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.
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.
April 28, 2004
Michael Ramirez's Sunday editorial cartoon, which was both silly and insulting, indicates that he badly requires some history lessons. Franklin Roosevelt died while the Allied invasion of Europe was still ongoing; it was Harry Truman who had to deal with the task of a U.S. occupation. Another lesson is that of course the GIs occupying postwar Germany didn't want to incur casualties or terrorism, but they didn't need to withdraw to achieve that goal. The American forces had both sufficient numbers and sufficient moral authority to rebuild postwar Germany without suffering a single combat death.