Jerry Kopel


Letter to the Editor for May 21 issue


Dr. Wagner is in error regarding recent events concerning the Holocaust Memorial (Statesman letter, May 14th). I certainly can't dispute his analysis of why the memorial resolution withered away between its passage in 1985 to 1990. I wasn't privy to any of those matters. But Dr. Wagner has a copy of a letter dated April 5, 1990 addressed to me, which begins:

"Doctor Stanley M. Wagner has informed me that you are still interested in the establishment of a Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol. I am gratified by your continued interest and pledge the support of the Holocaust Awareness Institute in making the memorial a reality."

The letter was signed by Dr. Michael Allen, director of the Holocaust Awareness Institute.

Sen. Sandy Hume, who initially raised the issue with me of reviving the memorial, asked that I contact the governor about proceeding. I assume this was because of the needed involvement of the director of the Dept. of Administration, and because the governor's support would jumpstart such an effort.

I contacted the governor's office. The governor's lobbyist reported directly back to me the governor wasn't interested in proceeding because he was concerned that such a memorial would be a target for vandalism by hate groups. I reported this to Sen. Hume but did not re-contact Dr. Wagner nor Dr. Allen regarding the decision.

The matter can be summed up in one sentence. Gov. Romer said "no" to proceeding towards a Holocaust Memorial on the capitol grounds and Gov. Owens said "yes".

Jerry Kopel

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