Laura Ingalls Nazi Agent

Was Laura Ingalls A Nazi Agent?

How could it be that Laura Ingalls was a Nazi agent?  The tales of the Prairie are as about as American as you can get! How could it be this is true?  Also, it’s the wrong time. Isn’t it? 

Little House on the Prarie

Laura Ingalls Wilder lived on the Prairie at the same time as Native Americans roamed the plains. This was about 20 years after the Civil War.  She and her husband Almanzo lived into the 1950s, So she did live through World War II.

Laura Ingalls Wilder and husband Almanzo. Not the Nazi Agent!

However, fans of the books and the 1970s TV show can rest easy.  This Laura Ingalls is her cousin by the same name and she was friends with Laura and Almanzo’s daughter Rose Wilder.

This is a branch of the family you don’t hear much about!

Related: Facts about Little House On The Prarie You never knew!

Laura Ingalls – Her Early life

Born far from the Prairie Life of her cousin Laura grew up in Brooklyn On December 14th, 1893. 2 years later her brother Francis was born.

Francis Abbott Ingalls II

When her brother Francis Ingalls was a young man he registered for the draft while he was still in military school. He served as an officer in both World War I and World War II.  He later married the granddaughter of J.P. Morgan. Francis lived until the year 1978. This means he would have seen his famous cousin depicted in the 1970s TV show Little House on the Prairie. 

Being a Pilot

Laura became a pilot and not just any pilot.  She earned A Harmon trophy, a very distinguished award in flying.  She flew a Lockheed air express from Mexico to Chile over the Andes Mountains to Rio De Janeiro to Cuba and then to Floyd Bennett Field in New York.  This was the first flight over the Andes by an American woman. It was also the first solo flight around South America 

Laura Ingalls - Pilot
Laura Ingles – Aviator
  • Longest solo flight by a woman
  • First solo flight by a woman from North to South America
  • First solo flight around South America by man or woman
  • First complete flight by a landplane around South America by a man or woman
  • First American woman to fly the Andes solo
Laura Ingalls and Amelia Earhart
Laura Ingalls (center) with Amelia Earhart(front) at Burbank Union Airport. The gentleman is barnstormer Roscoe

Flight over the White House

Laura first started out as an anti-interventionist which means she opposed the United States getting involved in World War II.  She distributed a lot of literature on the subject. In late September of 1939, she was dropping anti-intervention pamphlets from her airplane over Washington DC and the White House.  She was arrested for violating White House airspace. she was released a few hours after this.

Start as a Nazi Agent

After the defeat of France in 1940, she approached the second Secretary of the German Embassy, Baron Ulrich von Gienanth, However, this was von Gienant’s cover title only! His real job was the head of the Gestapo in the United States!  Laura suggested that she make a solo flight to Europe and continue her work to promote the Nazi cause. He told her to stay in America to work with the America First Committee.

Arrest and Trial

Laura gave speeches for the committee in which she complained about America’s lousy democracy and she gave Nazi salutes.  Von Gienanth praised her speaking skills. she made a careful study of Hitler’s Mein Kampf on which he based many of her speeches.  she also studied Hitler’s pamphlets on my new order in Germany and the Jewish question. she fully expected Hitler to win the war.  in April 1941 she wrote to a German official “Someday I will shout my triumph to a great leader and a great people… Heil Hitler!” 

Germany declares war

After Germany declared war on the United States she went straight to Washington DC to receive a list of contacts from von Gienath. She was arrested a week later.

Arrest by FBI

The FBI had had her under surveillance for several months already. At one point U.S. agents had watched her take money from Geinanth while hiding the bushes outside von Gienanth’s Maryland home.

Laura was convicted and sentenced to 2 years in prison.  She was released on October 5th, 1943 after serving 20 months.

Prison did not alter Laura’s views in any way. After being released she commented on the Normandy Landings saying: 

This whole invasion is a power lust, blood drunk orgy in a war which is unholy and for which the U.S. will be called to terrible accounting… They [the Nazis] fight the common enemy. They fight for the independence of Europe—independence from the Jews. Bravo!

Laura Ingalls - Nazi Agent
Laura Ingles – Nazi Agent

Release and the run for the border

After her probation ended in July 1944 Laura was arrested at the Mexican border. She was carrying notes she had made of Japanese and German short-wave radio broadcasts.

The Mexican authorities prevented her from entering Mexico but she was not prosecuted. 

Laura Ingalls – Her Later life

In 1958  Laura applied for presidential pardon her application was rejected by two different pardon attorneys.  On the last occasion, the reply stated that Laura had been of a “special value of the Nazi propaganda machine”.

She died on January 10, 1967, in Burbank, California, aged 73.