A California university has decided to rename a library building after a former librarian who held anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi views.
The board of trustees at California State University at Fresno voted to remove the name of former longtime librarian Henry Miller Madden, based on statements found in his personal papers.
During his visit to New York in 1934, Mr. Madden wrote in a letter to his mother: “I spent a good twenty minutes walking around, looking all the time for an honest nice face, and I don’t think I saw one. a. And what Jews! Noisy, dirty, smelly, ugly – Jews like you’ve never seen before, absolutely unlike the Jews of SF.
In a letter to a friend, Mr. Madden writes: “The Jews: I develop a violent and almost uncontrollable phobia against them. Every time I see one of those predatory noses, or those wandering, leering eyes, or those drooling lips, or those flat feet, or those nasal, whiny voices, I tremble with rage and hatred.
On another occasion, Mr Madden wrote of his fantasies of driving Jews “barefoot to some remote place in Texas” to camps “enclosed by electrically charged barbed wire”.
University president Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval said a task force examined the 53 boxes of material Madden donated to the library in 1980 in an effort to examine “the trajectory of his thoughts, if later in life he had come to some kind of judgment and displayed remorse or regret for the opinions he held in his twenties or thirties. What we found was that there was really no evidence that he gave up on those views.
A university professor of media, Bradley Hart, who researched Henry Miller Madden for his book Hitler’s American Friendswrote that “This is a great moment for the State of Fresno. Today we have rectified a historical error.
Campaign Against Antisemitism reports news and incidents related to antisemitism across the United States.