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Mayor Declines to Ban Nazi Meeting; Declares Such Act Would Be ‘like Hitler’

February 19, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mayor LaGuardia announced at City Hall tonight that he did not intend to prohibit the rally of the German-American Bund at the Madison Square Garden next Monday night despite protests received by his office from various organizations. He said that he would be doing “exactly as Hitler is doing in carrying on his abhorrent form of government” if he attempted to ban the meeting “because I don’t agree with the sponsors of this meeting and just because they abuse the mayor of New York.

As long as the meeting is conducted in orderly fashion and no speeches are made advocating overthrow of the Government by force and violence, it will be permitted to be held, the Mayor said. He added that the same police “precautions” would be taken for this rally as are taken for similar meetings. Regarding the statement of Fritz Kuhn, leader of the Bund, that 3,000 Bund men would be on hand to preserve order, the Mayor said that “the police will attend to their duty and nobody will substitute for the police.”

Among the organizations which protested against the meeting are the Descendants of the American Revolution and the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League.

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