The recently-appointed head of Veterans Affairs for Wisconsin spoke against the removal of Confederate monuments in a letter to his hometown newspaper.
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel Zimmerman denounced “anti-fascists” for trying to “sanitize” history.
“Free republics are built on strong foundations that consist of a comprehensive education that includes history and critical thinking skills. Authoritarian societies are based on indoctrination and intimidation,” wrote Zimmerman.
He continued, “History tells us that if a free-thinking population rejects an ideology, then those who were rejected often use indoctrination and intimidation to impose it — just like the racist segregationists did in the Civil War, during Reconstruction and for 100 years thereafter.”
DVA spokeswoman Carla Vigue confirmed to the Wisconsin State Journal that Zimmerman wrote the letter, which was published on August 31st in the Ripon Commenwealth Press.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin recently ordered the removal of a Confederate memorial in Forest Hill Cemetery, which was placed there in 1981. Madison’s City Council will decide the fate of another memorial at an upcoming meeting.
Zimmerman took office after the resignation of John Scocos, who was facing pressure after investigations into the conditions of treatment at the VA Medical Center in Tomah and the Veteran’s Home at King.