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1932-2022: Nationalism - Then & Now

Keokuk Peace Letters (331 p) - How to Shape the Future

Today we sense once again that the fundamental values of our communal life are under threat, in the form of nationalism, populism, homophobia. The commitment to peace and mutual understanding among peoples remains a constant challenge—and a perpetual task for all of us.

In 1931, Jewett Fulton, Keokuk, IA, attended the Rotary International Convention in Vienna, Austria. There, he and other delegates grew concerned about rising nationalism and the danger of its leading to war. Returning home, he sent letters to all 504 Rotary clubs outside the US. Twenty-nine German Clubs were among those that received the letter from Keokuk in 1931, and of these fifteen sent responses back to Keokuk. At the time, in Germany, Rotary was not able to stand up to the Nazis forever and eventually the Jewish members were expelled and then Rotary Clubs and most other internationalist organizations were forced out of Germany.

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