|1st President of the National Socialist Party of America|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Harold Covington|
|Born||November 3, 1944|
|Political party||National Socialist Party of America|
|Profession||Political activist, New Age author|
|Part of the Politics and elections and Politics series on|
Francis Joseph Collin (born November 3, 1944) is an American former political activist and Midwest coordinator with the American Nazi Party, later known as the National Socialist White People's Party. After being ousted for being partly Jewish (which he denied), in 1970, Collin founded the National Socialist Party of America. (N.S.P.A.) In the late 1970s, his planned march in the predominantly Jewish suburb of Skokie, Illinois was challenged; however, the American Civil Liberties Union defended Collin's group's freedom of speech and assembly in a case that reached the United States Supreme Court to correct procedural deficiencies. Afterwards, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the party had a right to march and to display swastikas, despite local opposition, based on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Collin then offered a compromise, offering to march in Chicago's Marquette Park (where Martin Luther King had been attacked in 1966) instead of Skokie. After Collin was convicted and sentenced in 1979 for child molestation, he lost his position in the party.
After being released early on parole from prison, Collin created a new career as a writer, publishing numerous books under the pen name Frank Joseph. He wrote New Age and "hyperdiffusionist" works supporting the pseudoarchaeological idea that Old World peoples had migrated to North America in ancient times and created its complex societies of indigenous peoples. This thesis is rejected by mainstream scholars.
Life and career
Collin was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, where he went to local schools. His father, Max Frank Collin, born Max Simon Cohn in Munich on August 23, 1913, the son of Jewish parents who later perished in The Holocaust, was a survivor of Dachau concentration camp. His mother, Virginia Gertrude née Hardyman (b. at Chicago on August 18, 1920), was Catholic.
As a young man, Collin in the 1960s joined George Lincoln Rockwell's National Socialist White People's Party. He became the Midwest coordinator. He broke with the NSWPP due to a disagreement with Rockwell's successor, Matt Koehl, who was elected as the party leader by popular vote after Rockwell was assassinated on August 25, 1967. The falling out stemmed in part from published accounts by Max Collin, Frank's father, who said that he was a Jewish Holocaust survivor and had changed his name from Cohen (or Cohn) to Collin. Frank Collin denied having Jewish roots and maintained that his father was not telling the truth.
In 1970, Collin set up another organization, the National Socialist Party of America, later known as the American Nazi Party. It attracted other disaffected members of the NSWPP, as well as Michael Allen, Gary Lauck and Harold Covington. Covington helped buy a building for the group which they called Rockwell Hall, where Collin and some other members lived in a barracks in upper floor. Collin ran for alderman of Chicago in 1975 and pulled 16% of the vote.
The N.S.P.A. began holding anti-black demonstrations in Chicago's Marquette Park. The Chicago authorities became concerned about violence and passed an ordinance which required demonstrations to post large insurance bonds. Collin went to the ACLU and they filed a suit. While the case was proceeding without public notice, Collin attempted to contact other cities about holding demonstrations. Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, responded with a notice that the group would need to post a bond, similar to the recently enacted ordinance in Chicago. Collin's plan for his neo-Nazi group to march in uniforms through Skokie, which was heavily Jewish with numerous residents who were Holocaust survivors, generated public outrage and the media attention which Collin sought.
Also in 1977, Koehl's NSWPP began a campaign in their paper White Power about Collin's father being Jewish, including publications of what they stated were Max Simon Cohn's . papes. Collin and the N.S.P.A. leadership continued to deny the claim and said the images were fakes.
Child molestation conviction
During this time, according to Jeffrey Kaplan, Covington found pictures in Frank Collin's desk that linked Collin to the sexual abuse of young boys. In what Kaplan described as a play for power in the organization, Covington and the other NSPA members turned the evidence on Collin over to the police. After Collin was arrested, Covington took over leadership of the NSPA and moved the headquarters from Chicago to North Carolina. A 1980 article in The New York Times reported that "Frank Collin was expelled from the American Nazi Party for illicit intercourse with minors and the use of Nazi headquarters in Chicago for purposes of sodomy with children. The report indicates that the Nazis "tipped" the police who arrested Collin. Collin was convicted of child molestation and sentenced in 1979 to seven years in prison at the Pontiac Correctional Center. He served three years.
Upon his release from prison, Collin "reinvented himself under the pseudonym of Frank Joseph, a New Age writer and pagan worshiper." His time in Pontiac Correctional Facility in Illinois had coincided with the period when Russell E. Burrows worked there as a prison guard. He subsequently wrote many books and articles in support of Burrows Cave, an alleged cache of ancient treasure in an unrevealed location, supposedly discovered by Russell Burrows in southern Illinois." In 1987 he had his first New Age book published, The Destruction of Atlantis: Compelling Evidence of the Sudden Fall of the Legendary Civilization.
He wrote articles for Fate magazine, and was the editor of The Ancient American magazine. The Ancient American focuses on what it says is evidence of ancient, pre-Columbian transoceanic contact between the Old World and North America, with the implication that any complex aspect of indigenous culture must have originated from other continents. The magazine's claims are similar to discredited nineteenth century theories, and are considered dubious or exploitative by scholars.
Books (as Frank Joseph)
- The Destruction of Atlantis: Compelling Evidence of the Sudden Fall of the Legendary Civilization (Atlantis Research Publishers, 1987) OCLC 17424780
- Atlantis in Wisconsin: New Revelations About the Lost Sunken City (Galde Press, 1995) ISBN 1-880090-12-0
- Edgar Cayce's Atlantis and Lemuria: The Lost Civilizations in the Light of Modern Discoveries (A.R.E. Press, 2001) ISBN 0-87604-434-8
- Lost Pyramids of Rock Lake: Wisconsin's Sunken Civilization (Galde Press, 2002) ISBN 1-931942-01-3
- The Lost Treasure of King Juba: The Evidence of Africans in America before Columbus (Bear and Co., 2003) ISBN 1-59143-006-2
- Synchronicity & You: Understanding the Role of Meaningful Coincidence in Your Life, 2003, ISBN 1-84333-102-0
- Last of the Red Devils: America's First Bomber Pilot (Galde Press, 2003) ISBN 1-880090-09-0
- Survivors of Atlantis: Their Impact on World Culture (Galde Press, 2004) ISBN 1-59143-040-2
- The Atlantis Encyclopedia (New Page Books, 2005) ISBN 1-56414-795-9
- The Lost Civilization of Lemuria: The Rise and Fall of the Worlds Oldest Culture (Bear and Co., 2006) ISBN 1-59143-060-7
- Opening the Ark of the Covenant: The Secret Power of the Ancients, The Knights Templar Connection, and the Search for the Holy Grail (New Page Books, 2007) ISBN 1-56414-903-X
- Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds (Arcturus, 2008) ISBN 1-84837-085-7
- Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America: The Lost Kingdoms of the Adena, Hopewell, Mississippians, and Anasazi (Bear and Co., 2009) ISBN 1-59143-107-7
- Power of Coincidence: The Mysterious Role of Synchronicity in Shaping Our Lives (Arcturus, 2009) ISBN 1-84837-224-8
- Mussolini's War: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935–45 (Helion & Company Ltd., 2009) ISBN 978-1906033569
- Gods of the Runes: The Divine Shapers of Fate (Bear and Co., 2010) ISBN 1-59143-116-6
- Atlantis and 2012: The Science of the Lost Civilization and the Prophecies of the Maya (Bear and Co., 2010) ISBN 978-1-59143-112-1
- Ancient High Tech: The Astonishing Scientific Achievements of Early Civilizations (Bear and Co., 2020) ISBN 978-1591433828
In popular culture
- Collin was played by George Dzundza in Skokie, a 1981 television film about the planned march and court case.
- Wheaton, Elizabeth (1988). Codename GREENKILL: The 1979 Greensboro Killings. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0820309354.
- Grossman, Ron (10 March 2017). "'Swastika war': When the neo-Nazis fought in court to march in Skokie". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
- Berlet, Chip (2001). Dobratz, Betty A.; Walder, Lisa K.; Buzzell, Timothy (eds.). "Hate Groups, Racial Tension and Ethnoviolence in an Integrating Chicago Neighborhood 1976–1988". Research in Political Sociology. Bingley, West Yorkshire, England: Emerald Group Publishing. 9: 117–163. doi:10.1016/S0895-9935(01)80010-3. ISBN 9780762307562.
- Kaplan, Jeffrey (2000). Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 62. ISBN 9780742503403. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Steiger, Brad; Steiger, Sherry (2012). Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier (2nd ed.). Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1578593682.
In 1979 Collin’s ambition to lead a new Nazi America was thwarted when he was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison on child molestation charges.
- Grossman, Ron (March 10, 2017). "Flashback: 'Swastika war': When the neo-Nazis fought in court to march in Skokie". Chicago Tribune.
- Pick, Grant (2008). The People Are the News: Grant Pick's Chicago Stories. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. p. 68. ISBN 9780810124455.
- Peters, John Durham (2010). Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 159. ISBN 9780226662756.
- Durham, Martin (October 23, 2007). White Rage: The Extreme Right and American Politics. London: Routledge. pp. 23–. ISBN 9780203012581.
- Watia, Victor (July 1, 1970). "Frank Collin is Leader of Own Party". The Times-News. Burlington, North Carolina: New Media Investment Group. United Press International. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- "Nazi denies Jewish blood, but dad claims otherwise". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon: Western Communications. United Press International. April 24, 1970.
- Marcovitz, Hal (September 1, 2010). Extremist Groups. Edina, Minnesota: ABDO Publishing Company. pp. 32–. ISBN 978-1604538595. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Walker, Samuel (1994). Hate Speech: The History of an American Controversy. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 120–. ISBN 9780803297517. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Kaplan, Jeffrey (January 1, 2001). Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. pp. 36–. ISBN 9780815603962. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
Covington, his rival for NSPA "power", made the fortuitous discovery (while rifling through Collin's desk) that the half-Jewish fuehrer also had a weakness for pedophilia and did not hesitate to photograph his dalliances with a number of young boys. As a result, Collin was sent to prison.
- Horowitz, Irving Louis; Bramson, Victoria Curtis (Spring 1979). "Skokie, the ACLU and the Endurance of Democratic Theory". Law and Contemporary Problems. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University School of Law. 43 (2): 328. doi:10.2307/1191205. JSTOR 1191205.
- Bernstein, Arnie (2013). Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 301. ISBN 9781250006714.
- Wilson, Joseph AP (2012). "The Cave Who Never Was: Outsider Archaeology and Failed Collaboration in the USA". Public Archaeology. 11 (2): 75–93. doi:10.1179/1465518712Z.0000000007. S2CID 162312493.
- Joseph, Frank (2003). The Lost Treasure of King Juba: The Evidence of Africans in America Before Columbus. Rochester, VT: Simon and Schuster. p. 224. ISBN 9781591438519. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- American Villains, Volume 1: Joe Adonis–Jim Jones. Ipswich, Massachusetts: Salem Press Inc. 2008. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-58765-453-4.
- Birmingham, Robert A.; Eisenberg, Leslie E. (2000). Indian Mounds of Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-299-16874-2.
- Hanson, Amanda J.; Witry, Richard J. (2010). Images of America: Skokie. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-7385-8443-0.
- "The Politics of "The Blues Brothers"". WMAQ-TV. Chicago, IL. February 14, 2013.