3 Videos For Your Meeting

For your Newsletter

The topic of the 21-minute video for your ZOOM RC meeting:

The Keokuk Peace Letters, 1932 - 2022: Nationalism, Then & Now

Today, the world situation is alarmingly similar as nationalism and ideologies that violate human rights are on the rise again. In this context, a new peace initiative has been inaugurated. “The original impulse for me were the Keokuk Peace Letters,” Tony Conn, RC Keokuk, Iowa, comments in explaining his strong interest in the program. They date back to the year 1932, a time that was shaped by the consequences of the global economic crisis and the specters of nationalism and totalitarian ideologies. At that time, Jewett Fulton of the RC Keokuk experienced these growing dangers personally at the Rotary Convention held in Vienna in 1931 and had subsequently traveled around Europe for several weeks. What he experienced was demoralizing; he was tormented by presentiments of where the political mood in Europe might lead.


Once back in the United States, he penned a passionate appeal for peace and freedom (“Let us smoke the peace pipe together”) and sent to all 504 Rotary Clubs that existed in the world at that time. Yogi Reppmann, RC Northfield, Minnesota & Flensburg, Germany, emphasizes that “this moving and timeless collection of letters revolves around two central fundamental values of Rotary: understanding among nations and dedication to world peace.”

The May 23-27, 2022 conference in Northfield is based on these fundamental values, which is why the title story of the richly illustrated online conference magazine — p’review — features some of the Keokuk Peace Letters, 331 pages. As Conn points out, “the rediscovery of these almost forgotten letters provided the initial spark for our idea of thinking in common about Rotary’s mission. Our concern is to bring into sharper focus the areas of peace and the prevention of conflicts.”

Conn and Reppmann find it heartening that, under the shadow of the murder of George Floyd by a policeman and the storming of the Capitol by a mob, Rotarians in the United States are looking to Germany for advice. Dr. Jim Hart of the Rotary Club of St. Paul, Minnesota wonders if Americans, by concerning themselves with the crimes of National Socialism, might learn something about the country’s own dark chapter of slavery. Many have also taken a special interest in the “Stumbling Blocks,” of which 75,000 have been placed in front of dwellings in many German cities and towns. Their purpose is to commemorate those Jewish fellow citizens who were driven out or murdered during the Nazi period.

Dr. Joachim "Yogi" Reppmann was born in Flensburg, State of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in 1957 (bordertown to Denmark at Baltic Sea – north of Hamburg).  He matriculated at the University of Kiel, where he studied history, American literature, and philosophy.  In 1978 and fueled by his fascination with America from reading wild west fiction novels he traveled to the United States to learn everything he could about our country. He has written several books on notable Schleswig-Holstein emigrants and the mass migration to the United States; served as a professor of German at St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges in Northfield, Minnesota; and chaired several conferences. The Steuben Society of America’s History Award, 2014, has been presented to him for his research on the 1848 movement’s democratic impact in Germany, and the USA.

Tony Conn, +1 (515) 418-5865   

2020 Conn Portrait.jpg

Dr. Yogi Reppmann, +1 (507) 518-6734  

Anthony Conn is a field agent for the Knights of Columbus Insurance as well as president of Conn Communications, Inc., a wireless communications agent in Iowa and Missouri.  He served 10 years in the United States Army as an officer in the Corps of Engineers, stationed at posts in South Korea, Germany, and United States.  Anthony is a graduate of St. Ambrose University, B.S. Mathematics.  He has served on many civic organizations in his community and currently board member of Keokuk Area Community Foundation and RC Keokuk, Iowa, USA.  He is President and co-founder of Peace Pipe Proposal, llc., a non-profit organization that promotes world peace and international understanding. 

Tallinn, Estonia Tragedy, 1932 - Tony Conn Research

Tony Conn Tallinn Slides - Powerpoint

Please, invite Tony or Yogi to present a PowerPoint to your club / organization

or use 21 minute video: ABOVE - Red Button


All information in the document can be copied and pasted into an email/newsletter, but the portrait photos need to be individually copied and pasted one at a time due to computer limitations.