Fresno State task force finds Henry Madden’s writings included racist and anti-Semitic remarks

FRESNO, California (KFSN) – A Fresno State task force set up to investigate alleged racist and anti-Semitic writings by Henry Madden, the university library’s namesake, has submitted a 71-page report.

One of the Jewish members of the task force told Action News that Madden’s writing was “as bigoted as anything I have ever seen.” The writings also contained some racist comments, according to many members of the panel.

There was no evidence of remorse or that Madden denied any of this.

The working group went through more than 50 boxes of Madden’s writings, many of which are in Hungarian, German and other languages.

A history class in Fresno State helped them get through it all and they had someone on the team who could do all the translation.

The panel did not comment Monday on whether the Henry Madden Library should be renamed, but is expected to do so by July. That’s also when the board of California State University could vote in favor of removing Madden’s name from the library.

Editor’s note: The above video is from a previous show and will be updated.

Henry Madden was a longtime librarian who started working at the Fresno State Library in 1949 and retired in 1979. According to the library’s website, during his tenure, the library’s collection grew from about 70,000 volumes to about 576,000 volumes. .

The building was renamed in his honor in 1981.

The Fresno State professor, Dr. Bradley Hart briefly mentioned Madden in his 2018 book, “Hitler’s American Friends.”

He said Madden had expressed Nazi sympathies and explicitly expressed his hatred of the Jewish people.

RELATED: Fresno State Library could be renamed after the resurgence of racist, anti-Semitic texts

Hart quoted Madden as saying: “Whenever I see one of these predatory noses, or these wandering and teary eyes, or these thin lips, or these flat feet, or these nasal and grunting voices, I tremble anger and hatred. are the oppressors … Who do I hate more than the Jews? ».

Three years later, Madden’s words shocked the first Fresno State class to commission the book. They shared their anger with the administration.

University officials said the papers they found stored in the library from the 1930s were shocking, prompting them to act.

The task force consists of 18 people who sifted through Madden’s archives and examined how they shaped his views and actions as administrator at Fresno State.

The committee members will hold a virtual roundtable discussion on Monday at 13.00 to discuss the first part of their findings. Another meeting is scheduled for Friday at 12 noon.

Both are open to the public. For more information or to attend the meetings, Click here.

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