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Opinion: What L.A.'s anti-Nazi resisters in the 1930s can teach us today

The western side of Crescenta Valley Park, known as Hindenburg Park, gained notoriety in the late 1930s when the Bund, a political group styling itself after the Nazis, staged several rallies there.
(Historical Society of Crescenta)

To the editor: Steven J. Ross’ op-ed article on Nazi plots to kill Jews in Los Angeles in the 1930s was chilling, ominous and relevant to our area today. (“How a network of citizen-spies foiled Nazi plots to exterminate Jews in 1930s L.A.,” Opinion, Oct. 8.)

As a Jew who was born and reared in 1930s Boyle Heights, I narrowly missed being a target of the holocaust planned for that then-predominantly Jewish community. Luckily, the Nazis were ingeniously thwarted, as Ross describes.

I now reside in Santa Monica, a community that the “alt-right” has targeted for harassment. As Boyle Heights effectively did in the ’30s, Santa Monica is fighting back.

Spearheaded by our local Committee for Racial Justice, whose meetings have been invaded by neo-fascist and white supremacist groups, several of the city’s progressive organizations have coalesced into a resistance movement that trains members in legal rights and nonviolent resistance. So far, we’ve been able to thwart the thugs.

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Other municipalities and organizations have similarly been assailed. Ross’ article effectively alerts us all to the continuing threat.

Sherman Pearl, Santa Monica

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