Road cleaned by neo-Nazis may be named for rabbi
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 8:10a.m.
Two Adopt-a-Highway signs on a Missouri road acknowledge a neo-Nazi group's participation in the state's litter prevention program.
But if Gov. Jay Nixon signs a large transportation bill, that half-mile section of road will be renamed "Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway" in honor of a rabbi who narrowly escaped the Nazis in World War II and later marched with Martin Luther King Jr.
The Springfield unit of the National Socialist Movement committed last year to clean up trash along the section of Highway 160 near the city limits in west Springfield. Two signs noting the group's membership in the Adopt-A-Highway program went up last October.
"For the National Socialist movement to be in the Adopt-a-Highway program is well within their rights," said Rabbi Alan L. Cohen of the Jewish Community Relations Board of Kansas City, which worked on selecting Heschel's name for the highway.
"But obviously there were people raising the concern that this is the wrong message for people to see driving down a Missouri highway, that there are National Socialists out here," Cohen said Sunday. "Wouldn't it be nice to have someone who stands for justice." ...CONTINUED HERE