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'Schindler's' Reaction

January 29, 1994

In regard to "Did Cultures Clash Over 'Schindler's'?" (Calendar, Jan. 22):

It is ironic that on a day commemorating the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. a group of young students in Oakland on a field trip to view the movie "Schindler's List" would demonstrate a painful insensitivity to numerous scenes of beating, shooting and slaughter of Jews.

The world has never before witnessed so vast a process of human destruction carried out swiftly by officials using advanced methods of mass killing. We in the older generation know this, and we know, too, that surviving Jews suffer a special agony in the memory of millions of murdered family members and friends.

It would be morally and socially tragic if the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. could not be seen as the unfolding of compassionate arms that embrace all of humanity and all of history.

SAMUEL J. SURACE

Laguna Hills

I couldn't believe the reasoning behind the behavior or the statements/comments of the chaperons, which I believe showed a total lack of respect.

I'm not Jewish. With 19 1/2 years in the Marine Corps, I have not seen the death and pain the Jewish people have seen. I went to see the movie today, and I was brought to tears.

I wonder how these kids would react to someone saying that "slavery in America was a myth," or "it happened so long ago, and since I didn't know anyone, who cares?" How would they feel if a group of Anglos were sitting around watching "Roots" and laughing, joking and carrying on?

I hope these students learn that they have not cornered the market on pain, suffering and oppression.

PAUL E. DEROULET

Santa Ana

I wonder if these same youngsters would have acted this way if they were viewing a movie about the Ku Klux Klan with scenes of lynchings and beatings of African Americans and burning of their churches!

It's obvious that teaching tolerance and understanding of diverse cultures and religions is sorely needed, starting in grade schools.

WILLIAM F. ZWICK

Placentia

Letters should be brief and must include the writer's full name, address and phone number. No pseudonyms may be used. Letters are subject to editing and condensation. Please mention date of publication when referring to a specific article. Mail to Orange County Calendar Letters, Los Angeles Times, P.O. Box 2008, Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626, or fax to (714) 966-5663.

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