Rotary/Rotaract Conference Online Magazine
**People everywhere are familiar with Rotary International which, since its founding in 1905, has been a service organization one of whose major goals is working to help further world peace and understanding among nations. Yet it is likely that far fewer know of the parallel organization known as Rotaract, an international program for young people between the ages of 18 and 30 that was established in 1968 and currently has over 290,000 members. Rotaract members share the same goals as their parent organization, and typically join Rotary once they have established careers for themselves.
The Rotary Keokuk Peace Letters, 1932-2022 – Nationalism, Then & Now:
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.
With the Rotary Peace Pipe Letters from Keokuk, IA & Democracies under Pressure as background, Reppmann and Conn are organizing an international Rotary work conference May 23-27, 2022 in Northfield, Minnesota, USA: www.PeaceConference.us
One of the discussion points at the conference will concern how to find appropriate ways of dealing with the dark chapters of history. Four hundred years of slavery in the New World will be discussed, as well as Germany's confrontation with the Holocaust. www.KeokukPeaceLetters.com
(Dr. Joachim Reppmann, 103 North Orchard St., Northfield, MN, 55057; email@example.com