Keeping Spotlight on Genocide Replay

I particularly appreciate the Dec. 17 Danziger cartoon of a well-heeled couple commenting on the film ``Schindler's List'' while oblivious to the news of the raging replay of the Holocaust in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Several days prior to this cartoon's publication, a Santa-and-Rudolph ``Wishing you a Merry Christmas'' sign was placed in front of my yard installation that presents a Bosnian family mourning a loved one. It declares: ``Stop Genocide, Help Bosnia.''

The message for my family and the community was clear: We were dampening the holidays for our neighbors. Ironically, the suffering of others was inconceivable for some people, or at least inappropriate to contemplate during the holiday season. Barry Reese, Houston

Keeping Spotlight on Genocide Replay

The Monitor cartoons by Jeff Danziger have kept the plight of Sarajevo in the forefront for many months. He has refused to push this tragic issue aside, and for that we can be thankful.

World leaders seem to be saying, ``Too bad, Bosnia, but you just don't represent anything vital to our interests.''

The ugly truth is that a communist threat to the United States is not present, nor is there a danger of losing our supply of oil. Ruth F. Wilson, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Undying dignity

The opinion-page article ``We Are Staying Until the Story Ends,'' Dec. 28, presents far more than a moving and thought-provoking account of events in the former Yugoslavia by a citizen of Sarajevo. It is a message of dignity, spirit, and moral imperative. As the author so powerfully states, ``normal life'' should be characterized by and inseparable from tolerance and love, not enhanced by them in any revocable sense. The defense of these values, described not as heroic but as the preservation of the reality of his beloved city, is a humbling and inspiring reminder to the world that watches and prays. Melissa Morill, Washington

Growing up in Nazi Germany

The opinion-page article ``Schindler's Mystery,'' Jan. 5, contains this thought-provoking statement: ``One of the questions of the Holocaust is: How did so many basically `good' people surrender their consciences to a madman?''

I think that I am able to answer that question, or part of it, because as a boy and teenager I lived under the National Socialist system. During the 1920s and '30s, relatively few people knew and understood what fascism, National Socialism, or right-wing extremism really was, because there seemed to be no historic precedent for them. Today almost every child knows.

So many good people got fooled and became party members because a subtle psychological pressure and dependency made it almost impossible not to do so. When people began to recognize the demonic character of the leaders and their dogma it was too late.

In my middle teens I became aware of things that didn't seem to make sense: If we Germans are so good and the British so bad, why then are the small countries near us so anxious to get away from us and seek help from the British? But then, ``a good German shouldn't doubt''; ``Trust the Fuhrer.''

The propagandists such as Joseph Goebbels were sly and foxy. The media were under the total control of the dictator/government, and the ``great'' Fuhrer Adolf Hitler was always portrayed as the most noble person since Christ Jesus. According to the high-pitched propaganda, he was the only one who worked for peace and the good of Europe and the world. Only the others - Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin - were portrayed as evil warmongers who were dragging their people into a war against us good Germans.

Regarding the Holocaust, the mass of the German population didn't know what was going on. Sure, there were rumors sometimes, but nobody I knew took them seriously: ``The Fuhrer would never do something like that.''

Even when the war was over and the truth came out, at first it was hard to believe. ``It's just propaganda.'' But then, gradually, the terrible facts began to sink in that we Germans were not so good as we were conditioned to believe. Alfred W. Kubbos, Allston, Mass.

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