A handgun that once allegedly belonged to mobster Bugsy Siegel is displayed at the Tropicana in Las Vegas in 2011. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

Regarding the Aug. 30 editorial "The troubling rise of 'antifa' ":

The "antifa" — anti-fascist — movement is not unique. In the past, violent demonstrations were supported by vast numbers of Americans, as recently reported by journalist Jake Offenhartz and referencing historian Arnie Bernstein. In the 1930s, the German American Bund came into existence to promote the German Nazi party to Americans. Large marches were held in major cities. At that time, former New York congressman Nathan Perlman and highly respected rabbi Stephen Wise approached Meyer Lansky, a top Jewish mobster, for help in stopping the marches by whatever means possible, as long as there were no fatalities. Reportedly, Lansky was offered money but declined it. He recruited his comrades Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen and others. They eventually stopped the marches with clubs and baseball bats, but no deaths were reported. Jewish veterans from the American Legion also participated in slugfests at the time.

Is the role of antifa that much different? Unfortunately, remarks by our president have brought the current version of Nazis out of the woodwork, creating a clear and present danger, particularly with ethnic and religious groups. Police officers were on the scene in Charlottesville, but protection was virtually nonexistent.

John S. Glaser, Alexandria