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Holocaust circle

August 31, 2008

SUZANNE MUCHNIC wrote a fine piece ["His Holocaust Document," Aug. 24]. Whenever I see a piece on the Holocaust, as a German Jewish refugee to the USA, I am inspired to write.

I was 4 years old when we arrived in New York City on Sept. 2, 1939, the day after WWII began in Europe.

Germany was the catalyst for the murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others, but it had many partners.

It was the Swiss who asked that Germany place a "J" on all documents and passports belonging to Jews. Death camps were located in Poland, and the Poles were willing collaborators with the Germans on the rounding up and killing of Jews.

The French government was a willing collaborator in the rounding up and transportation of Jews to the death camps in Poland. There was a concentration camp in Strasbourg, France, from which 17,000 Jews were shipped east.

The Jewish transit and internment camp in Westerbork, Holland, was run by German Jews. There were never more than about 30 SS stationed at this camp, through which lived and passed about 100,000 Jews and 500 Roma on their way to the death camps. It was policed by Jewish police.

Among others, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine were more than happy to make their areas "Judenfrei." Their paramilitary forces and civilians worked with the Germans, both in death camps and in roundups of local Jews.

To this day, Austria is still in denial about its major role in the killing machine. They supplied thousands of concentration camp guards and had a major camp in Linz. Both England and the USA knew what was going on in the camps. They chose to do nothing. They chose to not even bomb the railheads nor the camps themselves to stop the killing.

I am not defending the Germans! What I am saying is that, over the years, not enough has been told about the collaboration in the murder of millions of Jews by many countries that have completely gotten off the hook.

Ernie Salomon

Santa Barbara

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