"Beefsteak Nazi” is a term originally used in the 1930s for a German who was brown (Nazi) on the outside, but red (Communist) on the inside. “Beefsteak Nazis—Brown outside but Red inside” was cited in print in 1934.
Related political terms include “radish” (red on the outside, white on the inside) and “watermelon” (green on the outside, red on the inside).
[This entry was assisted by Goerge Thompson and Garson O’Toole at the American Dialect Society listserv.]
Wikipedia: Beefsteak Nazi
Beefsteak Nazi was a term used in Nazi Germany to describe Communists who joined the Nazi Party. ‘Beefsteak Nazis’ appeared following the suppression of the German Communist Party in the 1930s, and the term was popular as early as 1933. The term was particularly used of working-class members of the Sturmabteilung (SA) who were aligned with Strasserism. The term derived from the idea that these individuals were like a ‘beefsteak’ - brown on the outside and red on the inside, with ‘brown’ referring to the colour of the uniforms, and ‘red’ to their communist sympathies. The implication of this was that their allegiance to Nazism was superficial and opportunistic.
14 September 1934, The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle (Milwaukee, WI), “Strictly Confidential: Tid-Bits From Everywhere” by Phineas J. Biron, pg. 4, col. 4:
Beefsteak Nazis—Brown outside but Red inside—are said to be the latest political phenomenon in Hitlerland; from which we gather that at least the Communist are still working against Hitler.
Europe Since 1870
By Preston W. Slosson
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Former Nationalists, like von Papen within the and Alfred Hugenberg who had been tolerated *ra” (?—ed.) for the conservative support they brought to the party, had to greet as comrades “beefsteak Nazis” ("reds" at heart under the brown shirt) who believed that the movement was primarily directed against “international capitalism.”
7 September 1935, The Manchester Guardian (UK), “Letters to the Editor,” pg. 10, cols. 5-6:
Might I therefore suggest that visitors to Germany look for “beefsteak” Nazis, brown outside, and red inside.
22 September 1944, Riverside (CA) Daily Press, “Beefsteak Nazis” (editorial), pg. 1, col. 2:
“Beefsteak Nazis” are cropping out in eastern Europe as the Red armies advance. This is a term applied by Kurt Singer, European journalist, to the turncoats who were very good nazis while the going was good, but are now running to cover. Like beefsteak, they are a good nazi brown on the outside, but inside they claim to be Red.
Their change will fool nobody. Like some beefsteaks, they will probably be done to a turn.
The Saturday Evening Post
He was to be what the Communists called a “beefsteak Nazi” — brown on top, red underneath.
The Genesis of the Nazi Reich
By Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr
Westport, CT: Praeger
Most of the Strasser people were, in fact, anti-Semitic socialists—what the SA men would call “Beefsteak Nazis”: brown on the outside and red on the inside.
George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party
By William H. Schmaltz
Washington, DC: Brassey’s
Stormtrooper Andrew Chappell was known among the other party members as a “beefsteak” Nazi: Nazi brown on the outside and “Red” on the inside.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, January 18, 2016 • Permalink