Harry S. Truman photo

Letter to John L. Sullivan Accepting the Honorary Chairmanship of National Brotherhood Week.

October 05, 1949

Dear John:

Respect for human dignity is the central issue in the world struggle today.

America is dedicated to the conviction that all people are entitled by the gift of God to equal rights and freedoms even though they may differ in religious persuasion, in social and political views or in racial origin. Our greatness is and will be measured by the degree of our recognition of this fundamental truth.

Millions of people in our world are living in slavery. They are subject to the iron rule of despots who make the state supreme and who constantly violate God-given human rights. Free people everywhere are horrified to witness the subjugation of their fellow human beings by the totalitarian states. No group is being spared. Protestants, Jews, Catholics and Orthodox are being crushed into submission. Statesmen of democratic spirit and writers, teachers, and scientists of independent mind are being destroyed. The conscience of the free world is appalled by their shocking martyrdom.

At such a time our people, with others of like devotion to freedom and human dignity, must demonstrate a greater measure of fraternity and unity than ever before. There probably has never been a time in history when true brotherhood was so indispensable to the welfare of our own nation and to the peace and freedom of the entire world.

It is for these reasons that I am happy to accept the Honorary Chairmanship of Brotherhood Week 1950. I urge all Americans to ponder well the true meaning of brotherhood and I hope that all citizens will join with you as General Chairman and with the National Conference of Christians and Jews to help make justice, amity and understanding the daily practice of our nation.

It seems to me that Americans can make no greater contribution to all mankind than to stand united, without a state imposed uniformity, for the achievement of that peace and freedom for which all people everywhere pray.

Very sincerely yours,


[The Honorable John L. Sullivan, General Chairman, Brotherhood Week, National Conference of Christians and Jews, New York, N.Y.]

Harry S Truman, Letter to John L. Sullivan Accepting the Honorary Chairmanship of National Brotherhood Week. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230136

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives