Interview with H. Keith Thompson on Francis Parker YockeyKeith Stimely
The following interview with H. Keith Thompson is based upon a typewritten transcription of the the original taped interview. Unless otherwise noted, additions in square brackets are in the typescript as well. There are also a number of hand-written corrections and additions on the typescript. Since the typescript was seen by Thompson, I am assuming that either he made these corrections himself or at least approved of them, so I have incorporated them where legible. For more on Thompson’s life and work, see Kerry Bolton’s excellent essay “H. Keith Thompson, Jr.“
Sam Francis, who first showed me this interview, drew my attention to the final question about the potential audience of a fascist intellectual journal. In 1986, Thompson estimated the potential audience as 100. In 2004, Francis remarked with some satisfaction that The Occidental Quarterly, which he believed closely corresponded with Stimely’s vision, enjoyed several times that readership in print. Ten years later, Counter-Currents/North American New Right enjoys many thousands of regular readers. The times they are a-changin’.
Keith Stimely: This is a test: 1-2-3. Say something.
Keith Thompson: Fuck this machine.
KS: Alright, we’ll see if that was recorded.
This is a recording of an interview with Mr. Harald Keith Thompson, Jr., conducted by Keith Stimely, “somewhere in Pennsylvania,” on the 13th of March, 1986. The old man’s getting nervous already. OK. Do you have any preliminary words?
KT: Yes: I have always distrusted electronic machines of this nature, because I know that these tapes can be altered, split, put back together, and one can be made to say things that were not remotely in their mind; in fact this has become an entire industry — producing altered tapes and trying to get people of various stages of notoriety quoted with words which they would not remotely have used. I’m sure this would be such an instance.
KS: Now Mr. Thompson, how many times did you have sex with Francis Parker Yockey, and of what sort was this sex?
KT: I decline to answer that question, on the grounds of various Constitutional amendments
KS: Very good; now we’ll get serious. I believe you first heard of Mr. Yockey — if not by that name, his real name from Frederick Charles Weiss. Is that true?
KT: Yes, it was either that way or Weiss heard it from me. I just can’t remember anymore because I’m old and senile.
KS: Well, can you remember the circumstances of your first meeting with Yockey, under the name “Varange,” which was in New York City I believe, to which Weiss dragged you, or got you; I believe you told me some years ago that it was at a cafeteria, or something, not far from your offices at the time. Could you elaborate?
KT: No — it was a rather expensive luncheonette, as a matter of fact, then directly opposite my office at 16 East 52nd Street in New York City. I’m trying to remember the name of the place. It was run by Jews, but they had a fairly good luncheon plate; it was generally a nice lamb stew and a tossed salad, and, you know, a dessert that was not too fattening, and they gave you many refills of coffee without asking; the waitress was always there. Of course you tipped well, and those tabs were never small, and they were always picked up by me; Weiss was very skillful at arranging for others to pick up tabs. And of course Yockey was broke. But that’s where it was — in that coffee shop. I’m trying to remember the name but I can’t. It was a Yiddish name.
KS: Had you been informed by Weiss ahead of time that you were to meet a “mystery man,” or anything like that? Had he given you any word of who this person was that he wanted you to meet, and why?
KT: No, I don’t believe so. I think Weiss was, quite as usual, quite drunk on that Greek wine that he drank so much of, made of shellac or something like that . . . “Maravitas,” I think it was called. I don’t think he had much to say except that he was across there, waiting for somebody to pick up his lunch tab.
KS: So you met Yockey. At this time you didn’t know that his name was Yockey, is that correct?
KT: I’m not sure . . . I’m not sure whether he was introduced as Yockey or as “Varange,” or as both. But I think it was as “Varange,” yes.
KS: Was there a copy of Imperium at hand there?
KT: No, I think there was just three menus and a bottle of wine.
KS: Three menus and a bottle of wine. OK. At this time were you told that Varange/Yockey was the author of a book called Imperium?
KT: Oh, I’d already known that.
KS: You had? Through what source or sources?
KT: I undoubtedly had seen the book by then.
KS: Through Weiss, presumably.
KT: Yes, yes, yes.
KS: I understand the Weiss’s maintained a carton of copies, or something.
KT: Well, a carton is probably an exaggeration. I think they probably had ten.
KS: Could you give me a brief sketch of your first impressions of Yockey?
KT: Well, they were very favorable. He was a very pleasant young man, white intense, and I don’t now remember the nature of the conversation, but I think it was political. He was, I was delighted to find, as anti-American as I was; I couldn’t say he was more so, because I don’t think it would be possible for one to be more so. But we got along very well. Weiss was never much help in such matters, because he would always get off on extraneous issues, such as his pursuit of elderly women, etc.
KS: How was Yockey dressed at this first meeting, and what were your general impressions of his style of dress, the way he carried himself, etc.?
KT: Well, his dress, by my standards, which is sort of one notch above Bowery bum, was far from elegant but perfectly satisfactory — oh, such as might come from Klein’s on 14th Street, rather than one of the fancy Madison Avenue salons.
KS: Yockey was not a vegetarian, was he?
KT: Not to my knowledge. I don’t remember what we had to eat [at that first meeting]; he may well have had eggs . . . I don’t know where that leaves one, whether that is vegetarian or not, to eat eggs. But, no, I think he ate perfectly normal things; he drank both tea and coffee, as I recall.
KS: Any wine?
KT: Not much on alcohol, no, to my recollection.
KS: And he did not smoke?
KT: No, he did not smoke. I never saw him smoke.
KS: Do you anything about the Yockey book, Der Feind Europas — did you know anything about it prior to the last few years’ publicity attendant to its re-publication? This was the book originally published in about 1953 in German only, in a very limited edition all copies of which were quickly seized.
KT: Yes, I think I paid for it, as a matter of fact. I believe that I financed that edition. As to whether I ever saw a copy of it, I don’t know; I have a feeling that I saw a copy of a manuscript at one time, but it’s so long ago that I can’t be sure. But I remember there was a steady outflow of money on my part toward various projects of Yockey’s, either directly to him or via Weiss. I always preferred it to be directly to him, but that was not always easy, because one never knew exactly where he was, and I was very hesitant to send it via Weiss, because I was sure that not all of it would “trickle through,” to put it mildly.
KS: Could you tell me something about the triangular relationship between Yockey, Virginia Allen — the receptionist at the office [in New York] of Dr. Harry Benjamin, and Dr. Benjamin?
KT: Well, I believe that Virginia Allen brought Yockey to Benjamin in the first place. She was something more than a receptionist; she was obviously a woman in whom Benjamin had such interest as his age would permit him. And they had little Saturday-afternoon soirees at his office, and Yockey and Virginia attended those sessions. What exactly went on I don’t know, because I don’t think I ever attended personally, or was invited to attend one of those sessions, but I know that Yockey did, and George Sylvester Viereck attended now and then.
KS: These were simply “talk” sessions?
KT: I just don’t know whether it was all talk or some action. I think Dr. Benjamin liked to see people doing things. Which is only natural, after all. Talk is cheap.
KS: Was Virginia Allen a prostitute, or part-time prostitute?
KT: Well, I can’t say, because I never screwed her. I’m sure that Yockey did, but if any money flowed I’m sure it flowed from Allen to Yockey rather than vice versa, so I don’t know whether you’d call that prostitution, I don’t know. I think not: I think he genuinely was attracted to Virginia Allen; she had a husband who was apparently not up to her physical needs, or something.
KS: Was this husband — and were the Allens from Baltimore, and did Yockey take her with him from staying in their house in Baltimore? There is something — a great deal in the FBI files, relatively speaking — about Yockey staying, oh, about 1952 — possibly ’51, I think ’52 — staying at the home of a couple in Baltimore, and Yockey then leaving with the mistress of the house, the husband thereupon being extremely agitated, and talking a great deal to the FBI and giving the FBI various papers Yockey left behind, including a copy of Imperium. Do you think this was Mr. and Mrs. Allen?
KT: No, definitely not. I’m sure that that was a Dr. Johnson, unless a pseudonym was being used.
I believe Virginia Allen’s husband was named Charles, and they lived in an apartment on, approximately, East End Avenue or First Avenue at about 87th to 88th Street in Manhattan, New York City. The FBI once asked me about the Johnsons, and obviously had a great file on him; there was some sort of an altercation between Yockey and this Dr. Johnson, and it was my understanding that Dr. Johnson may have been in some way injured, physically, in that matter, but it was such a non-political matter that it was not one in which I had any personal interest.
KS: Is it correct to say that to your knowledge Yockey did not have any contact, not to speak of collaboration, with James Madole?
KT: I believe that he never met James Madole, and that, while Madole published some things that he had written, this sort of thing was always conducted through Weiss, because Weiss always paid Madole off for anything which Madole used, under whatever name it was published. Weiss would foot the bill. I don’t think that would have been the case with Yockey at all, and I don’t think the personalities would mesh.
KS: I’d like to talk about the so-called “Wolfgang Sarg Affair,” very briefly, without going into the content of the Sarg letter and Yockey’s open letter to Sarg, which we know. If you could tell me some of the background toward Wolfgang Sarg’s writing this letter about Francis “Jaeckel”– getting so many facts wrong in this letter. Sarg of course was the self-styled head of Natinform, the Nationalist Information Service operating out of West Germany, and he claimed to have access to information about all sorts of people. Did Sarg write this document, which was I believe addressed to you, was in the form of a letter to you which was widely circulated. Did he write this document at your behest? When Yockey made your acquaintance, is it true that Yockey was quite curious to know what impression he had made over the past few years in Europe among European nationalists, and did you therefore oblige him by writing various people, including Sarg, to get their impressions of Yockey?
KT: Yes, that’s exactly what transpired. I did write to various people. I had known Sarg. Sarg was a former German Wehrmacht soldier, and a right-wing activist, and had been in various legal difficulties. And I filed an affidavit as a “Friend of the Court” — it was some West German court — because of the suppression of Sarg’s rights in some political matter, but it was in no way related to Yockey. The report which he, Sarg, sent me on Yockey stemmed, I believe he said at the time not from his personal knowledge, but from a report supplied to him by Natinform-England, of which Natinform-Germany was some sort of subsidiary, over the signature of one F. X. Barron.
KS: F. X. Barron. Had you ever heard of an . . . well, I’ve heard of an F. X. Barron or an A. F. X. Barron . . .
KT: It is A. F. X. Barron . . .
KS: A. F. X. Barron — two “r”s, I believe.
KT: One, I would guess.
KS: At any rate . . . OK. So Yockey saw the Sarg letter which was addressed to you. I imagine you showed him your copy, is that correct? Just give his initial reaction. Oh, was he in America at the time?
KT: No, at the time he was in Beirut, and that is where I sent him a copy. And he wrote a very vituperative personal letter to Sarg. I don’t recall now the content, it’s with my papers at the Hoover Institution. It was quite brief and to the point; it attacked Sarg’s name, which translates in English as “Coffin,” and I think charged that he was “plying the filthy trade of his ancestors,” or words to that effect. In any case, the Yockey letter contained nothing of a great importance, but some sort of expression of personal vituperation at what Sarg had done.
KS: Could you tell me something about the circumstances of the letter you wrote to Dean Acheson — I should say, rather, the letter that you collaborated on with Yockey — signed by you in your capacity as the head of the Committee for International Justice. Just tell me something about this collaboration, without going in to the contents of the letter, which I have.
KT: Well, at the time I was a registered foreign agent, representing Generalmajor Otto-Ernst Remer and his party, the Sozialistische Reichspartei (SRP), a very strong post-war German political party. And as a registered agent I was at the time drafting a letter to Acheson on behalf of the prisoners incarcerated at Spandau, and I was in Yockey’s presence at the time as I recall, and he made some emendations and suggestions as to the wording, and things that might be added, all of which I incorporated into the final draft. Yockey knew that I was required by law to mention anyone who assisted me in the furtherance of my activities as a registered foreign agent. So I did so in my foreign agent’s registration reports: reported that I had been assisted by one “Frank Healey,” which was the name that Yockey was using in New York at the time.
KS: Could you tell me something of the introduction of Yockey to the George Sylvester Viereck circle in New York City at this time — 1952-’54, roughly: who he met there, what their reactions were to him, how he reacted to these people, subjects that were discussed, etc.?
KT: Well, I brought him to Viereck, because he was interested in Viereck, this was a name that was known to Yockey. We visited once or twice, the three of us together, and then Yockey would come more often, occasionally with Virginia Allen. The relationship had the additional endorsement of Dr. Harry Benjamin, who was a very close friend of George Sylvester Viereck, and it was through this particular circle, which was essentially literary more than political — but some of both — that he came to meet a friend of Viereck’s and mine, a Miss Jane Shields, with whom he had a very brief relationship.
KS: Viereck’s name for Yockey was . . .
KT: “The Orange Boy” — which comes roughly from the sound of “Varange,” in the French idiom.
KS: We know that Viereck had written a poem I believe on Nuremberg — and I think that was the title of it — the manuscript of which Yockey looked over and changed one word; I believe he changed “Jehovah” to “Odin,” and the original of that manuscript is currently with the Viereck/Thompson Collection at the University of Iowa. Correct?
KT: No, I think he changed something to “Jaweh.”
KS: From “Jaweh” (or “Jehovah”) to Odin, I believe. Or maybe it was “Wotan” — yes, I think he changed it to Wotan, that was it.
KT: Maybe. I just don’t remember.
KS: Could you tell me something of the Hazel Guggenheim relationships? Who she was, briefly, what she liked, and Yockey’s story about and with her. I believe you mentioned one time . . . I showed you a copy of a memo drawn up after an interview with Douglas Kaye about Yockey, in which he claimed various things about this, and you said that some of it was wrong. I believe you said, commenting on this memo that you had in fact introduced Yockey to Hazel Guggenheim. Could you just explain a little of this.
KT: Yes, I made the introduction. Hazel Guggenheim was the sister of the well-known artist Peggy Guggenheim, and they were the children of — I think his name was — Simon [Benjamin—G.J.] Guggenheim, who with his wife was lost on the steamship Titanic disaster. I think their fortune stemmed from copper. In any case, Hazel Guggenheim was an oft-married lady of rather large proportions, with dyed blonde hair, who wore heavy purple mascara and smoked cigarettes in a long cigarette-holder, and who was quite an unbelievable Greenwich Village type in many ways. But she had a luxury apartment approximately at 5th Avenue and I believe it was 72nd Street, which was filled with antique furnishings and silk draperies and the like; she was a woman of considerable means. She had just come, I believe, from a marriage with a young man named McKinley, which had been of very short duration. And she always was clever enough to have her lawyers draw up marital agreements whereby the husbands would be very limited in what they could possibly get out of the marriage dollar-wise, in the case of a divorce. In any case, she liked young men, and the idea of having fascist young men was of particular interest and appeal to her. She was generous and there’s no question but that Yockey received some financial remuneration for any services that he rendered to her.
KS: Essentially, when Yockey was not in New York you did not know — or did you know? — where to reach him directly. Did you have to go through Weiss? Also, would he leave New York without any prior notice, you having to find out that afterwards?
KT: Yes, he was very secretive in his movements. It’s not that I had to find out through Weiss so much as that I had to wait for Yockey to contact me. He spent some time with my parents and myself in a garden apartment in Chatham, New Jersey, and he also stayed at one time at an apartment I maintained in New York City. And I believe that that was at 433 East 82nd Street, if my memory still serves me — it was so long ago. He also stayed in a West Side hotel, roughly in the 42nd Street area — the name slips me now, I made a note of it at one time — under the name of “Frank Healey.” And he spent some time at the Weiss farm, but that was rather limited because living conditions there were quite primitive, and Mrs. Weiss being certifiably insane I think annoyed him with her foolish chattering, and the absolutely unsanitary conditions under which food was prepared and served there. Plus the fact that the Weiss farm was strategically located just across the road from the home of Sanford Griffith, a top agent and representative of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. That could not have put Yockey at much ease, because the Weiss’s maintained steady traffic with this man: they thought they were using him, but in fact, of course, he was using them.
KS: Do you know if Yockey ever met Griffith, through the Weiss’s or at the Weiss farm or in that area, or anything?
KT: Not in my presence. I have no specific knowledge of what may have happened, whether that may have happened or not. But I’m quite sure that they would have met, because Griffith would have been most anxious to meet Yockey, and probably vice versa. Yockey was always interested in people of any shade of political opinion who were in at all strategic positions, and certainly Griffith was at the time. Griffith had been a long-time agent for Jewish entities, and was a professional witness for the Attorney General of the United States in the Mass Sedition Trial, and evidence against Griffith in the form of photographic copies of checks paid to Griffith by the Attorney General or one of his representatives were published in a book by Joe Kamp which exposed Griffith’s activities. Griffith tried to infiltrate Viereck while Viereck was the literary advisor to the German Library of Information before World War II, using the Press Club in New York City, of which they were both members, and would approach Viereck and talk with him, and then was called as a witness when Viereck was tried for violation of the Foreign Agent’s Registration Act and testified to a mass of lies as to what Viereck had told him about “the vast spy activities, etc.” It was all a paid job by the U.S. Government under pressure from professional Jewish groups.
KS: Could you provide a rough estimate of the amount of money that you gave, or thought you were giving, to Yockey over the course of the period of time that you knew him, whether this was to him directly, or through Weiss?
KT: Ten to twenty thousand dollars.
KS: But you do not know how much of that actually reached him?
KT: No, I have no way of knowing, because at times when I would see Yockey I could hardly press for any sort of an accounting, and I wasn’t interested in any accounting, or embarrassing him in any way. And I wouldn’t know how much Weiss paid over; maybe he paid all of it over . . . but Weiss would often solicit money from me; in fact, at the time he died, Weiss owed me approximately $15,000 in a very elaborate financial transaction involving mortgages to a group of houses in Croton-on-Hudson, and when he died quite suddenly I was left technically with the title to four houses which were even then in process of foreclosure by the banks which held the mortgages. Thanks to a skillful attorney, we were able to accomplish sales of those four properties, pay off the mortgage, and get out approximately one-half to two-thirds of what Weiss owed to me and what Weiss owed to the lawyer concerned.
KS: What do you think the future holds for Thomas Starmley?
KT: Well, I think that’s entirely up to Thomas Starmley. He might have a very — Thomas Starmley, I must add here, is a canine — and he might have a very brilliant future, and raise litters and litters, or he might be cut down in his prime: one never knows, these are the chances that we take in life.
KS: Do you think the drastic step of a name-change should be taken for this canine, in view of the treacherous betrayal of friendship recently engaged in by his namesake?
KT: Morally, yes. Practically, no, because canines get used to a name, particularly over a period of a year or more, and it’s really very unkind and confusing to them to make a basic change in that name. Some small change might be thought of – but nothing too basic.
KS: About how often would you see Yockey, and over the course of what period of years, beginning in 1952? In other words, could you please include in your response when, as you recall, when was the last time you ever saw him?
KT: That’s very difficult for me, without [access to] my papers, which are at the Hoover Institution and at the University of Iowa. I really think that I met Yockey for the first time before 1952. As to the last time I saw him, I’m just not sure. I think it was at a dinner meeting later in the 1950s, but those dates escape me now. Incidentally, there is at the Hoover Institution a manuscript chapter, a sample chapter, of a novel which was to include Yockey among the characters, which I was going to write in conjunction with Lyle Stuart, the publisher. A sample chapter was written and submitted to Ken McCormick of Doubleday, and their decision was that they didn’t think it had sufficiently broad interest to warrant publication. Nothing further was done. But anyone running across that manuscript must keep in mind that it is entirely fictitious, and was intended as a novel.
KT: Does this chapter itself mention the character Yockey?
KS: Yes, it does — by name.
KT: Looking through your papers at the Hoover Institution, I did not notice this in the Yockey file — and would have if it was there. Would it be in the Lyle Stuart file there?
KS: I don’t know. It was typewritten on green paper. I’m sure it is there, but it may not be in the Yockey file; it would probably more likely be in the Weiss file, since he was the central character in the proposed novel, not Yockey. But it’s of no real significance because the events and circumstances alluded to are entirely fictional, and bear no relationship to fact in any sense; it was intended as a novel.
KS: It might nevertheless be of value purely for the impressions which it demonstrates.
KT: The impressions are fictitious. . .
KS: The impressions are fictitious. Incidentally, this is the first time I have ever heard of this. I seem to recall — I went through the Weiss file, and other files there — a manuscript for which there was either no title or no explanation; it was quite curious — maybe that’s to what you are referring. At any rate, let’s move on . . .
KT: . . . it went into communist associations, of Weiss’s and Yockey’s also. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of. I don’t think there could have been more than ten pages. I believe it was carbon-copy typewritten, I think on green paper. But of no practical effect, since it was never published and was fiction.
KS: When I write my novel, Post Office Box U.S.A., what pseudonym do you think would be good — we’ve already covered this; we have “Willard E. Puto” for a certain man, we have “Edward Markie” for a certain man, we have “Dr. Charles W. Edgar” for a certain man, etc. — what do you think would be an appropriate pseudonym for the ungrateful swine Thomas Francis?
KT: Oh, I don’t know; whatever “Francis” spelled backwards comes up to.
KT: Mmmm . . . sounds possibly Jewish.
KS: In line with your comment about communist associations of both Weiss and Yockey, you once told me that you had the idea, and you hold it to this day, that Yockey was involved with the Eastern Bloc in some way as a courier, specifically with Czechoslovakia. Could you please tell me why you believe this, what the evidence is?
KT: Only what he told me. The party which I represented as their registered agent in this country, the SRP, had communist affiliations. Almost any right-wing entity in Germany, to get any power and money had to reach to the East Germans to some extent or other, and there existed funds available to finance right-wing activities in West Germany, the motive of the East German being to embarrass and cause difficulties for the West Germans exclusively; they were naturally not interested in promoting fascism in any form — although the East German secret police consisted in part measure of many former members of the SS and SD who’d gone to the East Zone and were living there, some of whom I knew. So the idea of taking support where you can find it is one which very practical. Even today, if the Soviet Union would care to finance any activities of mine, I would rush to the bank with the check and hope that it was good.
KS: Specifically about Yockey and the Czechs, the courier role . . .
KT: He once mentioned that he had a paid job as a courier for a Czech intelligence officer or agency; he didn’t know what he was transporting and it was simply a matter of taking papers of some sort from Europe to the United States, and perhaps in the other direction [as well]. It’s very common that East Bloc countries have courier services for sensitive papers; the CIA has such services all over the world, and there’s no reason to expect that the Eastern Bloc countries did not have these services. Their services of course were on behalf of the Soviet Union, their principal; little Czechoslovakia itself was not much interested in anything, but they operated a service at the request of the KGB.
KS: Can you tell me how you learned of Yockey’s capture in San Francisco in June of 1960 — from whom you learned it, whether it was from a news account, or just briefly tell what transpired from that time until shortly after his death at the end of the initial phase of this episode, the latter phase, the following phase, being Scharff’s return to the United States in August, and giving press interviews. But I’m concerned here with June 1960: what was your role, if any, in the period when Yockey was incarcerated, between his capture and his death?
KT: Well, it’s difficult to recall those facts without reference to my own papers. I believe that the first account I saw of Yockey’s arrest was in the New York Post. But almost simultaneously therewith, I heard about it from Weiss, and through people in the Carto circles, operating a newsletter called Right at that time, particularly a man named Norris Holt from Sausalito, who was some kind of a liason man, and Carto wrote a number of letters to me on the subject over the signature I believe of “Bradford Martin” as editor of Right newsletter. An effort was made to do something for Yockey, but events moved so quickly that it was never possible to do so.
KS: Do something on the order of what?
KT: Well, arrange suitable legal assistance, for one thing. Yockey did not have proper legal counsel at any point. And his sisters seemed to be rather ineffectual, and the West coast press was active in making a huge story out of it with banner headlines. I had a long telephone interview, it must have lasted an hour, with a reporter named George Draper, I believe of the San Francisco Chronicle or Examiner, I don’t remember which, about Yockey and my relationships with him over the years and what I felt about him and what I felt about the various charges. I see nothing wrong in having five passports. If I could I’d have five passports.
[The proceedings are interrupted by a curious English Setter.]
KS: Thomas Starmley, say something.
KS: He’s more interested in sniffing this microphone with a viewpoint toward seeing if it’s edible. The microphone is not edible. OK.
Again I’ll ask a question — we got cut off by the end of the tape. The question is: had you ever heard of Alexander Scharff prior to the ‘‘episode”?
KT: No. My last contact with Yockey was a rather brief telephone call; I think it was probably in 1958 or 1959, I’m not sure. In any case, I’m sure that he did not know Scharff at that time, and that probably press accounts of his relations with Scharff are accurate — that he was simply a person Yockey met, at a gambling casino or elsewhere, and who was essentially weak and available, and Yockey saw some point in taking up with him, to have a cover-address of some sort which he may have wanted at the time.
KS: Could you tell me something about Yockey’s so-called “Cuban connection,” if there was one in fact. Did Yockey ever go down to either pre-Castro or post-revolution Cuba? Do you have any reason to believe that he met with either Castro himself or any leaders of Castro’s movement? Was he pro-Castro, to you?
KT: Yes. And I think he did go to Cuba, and he had some connection with a Cuban journalist by the name of Rodrigues. And when Lyle Stuart went down to Cuba on a trip I asked Stuart to see if he could possibly locate this journalist, and he was unable to do so even though he had connections with the Cuban government. In fact, he wrote me that they considered the matter very “touchy,” so that was not pursued. But I imagine that Yockey’s activities in Cuba were very minor; for one thing I don’t think he spoke a word of Spanish, and that’s rather essential there. I don’t know what his Cuban connections really were, whether it was journalistic, or whether it possibly involved gambling casinos. By that date the gambling operations were taken over by the Castro government, and most of the American gangsters [were] run out. I really have no specific information on that.
KS: Did Yockey ever mention, did you two ever discuss, Senator Joseph McCarthy? This would have been early in your acquaintanceship with Yockey, 1952-’54, when McCarthy was a real factor, a big thing, when he had power. Specifically, did Yockey ever mention to you having written a speech for McCarthy, entitled “America’s Two Ways of Waging War”? This was a comparison as to how America waged the Second World War with “Total Victory” and “Unconditional Surrender” in mind, and then went on to wage the Korean War with nothing of the kind in mind.
KT: Yes, he mentioned having done some speech-writing for someone in the McCarthy circle, but I have no reason to believe that he ever met McCarthy personally or that McCarthy was sufficiently equipped, intellectually, to grasp anything that Yockey would have had to say. McCarthy was more or less a small-town politician, and while anti-communist, was more interested in using anti-communism for political advantage and to advance his own career in typical American fashion, rather than being a theorist or any type of a leader. The whole McCarthy scene was so invaded by Cohns, Schines, and the like, that nothing really useful could have come out of the whole McCarthy picture. So it was a waste of Yockey’s energy to submit a speech which undoubtedly was never even considered by McCarthy.
KS: Did Yockey ever have anything good to say at all, or tell you that he saw some sort of promise for the cause . . . please excuse my dog. I’m getting him out of this room
KS: Because he’s starting to eat things that he shouldn’t eat . . .
KT: Oh . . .
KS: Like plastic pieces.
KT: Oh, he chewed that up down there?
KS: I don’t know what that is. You see, he’s going already on this stand for the microphone, I had to fish that out of his mouth
KS: OK. Uh, did Yockey ever have anything, in other words, good to say about any prominent, Establishment, Republican/Democrat, politician on the American scene at that time?
KT: No. Yockey knew the United States for the cesspool which it was and is. He had no respect for it or for any of its petty-politicians. I never heard him to say anything favorable about any of them. Naturally, he supported positions taken by some of the better American politicians, for example, Senator Theodore G. Bilbo, who was a personal hero of mine, who knew how to call a spade a spade. And a few others, like Senator Wherry, and Gerald Nye, who were useful. Even old Hamilton Fish had proved to be useful to the Germans in World War II, by extending his franking privilege to some of their propaganda. But Yockey knew what the Americans were, and he was particularly contemptuous of the American “right-wing,” because he’d had first-hand experience in the Gerald L. K. Smith organization, and found out what a racket that was.
KS: Could you tell me what you know about Yockey’s experience with Gerald L. K. Smith? I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that this was before your involvement with Yockey, I believe in 1950 or thereabouts. Did he ever tell you what his experience had been?
KS: Not specifically, except that he obviously had written, and maybe even delivered some talks, for that organization. But he was particularly put off by a woman named “Pearl” something-or-other, who I think . . .
KS: Opal. Opal Tanner White.
KT: Yes, that’s the broad. And the general forces around Smith, and came to consider Smith just a financial opportunist using the whole “Cross and Flag” structure to achieve self-promotion. But Yockey was with him I think probably for just a few months at one point, and may have written some of their material.
KS: Revilo Oliver once told me that Smith had been caught in a blatant fraud involving his propagation of a forgery, allegedly some document in Latin from the Church Fathers, or something, I can’t quite recall, which was a blatant fraud: it was supposed to prove something which supported Smith’s line, and Oliver pointed out this fraud to him. Among the things that Oliver pointed out was that this document “in Latin” happened to be in Italian, Smith thereupon claiming that he didn’t know the difference.
KS: OK. To your knowledge, did Yockey ever mention Lawrence Dennis to you, and to your knowledge did Dennis and Yockey ever meet or have any kind of contact?
KT: Yes, he did mention Dennis. Dennis was at the time in a circle around me and around Viereck. We met frequently in Viereck’s apartment, with Dennis, with men like Dr. Alfred Kinsey, and Professor Charles Callan Tansill, Harry Elmer Barnes, and other historians, when they were passing through town. And Yockey was included in some of those dinners, most of which I hosted, by the way. I used to meet rather frequently for dinner with Lawrence Dennis at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, but always insisted on paying for it myself — I paid Dennis, and he had to sign the check, because he was a member and I was not. He was always happiest, it seemed, eating in the Harvard Club rather than eating out. But I had no reason to believe that Dennis and Yockey ever met, but I can’t prove or disprove that.
KS: How did Yockey mention Dennis? I’ve always been extremely curious about this: surely — especially in the circles in which Yockey was active and interested just prior to America’s entrance into the war — Yockey certainly was familiar with Dennis’s book The Dynamics of War and Revolution; I would imagine was enthused by it, taken by it, especially since so much of the book derived from Spengler, as Yockey’s own later work did. So I would have thought that in the ‘50s, especially as he was acquainted with you and knowing those with whom you were acquainted, well acquainted, he would have expressed a great desire to meet Lawrence Dennis. But he never did this to you?
Not that I recall. Dennis wasn’t the easiest person to meet. You simply didn’t present yourself at the Harvard Club and ask for him. He was fairly elusive, and didn’t want to talk to just anyone. Such a meeting could have been arranged easily enough, but I don’t know that Yockey spent so much time in New York City that he even knew that Dennis was in New York City at the time. I had heard him discuss Dennis’s work — I believe it was The Coming American Fascism, if I’m not mistaken — and he was interested in Dennis’s relationship with General Robert E. Wood, because Yockey would have very much liked to have had a sponsor, such as Robert E. Wood was for Lawrence Dennis. But they were not on the same wave-length. He may have met Dennis, but Dennis never mentioned it to me, or to Viereck; I think he would have been likely to, were that the case.
KS: Did Yockey ever mention Harry Elmer Barnes, or evince any familiarity with the post-World War II revisionist writings and activities of Barnes?
KT: I think he may have met Barnes, in Viereck’s apartment. I never discussed Barnes with Yockey. Barnes was more or less a member of the Viereck circle, and Yockey may well have met him there. In fact, I think I can probably recall one evening when he did, and there were quite a number of people there — including Charles Jackson, the author of The Lost Weekend; a number of literary and political figures were there.
KS: When Yockey stayed with you, either at your apartment or your parents’ house . . . give me a description, if you can recall, of a typical day. At your parents’ house, anyway, he slept in the same bedroom with you I know, two beds . . . If you could reach back, I don’t know if it’s possible, and single out a particular day: what was he up to that day, what did he do, how did he spend his day, what was he working on, etc.?
KT: Well, in general he accompanied me in to New York, I went to my business activities, and he went to whatever activities he had planned for the day, and we would meet late-afternoon and then come back out on the commuters’ train, back out to New Jersey. Neither of us spent much time in my parents’ apartment; it was not conducive to much unless one liked to watch television. They set a good table, and they were very nice to Yockey, and Yockey was very nice to them. But they didn’t understand any relationship which I had with Yockey, and I don’t think politics were even discussed in that house. Yockey had his own appointments, his own connections; he probably ran off to Virginia Allen as soon as he got off the ferryboat to Manhattan in those days, from the Lackawana train, which had taken us to Hoboken. I would go to my office, and he would go off somewhere on his own, meeting God knows whom. I never interrogated him about his business, nor he about mine.
KS: The FBI interviewed you several times, is that correct — this was at the time of your foreign agency for the SRP, and of the Committee for International Justice. And I believe there was a rather short-lived Committee for the Survival of Western Culture. About how many times, and through what span of years, did the FBI talk to you about anything relative to the right-wing, and were they in fact mainly interested in Yockey or the Yockey connection when they did so?
KT: I think they were mainly interested in my connections, when I was a registered agent. They were following me around, tapping phones, doing all sorts of things which I found out about very shortly thereafter from some people who had been interrogated by them. They were interested in Viereck [too], and I think Yockey was probably a #3 priority with them. But I would say they talked to me on, oh, perhaps three or four occasions over-all. One of them was entirely devoted to Donald A. Swan, who was an associate of mine, and a figure in the — I can’t call it the “right-wing,” really — he was not concerned with American politics, except that he was concerned with the segregation issue, on an anthropological/zoological level, and did a lot of writing for journals of that type. During that time he was an enlisted man in the Air Force Reserve, which apparently was the essential interest of the FBI. I believe that he was terminated from that Reserve because of his connections with me and others. They were interested in Yockey — anything I had to say about him. Of course I would never give them the right information about anyone, I wouldn’t give them the right time of day. Rather than refuse to talk to them, which one may do, I found that it causes much more difficulty and frustration if you feed them a line of shit, which they happily pass on to other agencies. And if you can get them running off at old ratholes left and right, why, you divert their energies from what may be the work of essential people.
KS: I agree. Did Yockey to your knowledge ever meet Eustace Mullins? Did he ever do so in your presence?
KS: Mullins did tell me over the phone a few years back that he had met Yockey — and I don’t recall whether this was the first and only meeting, or the last of several or many — shortly before Yockey was captured, and this was at the Weiss farm. At any rate, did Yockey to your knowledge at this time, the mid/late-1950s, at the time when the International Association for the Advancement of Eugenics and Ethnology (IAAEE) was active under the de facto leadership of Donald Swan and involving people like A. James Gregor . . . was Yockey involved in the IAAEE circle at all, and in particular, did he ever meet A. James Gregor?
KT: Not to my knowledge. I knew Gregor at that time, and Swan also, but I don’t think either of them evidenced any knowledge of Yockey’s work, or of the man. Gregor, incidentally, was not an easy person to meet. He didn’t like to meet people. It was early in his career, and he was very cautious about everything. When Gregor went to Europe I gave him a couple letters of introduction, one to General Remer, who I think he went and met; another to an SS Major friend of mine, Dr. Kurt Gross, who I know he went and met. I tried to facilitate his activities in any way I could, but his interests were largely in Italian Fascism and not in German political movements. But in answer to the basic question, I have no reason to believe that Yockey knew these people personally, although he may have known of them. I don’t think he would have been terribly interested in the work of the IAAEE, because it is really so highly respectable, so technical, and so scholarly and non-political that I don’t think he would have been involved in that.
KS: Let’s talk about George Sylvester Viereck a bit. I’d like to know when you first met Viereck, if you can come up with the exact year, and briefly the circumstances. What led you to your first encounter with Viereck?
KT: I’d rather not go on record as to anything before World War II, because I’m, uh . . .
KS: . . . don’t explain.
KT: . . . vulnerable . . .
KS: . . . don’t even say that. Forget about it. OK.
Um, you and Weiss printed, in 1961, Yockey’s essay The World in Flames, under the imprint of LeBlanc Publishers, distributed by Polzin Publications of Parksburg, Pennsylvania. What was the source of the manuscript that you typeset from?
KT: It was a typewritten manuscript, in English, and edited to some extent by me. I think it may have been a first carbon copy rather than an original, but I can’t say for sure. I had that manuscript until perhaps fifteen or twenty years ago, when cleaning out my printing files in my office, the job tickets for the printing job of that period were all destroyed; that manuscript was undoubtedly in there, because we set the type on it, I believe.
KS: Yes, there’s a carbon, a carbon or a photocopy of that manuscript in your papers in the Hoover Institution, from which I made a copy which is now in my papers. That was originally titled simply An Estimate of the World Situation, and then added to it was the overall title The World in Flames — was that your idea?
KS: That was your idea. At any rate, a comparison of the manuscript with the printed version shows exactly what editing was done.
Did Yockey ever show you, or give you knowledge of, any other manuscripts that he was working on at any time, either of a political or of an erotic nature?
KT: Erotic, no. Political, I think he did, and I think he solicited money, as I remember for the printing of some materials, but the titles are past me now. I don’t know, and I may tend to confuse a manuscript by Dr. Heinrich Malz as having Yockey involvement, which it may well not have. The basic answer is “Yes,” but I don’t remember the specifics.
KS: Would that Malz manuscript have been something with the phrase . . . World War III in the title?
KT: I think The Six Million . . . were in the title.
KS: Ah, The Big Swindle of the Six Million.
KT: Probably, yes.
KS: Incidentally, I know a number of people, including myself, who’d like to get hold of a copy of that, at least a photocopy, and nobody seems to have been able to obtain it. In fact, Harry Elmer Barnes; in 1955, after James J. Martin wrote him the letter which really started Holocaust Revisionism in America, a letter basically asking him “Harry, when are you going to start to expose this ‘Six Million’ garbage?” — I’ve seen this letter, at Martin’s place — and Barnes indeed got very interested in the subject thereafter, and one of the first things he did, I believe, was write you and ask for your assistance in acquiring a copy of Malz’s The Big Swindle of the Six Million — with I believe little result; I don’t think you could find him a copy, no. You gave me that letter from Barnes, incidentally, and I have it somewhere. Anyway, I’ve no idea wherefrom a copy might be obtained, now . . . [it would be] much more difficult now, I’m sure.
Did Yockey evince any interest in Ezra Pound, either his poetry or his “case”? Did he ever express a desire to go see him, did he ever talk about Pound, did he hold Pound in esteem?
KT: Not to my knowledge. I don’t think Yockey was a man too much interested in literary matters — superficially, perhaps so, but he was a political man basically, a theorist. I never heard him mention Pound, and I don’t think he would have been interested in trying to meet Pound, because he was too vulnerable. Pound was locked up in an institution in Washington and his visitors were carefully screened, and I’m sure the FBI would have picked Yockey up if he’d attempted to present himself there. But I don’t think he was particularly interested in Pound, whose poetry is absolutely unreadable; there are intellectuals around who claim they know what it’s all about, but my humble attempts at understanding what Ezra Pound had to say were pretty unsuccessful, except insofar as some of his political pronouncements and some of his work is based on the writings of the Canadian Social-Credit man, I’ve forgotten his name, “Douglas” something or other . . . what was it . . .
KS: C. H. Douglas.
KT: C. H. Douglas, that’s it . . . Yockey had perhaps some interest in that aspect of Pound. But, no, I don’t think Yockey was much concerned with Ezra Pound. Viereck was, however.
KS: What did Viereck think of Pound’s poetry? It was quite unlike his own.
KT: Yes. I think Viereck took my position on Pound’s poetry, which was that it was quite unreadable and incomprehensible, just as he did on the poetry of his own son Peter, which he characterized as “trash” on more than one occasion. And he couldn’t understand or deal with the poetry of a man of the caliber of T. S. Eliot. I suppose it requires one to be in a certain “school” of thought in poetry matters to be able to understand those people. I’m sure he — Viereck, I speak of — would have enjoyed meeting T. S. Eliot. He did have some correspondence with Ezra Pound, and he was particularly fond of Ezra Pound’s wife, Dorothy; he had some correspondence with her, and there was some discussion of their meeting. I believe that I arranged for some comments from Pound to go in to Viereck’s 70th Birthday Album, through Dorothy Pound. But that Album is held under wraps by the son Peter — in fact, he may well have destroyed it, because it has not been made available to historians, and all that survives, basically, are excerpts from some of the comments of contributors which I had the foresight to incorporate in a press release, so that at least copies of that survive in my own papers at Hoover and in the Viereck collection of the University of Iowa. Whether that original Album — contributions to which I solicited, which I put together and had leather-bound, and presented to him at his 70th birthday party in Virginia — whether that Album survives I have no knowledge; the son Peter is so nutty, so vindictive, that I would not be at all surprised if he had torched it.
KS: Well, on the subject of Peter Viereck, I possess a copy of a letter written to you by Charles Callan Tansill on 31 December 1961, shortly after G. S. Viereck’s death, in which Tansill states: “I have always despised his [G.S.V.’s] son Peter and am not surprised that he absorbed all his remaining assets.” And, getting directly back on the subject of poetry, here — just give me a second to find it — here is a copy of a letter from G. S. Viereck’s old friend George Bernard Shaw to Viereck, dated, yes, this is it, 18 November 1948, wherein Shaw writes: “Will you please remonstrate with your son. Because you write very good verses he thinks he can, and sends me the most execrable balderdash chopped into lines without a ray of poetry or metric charm in them. Except for this he seems a clever chap enough. Tell him my waste paper basket is full enough without his contributions.”
KT: Yes, yes. Old Shaw didn’t beat around the bush.
KS: Did Yockey ever mention to you the work of Arnold Toynbee? Did he have any comments favorable or unfavorable, about it — did he regard Toynbee as a big deal, did he regard him as a pale imitator of Spengler? Anything you can tell me . . .
KT: He supported, to my knowledge, Weiss’s point of view, which was that Toynbee was an asshole. I believe Weiss printed a pamphlet on the subject of Toynbee. While I do not recall now the title . . .
KS: I do’
KT: You do — well, good. Tell me.
KS: Hang On and Pray.
KT: [Laughter] Hang On and Pray, now I remember it. I’m sure that some of the contribution to that stemmed from the pen of Yockey, because Weiss was really quite incapable of handling the English language, and had difficulty gathering his thoughts. I did much of that for him. But I’m not a scholar of the Toynbee school or stamp, and that came from somewhere. I printed it, I edited and printed that manuscript. But I would have guessed tho.t Yockey in some way contributed to it, and I’m sure that he would have influenced Weiss to the extent that his own views would have been expressed there.
KS: Well, we’ll call a break . . . and we may just end the interview right now.
KT: That’s nice.
KS: OK? Do you have any final comments on the American “right-wing,” as you experienced it in the 1950s, and as you have more recently experienced it after I dragged you back into it briefly, into an informal, one-time association with the Willis Carto circle in the form of his so-called “Institute” for Historical Review?
KT: Well, a favor was done there, and I am grateful for the fact that the IHR brought out the second, paperback, edition of my book Doenitz at Nuremberg: A Re-appraisal. That edition would not otherwise have appeared, undoubtedly, and specifically it would not have appeared, probably, without your personal help. I’m very happy that they issued it, and I would certainly endorse them to the extent of urging that the spend less time on other nonsense and more time on the promotion and sale of that book. Not that I ever received a penny in royalties, nor did I expect to — I was interested merely in getting the message across.
As to the American “right-wing,” I had no respect for it from my earlier experience and I have even less today. I don’t think anything constructive will ever appear from the political right-wing. It is not inconceivable that someday a group of well-intentioned military men may reach a point of frustration, and take this thing over. The military are basically conservative, and I think that they used to at any rate, possess a realistic view of the forces at work internationally. Now that has been eroded to some extent by, I’m sure, miseducation in the service academies along the lines of Holocaust propaganda, anti-German propaganda, racial tolerance nonsense, and the like. But from the military generation that I knew, and these were the people who were in World War II — those senior officers pretty well knew where things were at. They knew that the Nigras were by and large worthless as soldiers unless you had three White men standing behind the back of each Black, to make sure that he conducted himself in a reasonably productive fashion. And they were aware of the Jews, later aware of the American subservience to Israel, etc. General George S. Brown was probably one of the last martyrs to American interests, when he very forcefully pointed out while Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Israel was absolutely not only worthless as a military ally, but a great disadvantage to the United States, and he was quickly, of course, shut up and forced out, as was General Singlaub shut up and forced out by Jimmeh Carter in quite recent years.
It’s not impossible that ultimately a [military] coup will come from the right, and salvage this shit-barge of a country. I don’t think it’s worthy of salvage. I would much prefer it ruled, perhaps, by a Red Chinese field marshal. But what will happen in the future — I don’t know.
KS: I’ll put my own two cents in here. I don’t think that anything will happen along those lines without a major military fiasco overseas. I don’t think domestic economic collapse, and the increasing victory-march of Liberalism (even in the guise of Conservatism), internally in this country, will cause anybody in the military to decide that something has to be done. I think we’ll have to see a major reversal somewhere overseas. Well, why am I saying this — this is your interview.
KT: That’s alright. Do you remember the movie — what was it, Twelve Days in May . . .
KS: Seven Days in May . . .
KT: Seven Days in May, that’s right. Burt Lancaster. That sort of scenario is not an impossibility . . . but of course he lost, because the Jew Kirk Douglas outsmarted him.
KS: [Laughter] The Jew Kirk Douglas.
KT: One final question. Supposing that a group of young, relatively young, fascists – not conservatives, not [sneeringly] “populists,” not reformers not people who believe in working evolutionarily within the system, not people who believe at all in saving the system (and who may “work evolutionarily” within it only in order to undermine it) — suppose such a group were to get together and decide to publish their own little journal on the “right,” even in the modest form at first of an 8-page newsletter, entitled Thought & Action, which would be a very nearly explicit fascist theoretical journal working toward the explicit goal of a fascist revolution. Such a journal would explore in the realm of theory the contributions that have been made in political/social thought, and that should be taken into account by present-day revolutionaries, by such as Robert Michels, Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Georges Sorel, even, Lawrence Dennis, Max Nomad, James Burnham, so many more . . . Yockey, Spengler, Carl Schmitt, Harold Lasswell, other prime thinkers on the subjects of power and revolution and social dynamics . . . and to explore all these things on a fairly high intellectual level. My question is: what is your realistic estimate of the number of people who would either understand, or be at all interested in, such a publication?
KT: One hundred.
KS: One hundred. Thank you very much, Mr. Thompson. And so ends the interview with H. Keith Thompson. Again, this was conducted on the night of the 13th of March, 1986, “somewhere in Pennsylvania.” Good night.
KT: Good night.
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