Letter: Time must not diminish horrors of Holocaust

Posted
Time mustn't diminish horrors of Holocaust

To the editor:

The Nov. 26 letter from Connie Yannone saying that the main difference between the Nazis and ISIS is that the Nazis made their victims wait in concentration camps rather than kill them immediately was excellent.

Today there are many issues that people think are the worst things that have ever happened. The drug epidemic and homeless are huge problems, as are violence and jobs going overseas.

To me, what my dad and two uncles went through in the concentration camps eclipses all of those issues. They were Jews imprisoned solely because of their religion. Everyone in the camps was starved, tortured and made to perform labor. Plus no one ever knew what day would be their last day before being shot to death.

My dad, Edward Ditman, was well known in the local community as a Holocaust survivor. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, and I miss him and my mom a great deal. My dad and my uncle recounted many times over the years their experiences in the death camps. My other uncle passed away in 1967 and I did not really have a chance to get to know him.

With at least six decades between the Holocaust and present-day America the brutality, horror and intensity of it all have faded somewhat in the mind of society. Having fewer Holocaust survivors alive has also contributed to that period of history seeming not as important. As I lived with that experience all my life through the experiences of my dad and uncle, the Holocaust is as real and vital as if it had happened yesterday.

It is wonderful that today we Americans can conduct our daily lives without fear of being starved, beaten and persecuted for being the religious group we are. I realize that in many places in our country there are violence and shootings related to drugs and guns, but still, let us never forget what the six million Jews and five million other assorted victims endured before perishing.

I am luck enough to have a picture of my dad's parents and the sisters and brothers that he lost. They are an extremely important part of my history and a microcosm that is multiplied many times over for the families of Holocaust survivors.

Diane Ditman, Pittsfield


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