Letter: A ‘Jewish thing’ and a brutal reality
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I agree the Holocaust "was not just a Jewish thing" ("Facing up to the realities of Holocaust," letter, July 15) -- it was an existential Jewish thing.
To diminish the significance of the slaughter of six million Jews, by some estimates 1Ž2 of the world’s population of Jews, as simply one of many acts of hatred is, in my view, denigrating to the memory of those who died in the death camps as well as the survivors and their progeny. That the Nazi killing machine targeted other minorities such as Roma (gypsies), gays, etc. -- bigots are bigots, as Gertrude Stein might have said, -- does not distract from the underlying purpose of the Holocaust -- the "final solution" of the Jewish problem -- the destruction of a people precisely because they were Jews.
The Holocaust can be seen as the culmination of a centuries-old story. When the Black Death gave rise to the libel of the wells and Jews were blamed, Jews were forced to move east where they found a home in Poland -- only to find the Nazi death camps six centuries later. That is a Jewish thing and the reality of the Holocaust.
CARL F. GOODMAN