The Ethical Spectacle, July 1995, http://www.spectacle.org

Letters

I'm in it for the letters. Please email me your comments. I will print your name and email address unless otherwise requested.

The following three letters related to An Auschwitz Alphabet.

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Hi there!

I'm happy to see a site such as yours. You hear too much these days about all of the people spreading hate and lies on the 'Net - how come we never hear about people like you who tell the truth? I hope you don't get too much mail from Cybernazi's - I've seen some of their stuff - what an illiterate bunch! Anyway, keep your pages open - you're providing a wonderful service for people who don't know about the Holocaust, or are questioning its existence. And unfortunately, it did exist.

Tracey Winters tracey_winters@mindlink.bc.ca

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Just finished your essay "What I learned from Auschwitz." It was the most thoughtful piece on this topic I've ever read by a Jewish writer.

I'm sort of an agnostic revisionist. Part of it is my own German heritage. The revisionist types offer some intellectual comfort. They allow me to believe that "my people" certainly couldn't designed such a monstrosity.

Beyond that, I think that certain technical aspects of the Holocaust need a better exposition. All good conspiracy theories have a kernel of truth. The revisionists have exploited some small, but thoughtful, inconsistencies. Enough, at least, to interest folks like myself.

The McVay-IHR debate, which I've reviewed, actually seems healthy. My interest is in the truth. In this regard, I would say that David Irving's speculations have been the most damaging. I used to dabble in WWII. Irving stands a class apart from the rest of the revisionist crowd.

In the end, I'm not quite sure how the Holocaust debate will turn out.

(Sent by anonymous remailer)

I found your letter rather spooky--first one I've ever gotten by anonymous remailer, lacking a "from" line. I bristle at lines like "It was the most thoughtful piece on this topic I've ever read by a Jewish writer."

I am glad that you apparently felt some kind of compassionate connection to the piece. However, if you thought you found any support for revisionism, you are wrong. Genocide happened; it is not really important, for example, whether the victims at Auschwitz numbered 1.1 million or 3 million, as the facts--the crematoria, the gas, murder by injection or starvation--remain the same.

I believe that debates are usually healthy when they involve differing theories of morality or the facts. I would not call the debates between the Flat Earth society and astronomers, between the creationists and the evolutionists, or between the revisionists and historians healthy. Holocaust revisionism involves the falsification and denial of facts. I am not sure how you could read the excerpts I included from Levi or Wiesel, or look at the photographs, and say the Holocaust never happened.

Dear Mr. Blumen:

I have not read it all yet. I printed every word, and having just finished "Schindler's List" recently, I intend to take my time with this one.

What I have read makes me believe this should be published in book format.

I do not know my religious or racial background, as I am adopted and my biological mother was also adopted. I know that I fit many of the "Jewish American Princess" stereotypes. Regardless of whether I am Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, agnostic, atheist, this work has moved me beyond my previous understanding of the Holocaust.

My first introduction to this mass slaughter of human beings was when I read a book called Auschwitz when I was nine or ten years old (I was quite a precocious little reader). I do not remember the author's name, but the images in that book are forever seared into my memory.

As I was printing out your documents, I glanced at the screen occasionally, and saw a reference to a decline in public worship by modern Jews. I beg you, fight this. Judaism is one of the oldest religions and way of life on this planet. It must continue to add to the rich heritage of ALL mankind.

The Holocaust must be kept alive in the memories of those who were there and passed on faithfully to those who came later (such as myself). We must teach our children the lessons learned from that period of history, and we must reinforce at all times that fanaticism of any kind is counter productive to harmony among all peoples.

My heart goes out to you. Thank you for putting this on the net, and thank you for being brave. My prayers are with you. When I have finished the entire manuscript, I will send more complete reflections.

With Deepest Respect,

Elaine Jordaan emjord@fishnet.net

Thank you. it is letters like this that make the Ethical Spectacle worth it--they are the only compensation I receive from doing this.

Dear Mr. Blumen:

Browsing the liberal musings of your frustrated contributors as they bemoan the tide of conservatism that is sweeping the country in the wake of the Clinton disaster, I can only laugh at the hate and venom spewing from their keyboards. Face it people, liberalism is a bankrupt theology and the years of the "Great Society" are finally ending. Trillions of dollars wasted on social engineering has produced a society that is devouring itself. Long live Newt!

Please omit my E-mail address as I don't need the hate mail.

This is only the second flame I have yet recieved, and the first flamer has become a friend and occasional contributor. I wrote back commenting that nothing I have written--and, I believe, nothing I have printed-- was written with hate or venom, though much of it was written with deep distress. I also asked this correspondent the following questions:

Is compassion an important value?

If yes, (and granted that Democrats have largely failed) what will the Republicans do to help the poor?

Does he believe Mr. Gingrich is a compassionate man?

He replied; I'll run the whole dialog in the next issue.