CHICAGO (Jan. 31)
The Illinois State Supreme Court yesterday for the second time in three days ruled that American Nazis have the constitutional right to march wearing swastikas through Skokie, a suburb of Chicago heavily populated by Jews, including some 7000 Holocaust survivors.
The court’s action yesterday rejected a suit filed by a group known as the Survivors of the Holocaust which had argued that the psychological and emotional scars caused by imprisonment in Nazi death camps would force the survivors to try to halt the Nazis, possibly by violent means. The court in dismissing a suit last Friday filed by the Village of Skokie said that residents could ignore the march if they found it offensive.
Reacting to the court’s ruling of last Friday, Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D.Pa.) said today in Washington that the decision showed “a callous disregard for the fact that the Nazi Party flatly calls for genocide against the Jewish people.” He observed that “freedom of speech is very much a part of the Jewish tradition but this is not a question of protecting freedom of speech. It is a case of abusing it. The Nazis make no attempt to disguise the fact that they seek to abuse the U.S. Constitution in order to carry out their program of hatred, bigotry and violence.” Eilberg added: “It is entirely appropriate for the community in Skokie to pursue every Constitutional remedy at its disposal to prevent the Nazis from marching.”