Reading "Europe's pols should put WWII to rest" [Opinion, April 20], I was initially shocked by the ignorance of the author, Leonid Bershidsky, a writer based in Berlin. He was absolutely insensitive to those who died in World War II and especially to the 6 million Jews exterminated by the Nazi regime.

The significance of the April 20 date of the column was the birthday of the monstrous Adolf Hitler. Growing up as a lad of the Jewish faith and a son of a Holocaust survivor, I know this date well. This is my birthday, too.

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I spotted the date in an elementary school history book in fifth grade. It's a moment I shall never forget. I was horrified. I lived with this painful secret for years, but as time passed, I thought there might me a higher purpose to sharing the date with such an evil being. The message from above was to never forget.

Bershidsky suggests that Nazi toys and swastikas have become mainstream products. His comment about 70 years having passed since the Soviet victory over the Nazis -- I feel sorry for him. He has no comprehension of the pain and suffering families still feel to this day.

Lawrence Harkavy, St. James