by George Lincoln Rockwell
Living from day to day when you are on fire with a gigantic idea is not only hard on you, but on those who must live with you. The rest of the time in San Diego, I was a loving, but hard-to-understand husband. I cared nothing for the eternal cocktail parties of the Navy set and ruined those I did attend by turning them into McCarthy rallies. I read and studied every spare minute and my wife had a hard time promoting a few evenings out to dinner, etc. I tried to apply my writing and drawing talents to sneaky attempts to push The Idea, and came up with The Ducks and the Hens, which has been stolen wholesale and reprinted all over the world by some of the very people who disdained it when I offered it back in those days. One of these individuals is Ron Gostick of Canada who preaches that I am a Communist agent-provocateur.
In spite of my preoccupation with politics, I was well-liked in the squadron and we had many 'good times', as the beer and blab sessions are called. I tried mightily to control my desire to 'McCarthyize' everybody I met, but I am sure I seemed pretty odd to a lot of officers and their wives who ran into me in the alcoholic haze which suffused these cocktail parties.
The crushing ignorance of even the 'best-informed people' concerning the terrific ideological struggle going on all around them – the battle for the life or death of the Western and Christian Civilization in which they lived – appalled me beyond words. From admirals to presidents, bankers to butchers; all of them, I discovered, accepted words and slogans in place of facts, just as The Protocols had so coldly calculated! Whatever was repeated over and over in 'reputable sources' like The New York Times, Harpers, Life, etc. or by oracles like Edward R. Murrow, was simply IT.
Any attempt to question the 'holy dogmas' of 'Democracy' and 'Brotherhood', no matter how overwhelming the argument or the facts, was greeted as just short of treason against America. Although I often heard the 'emancipated' and 'liberal' wives of important men use filthy language at cocktail parties, – these same women would recoil in horror at the words "race" or "McCarthy"! And, although. our Nation is supposed to be a Republic, not a Democracy, as pushed by the liberals and pinkos and Jews, any demonstration of the similarity between so-called "Democracy" in America and the same product with the same name in Communist countries was attacked by these 'advanced thinkers' with all guns blazing! I could not even get the men I considered intelligent and open-minded to so much as discuss these forbidden subjects, even though they would talk knowingly about 'the battle for men's minds', one of the stock slogans emanating from 'the best sources'.
I began to despair of my fellow human beings! I felt like a sheep being herded to the slaughterhouse who had suddenly discovered what was ahead and was trying desperately and vainly to get my fellow sheep to realize what was happening and what had happened to our fellow sheep in Russia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany and a dozen other Soviet slaughterhouses! But they were either too busy nibbling the luxuriant grass in the pasture or too scared of the intellectual sheep-dogs snapping at their heels to pay any attention. It just made them angry to be forced to think about such a nasty, 'controversial' subject.
Somehow, in spite of the emotional and intellectual cataclysm within me, I managed to go about the business of living with some success and greatly enjoyed my family life. Little Phoebe Jean Rockwell was born in the San Diego Naval Hospital and the five of us made a fairly 'normal' family. There were the marital battles which I found to be 'usual' in most 'modern' marriages. I moved into the Bachelor Officers' Quarters once and prepared to get a divorce, but somehow, we kept patching things up. I hated the very idea of divorce as much as almost anything in the world, having been brought up in the middle of one, and still hate even the word. I dearly loved and love my kids. They worshiped me, too, and I was willing to suffer almost anything to try to keep the family together, but in 1952 1 got orders to report to Norfolk, Virginia, for further assignment, so the family had to be uprooted.
We made the transcontinental trip in our Nash with the sleeper-seats. All five of us slept in the car, with the baby on the floor in the front. The whole family enjoyed it hugely, as we meandered across the United States, camping in the magnificent National Parks, sight-seeing everywhere and devouring the indescribable glories of this beloved America. I made it a point to go through Appleton, Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy's hometown, and practically worshiped the ground where this great American grew up and lived.
When we got to Norfolk, I walked into the Navy assignment office while the wife and kids waited outside in the car, anxious to learn our 'fate'. Where would my next duty be? My 'sentence' sounded fatal: Iceland! I had hardly heard of the place, I imagined, like most people, that it was a land of polar bears, ice and Eskimo. Worst of all, I knew it would be an impossible strain on our already creaking marriage. Families were not permitted in Iceland and the minimum 'sentence' to this outpost was one year!
Although I protested weakly, Judy decided to move right next to her mother in Barrington, Rhode Island, so I duly deposited her and the kids with her mother. Then I went to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts to catch a plane to Iceland – the end of the world!
When I arrived, I found the base at Keflavik (pronounced "kep-la-veek", in spite of the "f") a little more civilized and a little less icy than I had imagined, but not much. There are a few dozen stunted trees in the whole of Iceland, but none within thirty miles of the huge and utterly barren U.S. air base. The Gulf Stream runs around one end of the island and the icy, Arctic currents sweep around the other, so that the extreme difference in temperatures regularly produces winds of over a hundred miles an hour. These gales roar across the volcanic ash and bare ground of Keflavik out of the Atlantic Ocean, unopposed.
I was detailed as executive officer of a fleet aircraft service squadron equipped with patrol bombers. Our working squadron area consisted of a few Quonset huts and the rudest possible facilities. We had only half of an old World War II hangar in which to work on our planes, the other half being crammed with old jeeps and trucks, so the men had to work and live in the bitter arctic weather much of the time. It is dark almost all winter and the wild wind, the sweeping, stinging, freezing rain along with the eternal darkness are infinitely depressing. It is not cold, but actually warmer on the average than Norfolk, because of the Gulf Stream; however, the duty up there at Keflavik is as close to a prison sentence as you can get outside the walls. There were consolations however. Liquor was unbelievably cheap – a dollar or two for quarts of the best stuff – and women were something else altogether. They were and are beautiful! They are the purest of Nordics, with perfectly handsome faces, lovely figures and charming dispositions. The social customs of Iceland are particularly entrancing to visiting males in this respect, as sex is not the sternly-regulated affair it is everywhere else. The attitude in Iceland is pretty much that sex is like hunger or thirst. When you are hungry, you eat. When you are thirsty, you drink, and when you feel like sex in Iceland, you satisfy this need, too.
Many couples just move in together, not bothering about formalities unless a child appears. Even then the wife does not take her husband's name, and the children take only their father's first name plus "son" or "dottir" (daughter). And even after formalities, instant divorce by mutual consent is available. Further, either party can 'ditch' the other simply upon demand, without proceedings and without any cause – a horrible situation for a loving spouse and parent, as I have learned to my own anguish.
There were few unavailable girls at the airport. Most of them worked for the administration one way or the other, but none of them ever realized that they could make money other ways. They were having too much fun being generous. In fact, unbelievable as it may be, one of my officers almost got murdered by a very pretty little girl, for kicking her out of his bed.
She had spent long hours with him before she was turned out into the snow – so he could get some rest for a morning hop. She did not like being sent away, so she went and 'borrowed' a.45 from a sergeant she 'knew' in another barracks, stuck it through the window of the lieutenant's room and started shooting. He and the other two officers in the hut scrambled madly, first to get out of the way and then to catch and disarm her. The squadron dentist, a Jew, by the way, hid in the closet during this 'fire-fight' and the boys had endless fun afterwards at the jew's expense – not without justice. In the lieutenant's fitness report, I could not resist reporting that he was cool and courageous under "combat conditions" and "heavy fire", which raised eyebrows back in Washington, D.C.
It was not at all unusual for girls to take their boyfriends home and upstairs with the tacit knowledge and understanding of the folks. One ensign even lived with his girl and her folks for months, only moving out when she got pregnant.
Parties at the base were more like orgies, with all the free liquor and the even freer girls. I am sorry to say that many of our top, most senior officers succumbed to the enormous temptations of all this and conducted themselves in the most disgraceful and un-officer like manner. An Army commander, for instance, seduced and betrayed, not one of the cheap girls at the base, but the daughter of one of the best families in Iceland, in the most shameful and dishonorable manner. A Navy captain publicly 'shacked up' with a divorcee in his quarters and drove her around in his big Navy sedan. The whole atmosphere at Keflavik International Airport was evil and unwholesome, depressing and disgusting.
I reacted by almost total asceticism. There was no half-way about it, as could be seen all around me. I refused to touch a drop of liquor. I went to only those parties which my position in the squadron demanded. I ran over a mile a day and exercised to keep in condition and I devoted myself wholly to study, thinking and writing.
After two months or so, the Navy decided to send me back to the States to visit a big 'Fasron' to get some ideas for the improvement of our work. I was ordered to Quonset Point in Rhode Island, only a few miles from my family, for two weeks.
When I arrived, I found what I had feared. My wife picked me up at the airport at Westover and promptly informed me that she had learned to be "independent", which was certainly true. It was like coming back from the Pacific all over. She took me to the lovely little apartment she had gotten, and I tried to imagine that it was good to be 'home', but there was no overcoming Judy's new 'independence'.
There were scenes over my giving orders to my own kids. There were scenes about whether or not to open the windows. There were scenes about whether I should "bother" her with kisses while she tried to "get things done". There were groans about me taking the car to work at Quonset, now that she drove and was used to having the car. It was a generally uncomfortable, difficult and unhappy visit. She made it endlessly plain that I was a 'fly in the ointment'. She wanted to run the place alone. I "spoiled everything", as she put it.
I must, of course, take 'credit' for not being a thoughtful husband in San Diego and not being a good provider before that. But there was not much sense in her actions on this visit. She had simply gotten to enjoy her status as head of the household and possessor of the car, without any husband 'under foot' – and she was unhappy with me there. I slept on the couch. When it came time for me to report to Westover to fly back to Iceland, her relief was painfully obvious, and when I got the word that the flight was postponed and would not go for a few more days, her reaction was: "Jesus! More?"
I was hurt, deeply and miserably. Then I found out that she was also angry at me for being still in my own 'home' when she had arranged for a visit from her Aunt Polly and a cowboy with whom the aunt was living. I got out and went to Westover, where I suffered utter loneliness and misery for three or four days in the barracks, only a few miles from my wife and dear little children. She never called.
Back in Iceland, I redoubled my dedication to asceticism, my studies and my writing. There seemed to be nothing else. I banished the agony of losing my family in the hardest kind of mental and physical exercise. I became interested in the culture and history of Iceland, and in particular, the racial purity of the Icelandic people.
The officers living in the quarters used to get together and hire Icelandic girls to clean up, make the beds and do the housekeeping, and the girl in the quarters to which I was assigned used to bring a crew of her little brothers and sisters and sometimes a girlfriend to help her. She would not only give orders to these other Icelanders in Icelandic, but also make what I was sure were all kinds of remarks about Americans in general and, when she felt like it, me, in particular. With the curiosity my father taught me and the consequent interest in everything, I resolved to learn Icelandic, at least well enough to surprise this sassy young Icelandic maid some day.
I had long ago, when forced to study French in high school, come to the conclusion that languages are 'difficult' to learn for adults because of the way they are taught in school – mostly because you do not concern yourself just with the language, the way you learned to speak English – by speaking it – but you must also learn a whole mess of artificial garbage called "grammar" and rules. I reasoned that it made no difference how many mistakes I made, so long as I could learn quickly to communicate, which is the basic purpose of a language; first, by learning a small basic vocabulary and then by talking to Icelanders, no matter how they laughed at my foolish mistakes.
I frequented the little Icelandic grocery store on the base and began to 'shoot the breeze' with them in my impossible Icelandic. They thought it immensely funny to hear an important American commander making such a linguistic ass of himself, but I kept at it, until one day I could understand and make myself understood, about like the owner of a Greek restaurant uses English in America: It ain't poetry – but it works.
I waited innocently in the apartment one morning for the sassy maid and her crew, then listened carefully. Soon enough, they started the Icelandic wise-cracks. I suddenly turned, after I heard her say in Icelandic: "He is lazy and stays home today." I replied: "Nej, thadth er thu sem er latur og Vill ekki vinni! (No, it is you who are the lazy bum – who won't work!)"
The electric effect was well worth all the effort. She had no idea, of course, how much more I might have understood previously, when she had discussed me with her girlfriend and she turned red and blushed! From then on she was more careful, but she also began to take a pride in my ability to speak Icelandic. She would not speak English to me, as she did to the other officers, no matter how I struggled and stumbled. At Christmas, she captivated me with a little present she gave in return for the bonus I gave her – she curtsied! What a charming, lovely custom that is for young girls.
In Reykjavik I now began to enjoy myself conversing with the Icelanders. Even the most anti-American were impressed with an "Ami" commander who would take the trouble to learn their language, the language of the ancient Vikings, spoken by less than two hundred thousand' people in the world today. But that was not my only reward. I learned wonderful things about our ancient Nordic heritage from our mighty, bearskin-clad ancestors of the far north. I learned, for instance, that the Icelandic word for a German is "Thodthverdthur", which means "People's Defenders" – stemming from the tribal memory of the times when it was the Germans alone who stood between the White men of Europe and the savage hordes of Genghis Khan for many centuries – as they stand now, between us and the same savage hordes.
I reread Mein Kampf a dozen times, annotating it and indexing the main ideas. I wrote endless commentaries and plans for organizations. I drew cartoons which were designed for mass consumption, for the, millions of boobs who will not read more than a paragraph and have to get their ideas in comic book form, in order to transmit the facts I had learned about the Jews. I drew for the same boobs now lapping up the Jewish comic books, television programs, newspapers, movies and other propaganda media which presently pass for 'public information and entertainment'. I began to correspond with people whose names I found in conservative publications like The American Mercury and Common Sense. I even corresponded with Conde McGinley and Major Williams.
I commenced the writing of a 'great book' to be a compendium of almost all knowledge – the knowledge left out of my college education – the knowledge of life and Nature and the real laws of society and human affairs. But I found that I could never get started on the ambitious project, only the introduction. The subject was just too vast and too disorganized in my mind to allow me to get into the 'meat' of it. Endlessly I wrote and rewrote introductory chapters.
After several months of this monkish existence, I was invited to a diplomatic party in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, thirty miles away from the base by the worst kind of dirt road. I had met the American wife of the first secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Iceland, Cathy Amalie, when I had given her instructions in a silk-screen class as part of the leisure program. Her husband, Egil Amalie, the Norwegian first secretary, and I had become friends. He was a tiny dynamo of a man, full of culture and rough masculine charm, which I liked and admired.
At the party in his lovely home, all sorts of Germans, Dutchmen, Norwegians, Americans and other people in the military and diplomatic set were singing and talking in several languages. I was watching a group singing, when I saw a tall, impeccably dressed man appear in the door, with one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. He was introduced to me as the First Secretary of the German Embassy. Somehow, I got the idea that the girl was his wife, which immediately saddened me. She captivated me instantly and completely, so I was greatly relieved and happy to learn later that she was not the wife of the German, but an Icelandic girl named Thora Haligrimsson.
Tall, blonde, aristocratic in looks and bearing, she had the face of an angel and the figure of a French model. I asked her to dance in a perfect swivet of excitement. She melted to me as we danced and I knew in my soul that I had met THE woman in my life. We talked and I found she spoke perfect English, although she had spoken Icelandic only until she was eighteen, just five years before. She had been educated in England, had traveled the continent and had even gone to school in Hackettstown, New Jersey. She was subtle and intelligent, yet feminine beyond any woman I had ever known. There is no question but that I was then and there desperately in love with this beautiful Thora!
I told her of my broken marriage and my kids, but mostly about my book, beliefs and ambitions. I did not, of course, tell her I was a Nazi, yet, but I did make my racism and other Nazi ideas clear from the very first evening. She seemed fairly cool and handed me her engraved card when I took her home and said "Good night" at her gate.
When I got back to the base, fate took a hand in the affair. I got sick and broke out with red spots. The doctor diagnosed it as chicken pox, a disease I thought I had left behind with my roller skates and marbles! It is impossible for me to imagine that this improbable disease, coming at this particular and improbable time was not another of the inexplicable strokes of destiny I have now come almost to expect. Thora, too, had been intrigued and was unable to understand my failure to call her for all that time. So, as I learned later, she took action.
I got a call from the wife of the political officer of the American Legation in Iceland, Mrs Roland Beyer, inviting me to a Christmas party in her home in Reykjavik. I hardly knew the lady and was at first puzzled. Thora later told me that she and Ruth Beyer had cooked up the party mostly for my benefit! When I arrived at the party, there was Thora again, so lovely that I could not keep my eyes from her. It was Christmas Week and they were playing "The Messiah" on the hi-fi, but I did not even hear this, one of my favorites. I covered my face with my hand, ostensibly absorbed in the music, but actually peeking at the tall blonde. I later learned that even this was noticed by the conspirators and added to their calculations.
We talked some more and I learned that she had been married before to a man she said was a drunkard and a philanderer of the worst stripe. She also said she had a little boy, and I managed to make arrangements to take some pictures for her of the boy at her home. Fridthrik, her little boy, was a problem, to say the least! He had been brought up Icelandic style, with almost no discipline and nothing but 'permissive' and indulging love. He ran around wildly in the house, knocking things over and off tables and generally behaving like a spoiled brat. But what a handsome, adorable little brat! He was a baby Viking – blond as the snows on the Icelandic glaciers; bold, with a certain Nordic dignity and arrogance reminiscent of his fur-clad forebears. He was the perfect, scientific specimen to set next to a half-ape African black boy, to banish at one look the damnable 'equality' lie. The very noble bearing in his stance even at two years of age and the unbreakable will shining out of his sky-blue eyes simply cannot be found in the inferior races, nor can it be explained as purely the result of the 'cold weather', 'luck' or 'the Point Four Program'. I loved this little brat, despite his atrocious behavior.
I began to call on Thora regularly, whenever I could plow my jeep over the back-wrenching thirty miles of dirt and icy roads between Keflavik and Reykjavik. I spent many enchanted, tender hours with her alone in her private drawing room. She was not only charming, intelligent and lovable, but she also knew how to be loving. For the first time, I realized what a marriage should be like, and resolved to put an end to the 'marriage' which was nothing but a shaky business partnership which put a terrible cloud over the kids, who used to cry, listening to Judy and I in combat; a 'marriage' from which I had been kicked out for being 'under foot'.
I wrote and asked Judy for a divorce. She promptly and curtly replied that she would give it to me provided 'only' that she would be assured of steady and plentiful alimony: Four hundred dollars a month was what she demanded!
As soon as I realized how serious were my feelings, I also told Thora of what I planned to do in the world. I told her that I would be either a bum or a great man, and I honestly didn't know which. I assured her that I was not a 'normal' person and would never give her a 'normal' life. She replied without hesitation and with the utmost warmth that she didn't care what I did; she would follow me and love me even if we had to escape civilization and its rules on a 'banana boat'! For years, 'banana boat' were secret code words with us when things looked too tough – which was most of the time.
Nothing could quench the blazing fire between us, and after a passionate and wonderful courtship of only five months, we were married in Icelandic in the National Cathedral in Reykjavik, where her uncle is the Bishop of Iceland, on October 3, 1953.
For our honeymoon, we went to Berchtesgaden, Germany, which has been made into a U.S. recreation area. It is also the site of the "Obersalzberg", the home of the Fuehrer in the fairy-tale setting of the Bavarian Alps. I was appalled and disgusted to discover that the authorities are so fearful of the rise of Adolf Hitler to sainthood – a rise which is inevitable and which I have gotten well started – that they have razed the "Obersalzberg" to the ground and daily run bulldozers over the site to pulverize over and over again the tiny fragments from which they fear Hitlerites will one day make relics, as they do anyway!
Thora and I were blissfully happy together, although nothing like as happy as we would have been if we could have enjoyed such a trip after we had got to know one another better and love each other as deeply as we did later.
I was immensely proud of my wife as we strolled about in the story-book scenery of Bavaria. We had days and nights of unmixed fun on that honeymoon – playing like kids. We spoke Icelandic between ourselves in public, which hugely puzzled the guides who imagined they'd heard about everything. It was our private, secret language and we could discuss and make insulting remarks about everybody around us like two naughty kids, as we smiled sweetly at them in their ignorance.
This was not an unmixed blessing, however, for when we had a squabble over something, to keep it private, it was in Icelandic that we argued. She had a terrific advantage over me then, as my vocabulary is most rudimentary and I kept getting lost for words as she steam-rollered over my halting arguments. But even these rare and petty squabbles were fun, because of the 'making-up'. These were some of the most tender memories of my life.
Thora enjoyed being a woman; gloried in it, swam in it, and it brought out the best in me, as Nature intended. I learned at last to know what a female was supposed to be like, and it made me bitterly sorry for my first wife, Judith. I made the mistake of telling Thora this and thus discovered her only real fault: jealousy. She could not bear to hear sympathetic remarks about any other female, even little ones! I later found I couldn't even pass a cute little girl on the street and pat her little head, without my wife making remarks about it and asking why she was not getting patted.
Back in Iceland from our honeymoon, I requested and received another year's duty at the base. They were tickled to find anybody who wanted to stay up there, so I got one of the rare assignments to a family apartment at the base. I had been made commanding officer of the squadron and our apartment was directly below that of the commanding general's. It was very comfortable, if not luxurious.
Thora and I settled down to making a working marriage out of a love affair, a task which all couples face in the first year of marriage. It is usually difficult, the more so because it is usually unexpected. I had to learn that she could never get enough of being told how dearly I loved her and how beautiful she was; while she had to learn by rude experience that I waken rather violently, ready to fight', when anybody turns on the lights abruptly while I am sleeping. This habit grew from wild nights in Navy barracks. There were a million other petty things we had to learn about each other, many the hard way, so that the first year of marriage is far from being a poem or a dream.
Even with the usual petty annoyances, it was a rich and rewarding experience to be married to such a complete and loving woman. She taught me how to feel and behave like a male with females, overcoming my training in American ways for men, which always seem to involve an inferiority complex for husbands and fathers. The latter are always depicted in movies, television and comic strips as stumbling, humbling blow-hards who are so incompetent that they have to be constantly rescued, babied and swindled into survival by their patient and all-knowing 'help-mates'. The carry-over is inevitable and American husbands tend to be far too timid and self-effacing. This behavior in turn further aggravates the tendency of wives to be far too aggressive, businesslike and unfeminine.
On the other hand, having been brought up Icelandic-style, with almost no conception of discipline and duty, Thora could not understand my instant obedience and respect for my superior officers. Once, my immediate superior kept me talking almost an hour after work at the squadron, so that the lovely dinner my wife had hot and tempting for me became cold and greasy by the time I arrived. She was very angry and demanded to know why I was late. The explanation that "the captain kept me" sounded like a lame excuse to her. I should have been able to excuse myself and come right home! We had quite a scrap over that, in fact, just about the worst battle of the year. She simply could not fathom that I had to do anything whatsoever my superior ordered, outside of murder, and even that in certain circumstances. He could have kept me there all night, as he did once or twice, later.
There was the time we had an engine fire over the Atlantic as we were searching for survivors of a storm, and I had to land on a little bit of rock called Vestmanneyja, which stands in mid-ocean and has a landing strip only a – few hundred feet long, with cliffs at both ends. I had to reverse the good prop just before touchdown to avoid dropping off at the other end, and we had to stay at a little Icelandic inn in the tiny fishing village there. There were, of course, fishermen's daughters in that village. Thus did I have a devil of a time trying to, convince Thora that I had not fallen victim to the wiles of any of these willing damsels while we were so cold and lonesome, awaiting rescue from the mainland.
Sending the huge amount of money demanded by Judy every month made life a little tough for us, but we managed. In May, my wife gave birth at the base hospital to my first son, Lincoln Hallgrimmur, whom we came to call "Grampaw". I was overjoyed! After three daughters, at last a son.
At the end of the year the Navy had begun a severe cutback program. My first wife had gone to my senior, state-side commander and raised some hell about me, which didn't help my request to remain on active duty any longer, so I got 'riffed' out with only a month to prepare to carry the enormous financial burden of the $400 per month alimony, plus the expenses of a new and growing family – starting from scratch!