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Robert McAfee Brown

Glimpses of What Life is Meant To Be

Robert McAfee Brown and Elie Weisel


Brown became a close friend of Elie Wiesel during a visit to Stanford in 1974. He was appointed to the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 and later became a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.Wiesel was chairman of the council. Brown resigned in 1985 in response to President Ronald Reagan's visit to Germany where he visited a cemetary where SS soldiers were buried.

Comments at Emergency Meeting of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, May 13, 1985

Each of us has to act from conscience, Mr. Chairman, and to state my own position of conscience is not to question the integrity of another's conscience. I stress the point since my own position will put me at odds with people in this room whose convictions I admire and whose friendship I cherish.

I support the resolution calling for the collective resignation by the Council. I have been shocked by the insensitivity of the president in recent weeks to everything for which the Council stands. Recall that series of events:

We assert the absolute necessity of remembering the past; the president, when the German trip is first under discussion, insists that there should be no trip to Dachau, telling us that we must forget the past and look to the future.

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Photo: Harry James Cargas, Elie Wiesel and Brown at Webster University, St. Louis, circa 1980. Cargas, like Brown, was a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

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