Anent Gershom Gorenberg's column ("Israel Demeans Itself in an Affront to Armenians," Op-Ed Page, Oct. 30) on the Senate's consideration of a resolution declaring next April 26 as a memorial day for the 1 1/2 million Armenians devastated by the Turkish troops of Enver Pasha, and the ambiguity towards the resolution expressed by some alleged Jewish lobbyists:
Two days before the proposed date for the remembrance of the slaughter that destroyed half the Armenian population in Anatolia during World War I, the Jewish community will commemorate Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust that annihilated 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews by the design of Nazi barbarism. More than calendar proximity ties these two tragic events together. Both genocidal atrocities mark a kinship of suffering that should unite the actual and potential victims of totalitarian repression. Moreover, the two events are historically and morally related.
Adolph Hitler, urging the war of extermination against "all men, women, and children of the Polish race or language" at Obersalzburg on Aug. 22, 1939, sought to assure the military commanders of the Third Reich that the world would remain indifferent to their death design. His argument rested on the following rhetorical question: "Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?" Hitler used the same logic in launching his plan for a "final solution," the war against the Jews which resulted in the destruction of one-third of the Jewish people.
No people is an island, no event on this crowded planet can be isolated from another. And no games of "one-downsmanship" should place one people's suffering over another. Genocidal tragedies are indivisible. For the sake of the post-Holocaust generation, all people should support the Senate Judiciary's approval of the resolution and write their congressman to endorse the moral conscience the act expresses. A world is at stake.
RABBI HAROLD M. SCHULWEIS, Encino