IN 1941, a group of Denver Jewish leaders — led by Col. Melvin Schlesinger and including such notables as Lou Isaacson, A.B. Hirschfeld, Max Goldberg and Emmett Heitler — started a regional office of the Anti-Defamation League in Denver.
Some say it was the first regional office ever organized outside of Chicago, where ADL was founded in 1913, and New York, where ADL is headquartered.
ADL will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a platinum gala, June 14, at Mile High Station, 5:30 p.m. to 8. p.m.
Colorado was a difficult place for Jews and other minorities in 1941. Only a few years before, the Ku Klux Klan was a powerhouse in local politics. Hitler had invaded Poland, occupied most of Europe and threatened England.
American isolationists blamed Jews for trying to involve the country in the European war, and radio preachers broadcast virulent anti-Semitism.