MILWAUKEE (Aug. 11)
The local Nazi Party and the Zionist Organization of America have both agreed to close their booths at the Wisconsin State Fair after visitors engaged in bitter arguments with the Nazis last Thursday, the first day of the fair. Officials of the fair said discussions with organizers of the Nazi booth began after a Milwaukee man jumped across the table at the booth and allegedly tried to strangle one of the Nazis. Fair officials in a separate meeting with the organizers of the Jewish booth asked them to close their exhibit as well.
The ZOA, which had its booth at the opposite end of the exhibit hall, agreed to close their booth Friday, the same day the Nazis closed theirs, because their booth had been set up primarily to counter the Nazi exhibit. The ZOA booth, which was operated jointly with Milwaukee chapters of Concerned Jewish Citizens, showed films and slides of Nazi atrocities against Jews. A number of Jews and Blacks hurled insults and epithets at the Nazis as they strolled past their booths.
Earlier in the week State Attorney General Bronson La Follette and Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union Executive Director William Lynch ruled that closing the Nazi booth would be an infringement of free speech. The ruling was made after local county supervisors and state representatives had urged the State Fair Board to void the fair’s contract with the Nazis. Fair officials subsequently issued a statement saying the Nazis had agreed to close their booth “for the good of the State Fair.”