Your editorial (June 10), "Waldheim: Past and Present," says Austria is "a country that for 40 years has wanted to forget its past," a judgment that is less than fair.
Numerous facts and developments clearly point at the onesidedness of the picture drawn by your paper.
Although three-fourths of the present Austrian population was not yet born or were still small children at the time of the Holocaust, Austrians are not indifferent to the greatest crime in history. Austrian students regularly visit a former concentration camp and young Austrian soldiers pledged their allegiance to a democratic Austria at that very same Mauthausen camp.
Great efforts are being made, particularly in the field of education, to deal with anti-Semitism and other forms of racism.
Our children are being taught the history of the Austrian resistance to Hitler: after all, by the time Hitler's supporters greeted him at Vienna's Heldenplatz, 70,000 Austrians had already been jailed or put into concentration camps. Yes, there was a genuine resistance against Nazism and its abhorrent ideology: between 1938 and 1945, about 100,000 Austrians were involved in Resistance activities. There were 35,300 who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the Nazis; 9,687 were murdered by the Gestapo, and 6,420 died in prison; 2,700 Austrian Resistance fighters were executed, and 16,493 perished in concentration camps.