Charlie Crist's Office Mistakenly Praises Nazi Film

08/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Despite the content of a letter bearing his signature, Gov. Charlie Crist does not want to share an anti-Semitic movie with all Floridians.

Crist's office sent a letter thanking John Ubele for providing the governor with a copy of the film "Jud Suss." The film is recognized as one of history's most incendiary.

The brief thank-you note was dated June 30 and bore the governor's automated signature. It praised Ubele's thoughtfulness and generosity and said Crist would be delighted to share the DVD with the people of Florida.

"I was surprised considering the stigma that has been associated with the film," Ubele said Friday in an exchange of e-mails with The Associated Press. "I was even more surprised when I looked at the signature because from what I can tell it looks real."

The governor's office, however, said it was an embarrassing mistake. The signature was made by a machine and Crist never saw the letter, said Sterling Ivey, the governor's press secretary.

"We are NOT sharing the DVD with the people of Florida," Ivey said. "The governor does not support this view. The letter was sent out prior to us reviewing the DVD that was sent."

The 1940 film was produced by the Nazi propaganda arm and was a great success in Germany and abroad, although it was banned in Sweden in 1941 and has never been shown in that country.

Within the Third Reich, "Jud Suss" was the No. 1 film of the 1939-1940 season when it was seen by more than 20 million people. Anti-Jewish violence was reported after its projection in Marseille, France.

Ubele, who ran unsuccessfully for the state Legislature, is the operations manager of a group called the Nationalist Coalition that promotes "white activism."

On its Web site, the organization says it is working to "do whatever is necessary to achieve white living space and to keep it White."

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