CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2000
Re "Specter of Nazi Hate in Austria," editorial, Feb. 1: Seventy-three percent of Austrian voters did not cast their ballot for Joerg Haider's party. Of those who did, the majority did not vote for this party because of anti-foreigner sentiments. Austria is a stable, civil and successful democracy. It has always pursued an outstanding humanitarian policy. These pillars of the Austrian postwar existence will not change. Concerns voiced in Austria and abroad about Haider's party are being taken very seriously.
January 27, 1991
Re Paperbacks, Jan. 6, "On the Road": Kerouac's vision was Whitmanesque and immense. His sound, unique and pure as a trumpet solo by Charlie Parker, echoes throughout postwar literature, particularly poetry. That his characters and the writer himself were outcasts, misfits and rebels is hardly a valid literary criterion. You'd think the value of "On the Road," "Tristessa" or "The Subterraneans" would be indisputable by now. RIK THORENSEN, LOS OSOS
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1985
Reagan's attempt to reclassify German soldiers buried at Bitburg as "victims of Nazism" is a fiction that will not wash! It is even an embarrassment to the generation of postwar Germans who know better. Let us remember that Nazism was exorcised not by conscience but by military defeat and that 95% of all Germans idolized Hitler to the very end--they just never forgave him for losing the war! I know--I was there. Reagan was not. INGRID SIMMEL Auschwitz, 1943-44 Mauthausen, 1945 Culver City
March 1, 1987
It is fitting that George F. Kennan writes the foreword to Norman Cousins' "The Pathology of Power." In his "The Nuclear Delusion" Kennan says, "I have personally never seen the evidence that the Soviet leaders seriously considered attacking Western Europe at any time in these postwar years." These are world-class remarks, like the one attributed by the old Washington Star to Charles Lindbergh to the effect that the Nazis had no aggressive intentions, and besides, the airplane would never be built that could carry a bomb across an ocean.
June 4, 1989 |
To learn from history is not so easy as usually is made out. One may ask how did we go wrong? The more penetrating question is what were our attitudes that led us to go wrong? Attitudes are what we preserve after errors are corrected. It is fine to recognize errors, but one has to understand how and why they were made. Take the case of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and what led up to it. We have just observed NATO's 40th anniversary in an atmosphere of self-congratulation about the wise and resolute way Americans, Canadians and the European allies came together to make a stand against the postwar threat posed by Joseph Stalin.
August 2, 1987
Robert Scheer's totally negative critique of Heinrich Boll's "The Casualty" (The Book Review, July 19) is rather unfair since it fails to take into account the historical context of the immediate postwar years. The short stories presented in this volume--Boll's first major writings--were written at a time when the general discussion of fascism, the Holocaust and the war was still very much disoriented, inconclusive and quite often very abstract. Literature, on the other hand, at least the literature of the younger generation, successfully tried to depict the postwar reality in a very realistic manner and thus probably helped the most to come to terms with the recent past as well as the present situation.