The First Step Toward Genocide | Letters | Chicago Reader

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The First Step Toward Genocide

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To the editors:

If Skokie's Holocaust Memorial Foundation [Our Town, May 4] wants to teach others how the Holocaust happened, it might begin by denouncing all invocations of collective guilt. The condemnation of a whole people for the actions of some is the first step toward genocide. The Czech people suffered betrayal into the hands of Hitler by France and England in 1938, the Stalinism of the 1950s, and Soviet imperialism in 1968. Yet, Joseph Neumann says of today's Czechs (most of whom were born after 1945), "I want they should suffer, all of them. I was as good a Czech as they can be, but they still put me in a cattle car. I want they should all burn in flame." Who precisely is this "they"? We might well ponder the immortal words of Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

J.K.

Chicago

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