By Martin Kerr
I was sorry to learn a few years back that my old comrade Louis Vincent Mostaccio had passed away at age 84.
Comrade Mostaccio – or “Louie” as we all called him – spent some 25 years of his life as an active participant in various stormtroop formations of the American NS movement. From the early 1950s through the late 1970s, he took part in countless uniformed and plainclothes activities. Once, he was arrested by the New York City Police on a bogus charge and tortured by them. Yes, I said tortured. But through it all he never lost faith in the Cause or stopped fighting.
Our comrade was an early recruit in the Elite Guard, the first stormtroop unit of the National Renaissance Party. The EG was founded and led by Matt Koehl. Later, after Koehl left to get military experience in the US Marine Corps, NRP leader James H. Madole appointed Louie as head of the EG.
Famous in Movement lore in the New York City area is the story of what is today called “Operation Mostaccio.” I have in my archives a book called Cross-Currents by ADL honchos Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein (Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, NJ, 1956). It is an “expose” of (then-)contemporary anti-Semitism. It includes the following passage by ADL spy Larry Sestito, in a report by him on the NRP:
“The head of the Elite Guard is an Italian by the name of Mustachio [sic]. For the last several months, the NRP has been responsible for the scattering of leaflets and handbills in various sections of the city. They have been doing this by going to the top floor in some of the large buildings in New York and throwing out of the window these circulars and letting them drift down to the street. They then take pictures of the leaflets drifting down and people picking them up, and then send these pictures overseas to the Nazis in Europe, to show them what they are doing. Mustachio has been largely responsible for this kind of activity.” (pp. 262-263)
Countless thousands of leaflets were distributed on numerous occasions through this innovative activity.
The EG was later disbanded and reformed as the NRP Security Echelon. The first big SE event was an NRP rally in the Yorkville section of New York City on May 25, 1963. Yorkville had a large German population and was a stronghold of the German-American Bund prior to World War II. The news media had given a huge amount of publicity to the rally in advance, and some 5,000 people turned up. Most were just curious, but the crowd included a 1,000-man contingent of self-styled “Jewish War Veterans,” who were determined to stop the NRP from getting its message across.
The police were under orders to prevent death or serious injury, but to otherwise treat the JWV mob with kid gloves. As soon as Madole began to speak, the Jews charged the police. The police did not want to fight with the JWV, and initially let some of them through their lines. When the Jews reached the speaker’s platform, all hell broke loose.
Louis Mostaccio was not a big man: he was maybe 5’3″ if he stood up very straight. But what he lacked in height, he made up for with heart. He threw himself into the fray with the fury of a berserker, punching and kicking the Jews like a wild man. Eventually the police restored order – and arrested Mostaccio. Unbeknownst to him, one of the men he had struck in the confusion was a plainclothes cop. He was charged with assaulting a police officer. He was hauled off to the local station house, taken to a back room, and, while handcuffed, he was beaten bloody. His torment only stopped after he was thrown down a flight of stairs (still handcuffed): some horrified civilians visiting the precinct house witnessed that, and the police felt compelled to end their assault.
The brutal treatment accorded to him by the police, however, did not break his spirit, as shown by the defiance that he displayed at his bail hearing the next day. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported:
One member of a neo-Nazi group calling itself the National Renaissance Party was held in $10,000 bail here today, after giving the Nazi salute in the New York Criminal Court, and eight anti-Nazis were paroled in their own recognizance. The nine men were arraigned as a result of a fight yesterday, when members of the Renaissance Party held an open-air rally in the Yorkville section of New York.
The fracas broke out when Jack J. Weiser, commander of the Jewish War Veterans of New York State, tried to make a “citizen’s arrest” against the Renaissance leader, James H. Madole, who was mouthing anti-Semitic sentiments. In the ensuing fight, according to police, a Madole adherent, Louis Mostaccio, hit a detective.
In court today, the Judge first fixed bail for Mostaccio, charged with felonious assault, at $2,500. When Mostaccio greeted the court with a Nazi salute, the court increased his bail to $10,000. (JTA daily dispatch, May 27, 1963)
The New York Daily News ran an article on the incident with the sneering headline, “He Goosesteps Himself into a Pail of Bail” (May 27, 1963). The story was illustrated with a photo of Mostaccio, which in those days served as a form of doxing.
A lot of men would have given up and quit at this point, but not Louie. The next year (1964) he got his photograph in the newspapers after he rammed a flagpole into the face of a racial enemy during a demonstration at the Democratic convention in Atlantic City, NJ.
Comrade Mostaccio spent the next few years in the Stormtroops of Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party. After Commander Rockwell’s tragic assassination in 1967, he rejoined James Madole, the NRP and the SE. I knew him personally during the entire length of my involvement in the NRP, from early 1969 through late 1971. As I said above, he was not a big man, but he never backed down from a fight – and in going on NS demonstrations in New York City, there were plenty of opportunities for fisticuffs!
To me, Louie Mostaccio was the archetype of the “Unknown Stormtrooper” – the low-level grunt who marches in the ranks, does his duty and never really receives a lot of attention or credit for all his effort and sacrifice. But where would the Movement be without political soldiers like him? If our Race had more men with his courage, his loyalty, and his energy, it would not be in the sad condition that it is today!
Hail and farewell, noble comrade!