf: Complete and Unabridged, Fully Annotated (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941), 423-24.

143.   Donald Warren, Radio Priest: Charles Coughlin, the Father of Hate Radio (New York: The Free Press, 1996). 150-151.

144.   Stock, 403.

145.   Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism, 234-235.

146.   Carpenter, 633.

147.   Ibid., 634.

148.   Doob, xi.

149.   Jonathan Gill, “The Law of the Modernist Letter: Anti-Semitism and the Technology of Representation in the Poetry of Ezra Pound.” Ph.D. diss., University of Columbia, 1999.

150.   Felice, 448.

151.   Ibid.

152.   Ibid., 449-450.

153.   Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism, 240.

154.   Pound, No title, Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 219.

155.   Ibid., “Il perno,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:219.

156.   Ibid., “Banchieri,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 222.

157.   Ibid., “La Stampa,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 222.

158.   Ibid., “Razza o malattia,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:223.

159.   Ibid.

160.   Ibid., “Educazione,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 225.

161.   Ibid., “Mussolini e l’usorocrazia,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:231.

162.   Ibid., “Snobismo e credulita,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 232.

163.   Ibid., “Strategia,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 240.

164.   Ibid., “Gold and Work,” Selected Prose: 1909-1965, 340.

165.   Ibid., 351.

166.   Ibid., “An Introduction of the Economic Nature of the United States,”
Selected Prose: 1909-1965, 182.

167.   Ibid., “Ta Pum… Ta Pum E Ta Pum… ,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8:244.

168.   Ibid., “Contro usura,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 8: 249.

169.   Pound’s conditions in Pisa that led to his breakdown as well as his trial and the issue of his sanity are discussed in detail in the next chapter.

170.   Letter from Julien Cornell to Arthur Moore, dated December 24, 1945. The doctors’ report concerning Pound is attached to Cornell’s letter. The correspondence is found in the “Pound Papers” at the Harry Ransom Resource Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

see also:

Pound’s Early Years, 1885-1924: The Evolution of a Suburban Prejudice
[FlashPoint 10]

Pound in Italy, 1924-1939: The Progression of Pound's Anti-Semitism
[FlashPoint 11 Pound Extra]

[FlashPoint 11 Pound Extra]

Pound's Anti-Semitism at St. Elizabeths: 1945-1958
[FlashPoint 9]