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New York Sharply Upbraided for Veto on Nazi Martyr Monuments

February 12, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The action of the New York City Art Commission, in rejecting placement of two proposed memorials to the 6,000,000 Jewish victims of the Nazi holocaust in the city’s Riverside Park, was attacked today by one of the monument sponsors and by the Workmen’s Circle, a fraternal organization.

The commission barred the proposed memorials, one of them sponsored by the Warszw Ghetto Resistance Organization, on grounds that they would be “distressing” to park users and to avoid setting “an unfortunate precedent.” The commission also held that monuments should be restricted to American events.

New York State Sen. Paul Bookson, a Manhattan Democrat and counsel for the resistance group, denounced the decision and said “the monument commemorating the War saw Ghetto struggle will be built.”

The Workmen’s Circle urged the Mayor to call a public hearing to determine whether members of the Commission “should not be reversed and censured.” It called the decision one reflecting a “callous disregard of tragic historic events.”

Sen. Bookson, challenging the decision, said that “the people who have given their lives in the struggle for freedom have won the right to be memorialized in the City of New York and the City will have this monument.” He charged that, when representatives of the resistance group tried to meet with the commission two months ago, a representative “refused to meet with the organization.”

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