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JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF U.S. v. AMERICAN NAZI PARTY

September 30, 1966

JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES, DEPARTMENT OF ILLINOIS, AND HERMAN MOSES, COMMANDER, JEWISH WAR VETERANS, DEPARTMENT OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFFS.
v.
THE AMERICAN NAZI PARTY ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Perry, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM

The original complaint filed by plaintiffs in this cause, under 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985(3), sought the issuance by this court of a temporary restraining order — and a preliminary injunction after a hearing — restraining defendants, "and all other persons acting by, through or in their behalf, individually and collectively, and all other persons who have, may now or may hereafter combine, conspire or act with them, or as individuals, from conducting, organizing or participating in public or semi-private meetings and from other unreasonable public demonstrations in support of alleged redress for alleged grievances, and:

  "A) From organizing, or participating in any
      march, assembly, gathering or meeting on
      public property in the City of Chicago, or
      the place more commonly known as the Coliseum
      at 1513 South Wabash Avenue, or in the
      Northern District of Illinois, Eastern
      Division, until the further order of court.
  "B) From doing any and all acts to injure,
      threaten or intimidate the Plaintiffs and
      others similarly situated, or in any way
      deprive them of the equal protection of the
      laws as conferred upon them by the 14th
      Amendment to the United States Constitution
      and the Statutes of the United States, Title
      42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985, Title 28, U.S.C.
      Section 1343, by the incitement to a riot or
      subject the Plaintiffs to deprivation of
      civil rights as aforesaid by the display of
      the swastika, by the use of hate slogans or
      degenerate minstrel doggerel or by the
      distribution of defamatory leaflets or
      pamphlets containing statements derogatory of
      Plaintiffs and their religious association.
  "C) From depriving Plaintiffs and others
      similarly situated, of their rights under the
      Constitution and Statutes of the United
      States with respect to Plaintiffs' right of
      privacy and equal protection of the laws by
      purposeful and intentional discrimination by
      making utterances and distributing printed
      material that holds them up to contempt and
      ridicule or as being traitors and communists.
  "D) From depriving Plaintiffs of their right of
      privacy by promoting public hatred and
      contempt of their religious identification.

The complaint charges that the American Nazi Party engages in public demonstrations and meetings to incite riot and to create disturbances of the peace, and distributes, nationally and internationally, anti-Jew and anti-Negro hate literature containing depraved obscenities and vulgar racist deprecations and makes public threats of exterminating and inflicting genocide upon the Jews and Negroes; that it is publicly dedicated to the fascist anti-human crimes against humanity doctrine of "Mein Kampf" by Adolph Hitler; that it is dedicated to resurrect by violence the principles of national Socialism, through its affiliate international organization, World Union National Socialists; that defendant George Lincoln Rockwell is the Commander of the World Union National Socialists and is the dominant person in establishing policy and the administration of all of the activities of the named defendants in the United States and throughout the international organization; and that defendant World Union National Socialists organization is simply the international duplicate of defendant American Nazi Party.

Because the meeting at the Coliseum was scheduled to be held the very next day, a hearing was held on September 9, 1966 — the day of the filing of the complaint — and the court, having considered the evidence and exhibits introduced and having heard argument of counsel, stated that it would treat the motion for a restraining order as one for a preliminary injunction (to make its order appealable) and that, so treating it, the motion was denied, it appearing, among other things, that the proposed meeting at the Coliseum was to be held on premises lawfully hired for the purpose and that there was no immediate danger of rioting or disorder. Moreover, in so far as the complaint sought relief on behalf of members of the Negro race, the plaintiffs were without standing. Hindsight now makes it appear that the denial of the motion for injunction was a sound ruling because the meeting at the Coliseum where defendant Rockwell spoke was attended by an audience estimated at only from 150 to 180 persons and the meeting caused no civil disorder.

Of late, marches, demonstrations and picketing have been widespread and on the increase throughout the country — particularly, during the past year, in Chicago. The peaceful marches of Negroes in Chicago into business areas and their sit-down demonstrations attracted many irresponsible and violent participants and a climate of racial unrest and rioting has prevailed with alternating cries of "Black Power" and "White Power".

In this turbulent situation, defendants, who are avowed adherents of Nazi principles of hate and violence and who are disciples of Adolph Hitler, entered the picture, assumed the self-proclaimed role of defenders and spokesmen for all white people, and started marching and demonstrating under the banner of the swastika.

With Nazi symbols and carrying placards designed to spread race hatred, they appeared in white neighborhoods and then announced a march to be held in a Negro neighborhood. The march was held with less than 100 of the so-called "storm-troopers" participating but the police were on hand and, aided by a group of Negro youths, kept order in a situation where violence might have erupted.

The defendants, emboldened by success in marching and speaking without interference from any municipal government, the police or any court, announced that on the Jewish High Holy Days, beginning September 15, 1966, a Nazi march into Jewish neighborhoods would be held. The line of march as outlined would take them by and near Jewish synagogues carrying placards inscribed with vicious, irreverent and vulgar language directed to worshipping, law-abiding citizens of the Jewish faith, — all this under the cloak of freedom of speech, and all in direct and flagrant violation of the right of a people to assemble and worship peacefully and without insult.

On September 14, 1966, plaintiffs filed an "Emergency Complaint for Temporary Restraining Order" in this cause, incorporating by reference the original complaint filed herein — but excluding that portion thereof referring to the meeting of September 10, 1966 at the Coliseum in Chicago, Illinois — and alleging, on information and belief, that the American Nazi Party and the other defendants "intend to demonstrate and march in the City of Chicago and environs, around the Jewish Synagogues during the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, from the sunset of September 14, 1966 to and including September 24, 1966, and thereafter," and that such march or demonstrations by the defendants would tend to incite riot, create public disturbances and to ...


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