A must-read story of survival
Jesse Berman’s feature story on Ida Schmidt-Chait’s survival during the Holocaust and the dedication of the new Ringelblum Archive memorial (“Ida’s story,” May 7) is a must read of the powerful human spirit of survival. Aleksandra Engler-Malinowska’s work in helping to create the memorial, along with tour guide Paweł Szczerkowski, show how two Polish citizens could recognize the Holocaust, as Engler-Malinkowska so strikingly declares, as “a terrifying lesson about humanity and human beings” and can resolve “to do something, my little part, to prevent this” from happening again.
Engler-Malinowska’s recent devotion to raking leaves in Warsaw’s Jewish cemetery reminded me of a German woman I worked with, not too long ago, who told me that after the war her mother in Germany took care of the Jewish cemetery near her mother’s home because there was no one else left to take care of it.
Inconvenient truths in the Middle East
I share some of the concerns expressed by Clifford D. May in his May 14 article (“Human Rights Watch has now gone beyond antisemitism”). However, his description of the relationships between Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is warped. Nowhere does he mention that there is an Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including checkpoints. Nor does he mention that Israel maintains a blockade of Gaza on the Mediterranean. To borrow former vice president Al Gore’s phrase, I guess these are just “inconvenient truths.”