Bank apologises for praising Hitler
Glenview State Bank said it had received "many letters and calls" from people offended by its July economic newsletter, which credited sound economic policies for the German boom of the 1930s - a decade when most economies were in severe depression.
The Anti-Defamation League formally complained about the report - written by Glenview president Dave Raub - and called its positive portrayal of Hitler "deeply disturbing".
"We sincerely apologise for this error. We did not intend to offend anyone. Please forgive us for this mistake," the bank wrote in an apology posted on its website.
In defending Hitler, Glenview was seeking to make a serious economic point.
During the 1930s, Germany poured money into capital projects - town-planning, road-building, armaments production and so on - which contributed to a huge economic upswing and the near-disappearance of unemployment.
In his report, Mr Raub argued that Hitler infused confidence into German workers, making them "work harder than anyone else in Europe".
This performance, he said, was in sharp contrast to the dramatic slumps endured by Germany's adversaries, especially the United States.
Much of the hard work of Nazi Germany, it pointed out, was at the hands of unpaid slave labourers [Website comment: not in the 1930s, it wasn't].
And the perceived upswing was at least partly produced by manipulating the economy: Jews and other persecuted groups were not counted in the unemployment statistics, and women were encouraged to marry and leave the workforce.
More to the point, the league said: "To write of Hitler without the context of the millions of innocents brutally murdered and the tens of millions who died fighting against him is an insult to all of their memories."
The league appreciated that Glenview had quickly retracted and apologised for the report, and urged the bank to build on it as a "teachable moment".