FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) -The president of Fresno State is officially in support of changing the name of the university’s Henry Madden Library, according to a letter released Wednesday.

In the letter, dated May 18 and addressed to the California State University system’s executive vice chancellor, Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval formally recommended that the CSU trustees approve the removal of Henry Madden’s name from the library. He cited Dr. Madden’s “deeply antisemitic views and Nazi sympathies.”

The letter states that the initial discovery of Dr. Madden’s views prompted the creation of a task force to conduct a thorough investigation into his writings. The 74-page report examined 53 boxes of material containing more than 100,000 letters and documents that Dr. Madden donated to Fresno State.

The letter adds that because Dr. Madden personally curated the materials before turning them over to the library, he was aware of their contents and knowingly included the “disturbing letters” that established his views. There was also no evidence that he later renounced those views.

The task force unanimously established that Dr. Madden:

  • Expressed antisemitic and pro-Nazi views before World War II, some of
    which included violent statements.
  • Continued to express antisemitic sentiments after World War II.
  • Never apologized for, expressed remorse about, or otherwise attempted to
    make amends for his antisemitic or pro-Nazi views at any point.
  • Never expressed empathy or sympathy for Jewish victims of Nazi crimes,
    including the Holocaust.
  • Made racist remarks about Jews and other individuals (Asians, Mexicans,
    for example) as an administrator at California State University, Fresno.
  • Stated in writing that some of his policies and actions as an administrator
    were influenced by his racist views.

Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval ends with the conclusion that Dr. Madden’s name must be removed from the library “as an important and necessary step toward healing for our community.”

Any re-naming of the Henry Madden Library would have to be approved by the CSU board of trustees.