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April 2017 - Anti-Nazi Resolution

As the world watched Germany with alarm in late 1938, Seattle City Council discussed the following resolution:

A RESOLUTION condemning the persecution of Jews and Catholics, warning against Nazi inspired stimulation of anti-Semitism in this and other cities, and requesting the President of the United States and Secretary of State to take appropriate action.

WHEREAS, the wanton persecution of German Jews and Catholics is spreading despair among hundreds of Seattle’s most respected citizens, whose friends and relatives are at the mercy of Nazi mobs intent upon reviving in Germany an intolerance repugnant to all civilized men and women and completely out of keeping with the ideals at the basis of American democracy; and,

WHEREAS, the only aid that can be given to the unfortunate victims of this persecution must come from outside the Third Reich; and,

WHEREAS, the best answer to Herr Goering’s brazen demand that Americans keep quiet or else is a demonstration from every walk of American life that his threats cannot prevent free citizens from expressing indignation against tyranny; and,

WHEREAS, President Roosevelt has from time to time expressed our nation’s sympathy for the helpless minorities within Germany’s borders; Now, Therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE:

That, speaking for thousands of liberty loving Seattle citizens, we condemn the wholesale persecution of Jews and Catholics in Nazi Germany and warn against Nazi inspired attempts to stir up racial and religious hatred in this and other Pacific Coast cities; and,

That we respectfully petition President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull to exercise every peaceful means in renewed efforts to stop the atrocities committed against thousands of German citizens, guilty of no crime except membership in a proscribed race or church; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we send copies of this resolution to President Roosevelt, Secretary Cordell Hull, and the German Consulate.

Attached to the draft resolution was a report from the Council’s Judiciary Committee recommending that the words “and we further condemn Naziism [sic], Fascism and Communism” be added to the end of the first paragraph of the “be it resolved” section.

The resolution was stamped “indefinitely postponed” and was eventually retired without passage.