Ezra Pound

Pound was born in 1885 in a two-story clapboard house in Hailey, Idaho Territory, the only child of Homer Loomis Pound (1858–1942) and Isabel Weston (1860–1948), who married in 1884. Homer had worked in Hailey since 1883 as registrar of the General Land Office. Pound's grandfather, Thaddeus Coleman Pound, a Republican Congressman and the 10th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, had secured him the appointment. Homer had previously worked for Thaddeus in the lumber business.

Both sides of Pound's family emigrated from England in the 17th century. On his father's side, the immigrant ancestor was John Pound, a Quaker who arrived from England around 1650. Ezra's paternal grandmother, Susan Angevine Loomis, married Thaddeus Coleman Pound. On his mother's side, Pound was descended from William Wadsworth, a Puritan who emigrated to Boston on the Lion in 1632. Captain Joseph Wadsworth helped to write the Connecticut constitution.

“I am homesick after mine own kind, Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces, But I am homesick after mine own kind.”.

Pound's writings about the Jews can be traced to at least 1910, when he wrote in Patria Mia, his essays for the New Age: "The Jew alone can retain his detestable qualities, despite climatic conditions." The sentence was removed from the 1950 edition. In 1922 he apparently disliked that so many Jews were contributing to The Dial, and in 1939, when he read his poetry at Harvard, he was said to have included antisemitic poems in the program because he believed there were Jews in the audience.

A friend of Pound's, the writer Lina Caico, wrote to him in March 1937 asking him to use his musical contacts to help a German-Jewish pianist in Berlin who did not have enough money to live on because of the Nuremberg Laws. Normally willing to help fellow artists, Pound replied (at length): "You hit a nice sore spot ... Let her try Rothschild and some of the bastards who are murdering 10 million anglo saxons in England."

He denied being an antisemite; he said he liked Spinoza, Montaigne, and Alexander del Mar. "What I am driving at", he wrote to Jackson Mac Low, "is that some kike might manage to pin an antisem label on me IF he neglected the mass of my writing." Pound came to believe that World War I had been caused by finance capitalism, which he called "usury", and that the Jews had been to blame. He believed the solution lay in C. H. Douglas's idea of social credit. Pound several times used the term Leihkapital (loan capital), equating it with Jews.

Pound wrote in a 1942 radio script aimed at the UK, "international, wandering Loan Capital. Your enemy is not Germany, your enemy is money on loan. And it would be better to be infected with typhus ... than to be infected with this blindness which prevents you from understanding HOW you are undermined ... The big Jew is so bound up with this Leihkapital that no one is able to unscramble that omelet." The argument ran that without "usury" and Jews, there would be no class conflict.

In addition to presenting his economic ideas in hundreds of articles and in The Cantos, Pound wrote over 1,000 letters a year throughout the 1930s. From 1932 he wrote 180 articles for The New English Weekly, a social-credit journal founded by A. R. Orage, and 60 for Il Mare, a Rapallo newspaper. He wrote to Bill Bird that the press in Paris was controlled by the Comité des forges.

He also came under the influence of Charles Maurras, who led the far-right Action Française. From around 1932 he began using a dating system that counted Benito Mussolini's March on Rome in October 1922 as year zero. In December 1932 Pound requested a meeting with Mussolini after being hired to work on a film script about Italian fascism. He had asked to see him before—Olga Rudge had played privately for Mussolini on 19 February 1927—but this time he was given an audience.

They met on 30 January 1933 at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, the day Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Pound's antisemitism deepened with the introduction in Italy of the racial laws in 1938, preceded by the publication in July that year of the Manifesto of Race. Numerous restrictions were introduced against Jews, who were required to register. Foreign Jews were stripped of their Italian citizenship, and on 18 September 1938 Mussolini declared Judaism "an irreconcilable enemy of fascism”.

“The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once and get people arguing heatedly over which is the truth”.

Between May and September 1939 Pound wrote 12 articles for the Japan Times (he became their "Italian correspondent"), which included the claim that "Democracy is now currently defined in Europe as a 'country run by Jews'". He discussed the "essential fairness of Hitler's war aims" and wrote that Churchill was a senile front for the Rothschilds. When war broke out in September 1939, Pound began a letter-writing campaign to the politicians he had petitioned months earlier.

On 18 June 1940, after the fall of France, he wrote to Senator Burton K. Wheeler: "I have read a regulation that only those foreigners are to be admitted to the U.S. who are deemed to be useful etc/. The dirtiest jews from Paris, Blum??" He explained that they were all a pox. To his publisher, James Laughlin, he wrote that "Roosevelt represents Jewry" and signed off with "Heil Hitler”.

“At some time the Anglo Saxon may awaken to the fact that the non-Jew nations are shoved into wars in order to destroy themselves, to break up their structure, to destroy their social order, to destroy their populations”.

He began calling Roosevelt "Jewsfeldt" or "Stinky Rooosenstein". In Meridiano di Roma he compared Hitler and Mussolini to Confucius. In Oswald Mosley's newspaper, Action, he wrote that the English were "a slave race governed by the House of Rothschild since Waterloo". By May 1940, according to the historian Matthew Feldman, the British government regarded Pound as "a principal supplier of information to the British Union of Fascists from abroad”.

“No Rothschild is English… No Baruch, Morgenthau, Cohen, Lehman, Warburg, Kuhn, Kahn, Schiff, Sieff or Solomon was ever born Anglo-Saxon. And it is for this filth that you fight. It is for this filth that you murdered your Empire. It is this filth that elects, selects, your politicians.”.

Between 23 January 1941 and 28 March 1945, including during the Holocaust in Italy, Pound recorded or composed hundreds of broadcasts for Italian radio, mostly for EIAR (Radio Rome) and later for a radio station in the Salò Republic, a NDSAP influenced state in northern and central Italy. Broadcast in English, and sometimes in Italian, German, and French, the EIAR program was transmitted to England, central Europe, and the United States.

Radio Speeches from World War II, Originally Broadcast over Shortwave Radio from Rome:

Speech entitled "Power," recorded by the U.S. Government on Feb. 19, 1942

Speech entitled "The Pattern", recorded by the U.S. Government on March 30, 1942

Naming himself "Dr Ezra Pound" he attacked the United States, Roosevelt, Roosevelt's family, Churchill, and the Jews. He praised Hitler, recommended eugenics to "conserve the best of the race", and referred to Jews as "filth". The broadcasts were monitored by the United States Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service, and on 26 July 1943 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia indicted Pound in absentia for treason.

“Until you know who has lent what to whom, you know nothing whatever of politics, you know nothing whatever of history, you know nothing of international wrangles.”.

In Rome when the German occupation began, Pound headed north to Gais, on foot and by train, to visit his daughter, a journey of about 450 miles (720 km). On or around 23 November 1943, he met Fernando Mezzasoma, the new Minister of Popular Culture, in Salò. Pound wrote to Dorothy from Salò asking if she could obtain a radio confiscated from the Jews to give to Rudge, so that Rudge could help with his work. From 1 December 1943 Pound began writing scripts for the state's new radio station. The following day he suggested to Alessandro Pavolini, secretary of the Republican Fascist Party, that book stores be legally obliged to showcase certain books, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903).

“The arrest of Jews will create a wave of useless mercy," Pound wrote, "thus the need to disseminate the Protocols. The intellectuals are capable of a passion more durable than emotional, but they need to understand the reasons for a conflict." On 26 January 1945, in a script called "Corpses of Course" for the program Jerry's Front Calling, Pound wrote: "Why shouldn't there be one grand beano; wiping out Sieff and Kuhn and Loeb and Guggenheim and Stinkenfinger and the rest of the nazal bleaters?”.

Ezra Pound pictured saluting on the deck of the liner Christoforo Colombo on arrival in Naples, Italy, July 9 1958.

Pound and Dorothy arrived in Naples on the SS Cristoforo Colombo on 9 July 1958, where Pound was photographed giving a fascist salute to the waiting press. When asked when he had been released from the mental hospital, he replied: "I never was. When I left the hospital I was still in America, and all America is an insane asylum.". In 1961 Pound attended a meeting in Rome in honor of Oswald Mosley, who was visiting Italy. His health continued to decline, and his friends were dying: Wyndham Lewis in 1957, Ernest Hemingway in 1961 (Hemingway shot himself), E. E. Cummings in 1962, William Carlos Williams in 1963, T. S. Eliot in 1965.

“Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.”.

Related Reading...

Douglas Reed
Douglas Reed

Douglas Reed (1895–1976) was a British journalist, playwright, novelist, and author of a number of books of political analysis… view Douglas Reed…

Arnold Leese
Arnold Leese

Arnold Spencer Leese was a British fascist politician. He led his own fascist movement, the Imperial Fascist League, and was a prolific author and publisher of polemics both before and after the Second World War… view Arnold Leese…

Jonathan Bowden
Jonathan Bowden

Jonathan was born in Kent in 1962. His mother suffered from severe mental illness and died when Bowden was 16 years old. An orator of great power, Jonathan was a regular speaker at various political events around the United Kingdom… view Jonathan Bowden…