“Love and Marriage” – An Excerpt from the Memoirs of Matt Koehl
[EDITOR’S NOTE: At the time of his death in October 2014, NEW ORDER founder Matt Koehl was working on his Memoirs. He had intended to tell the story of his life and of his involvement in the National Socialist movement from his own unique perspective. Sadly, Commander Koehl died after barely beginning his task. He left an incomplete manuscript consisting mostly of notes and fragments, and only a few finished short chapters.
This coming August will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of George Lincoln Rockwell, and of Matt Koehl’s ascension to the leadership of the Movement. We present here a few paragraphs from the Memoirs that shed light on a little-known, behind-the-scenes episode from that time.
Personal correspondence between Matt Koehl and his fiancée have been found in his personal files (including the identity of the woman to whom he was engaged), confirming the account he gives here. This chapter has been edited by Martin Kerr, who has corrected punctuation and grammar, and filled out incomplete portions from Commander Koehl’s notes and from personal conversations he had with him.]
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When Commander Rockwell was killed [on August 25, 1967], there was one secret I had never told him: I was engaged to be married. I had met a young woman and fallen in love. I asked her to marry me, and she readily agreed.
The reason I hadn’t told the Commander was very simple. Being engaged and getting married and all that that implied meant that I would have to leave the Headquarters staff, there being no way financially that he would have been able to retain me. With all the other pressures and woes that he was under, I did not want to add to them until things had settled down a bit.
The Commander had been sentenced to serve several months in jail in Chicago, thanks to underhanded machinations of Cook Country Sherriff Richard Ogilvie. All of his legal appeals had been exhausted, and he was to turn himself in to begin his sentence in the middle of September 1967. He had appointed me to run the Party in his stead for the duration of his incarceration. To that end, he had given me power of attorney to act on his behalf, he had turned over the combination to the party safe to me – and he had made me the executor of his will in the event that he mysteriously died during his imprisonment.
Clearly, Commander Rockwell was under considerable pressure at the time, and I hesitated to add to his woes by announcing my marital plans. Replacements were always hard to come by, and I knew what it meant to be desperately shorthanded.
I had planned to tell the Commander of my plans in the next week or so, but to also let him know that he could rely on me to stay at my post until he was available to resume active command of the Movement.
I fancied that it would be nice to have a family of four or more; my fiancée agreed with me, and was likewise eager to start such a family.
However, Destiny had other things in store for us – and for Lincoln Rockwell.
The Commander fell beneath the bullets of the cowardly sneak-murderer John Patsalos at about 12:00 noon on that fateful Friday. It took half an hour or so for the horrible news to reach me. But at the very instant that it did, I knew that the course of my life had been irreversibly altered. I had no other choice but to step into Commander Rockwell’s place, and carry on his life’s work as best I could. My sense of duty to the Movement of Adolf Hitler, my personal loyalty to Commander Rockwell, and my honor as an Aryan allowed me no other option.
Love, marriage and a family would be a course in life for others to follow, but not for me.
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Excerpts from Matt Koehl’s Memoirs are being published in the NS BULLETIN, which is the official periodical of the NEW ORDER. It is available only in print.
To subscribe or to buy individual copies, write:
Attn: NS BULLETIN
PO Box 270486
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53227