Thank you for publishing "Swastika banner outrage" [News, July 13]. Upon researching the International Raelian Movement organization, which bears the symbol of the Jewish star with a swastika in the middle, I discovered that it was founded in the 1970s by a man who relays a story of meeting with UFOs. This organization doesn't demonstrate a peaceful and loving message by using the swastika. Kind and intelligent people understand the pain of the Holocaust.
Before Adolf Hitler came to power, the swastika may have stood for something positive. After World War II, the swastika is inextricably linked to the genocide of 6 million Jews and 7 million others.
The letter to the editor advocating to restore the swastika was painful to read ["Restore swastika as peace symbol," July 20]. I grew up hearing the stories about my relatives who perished in the Holocaust from those who witnessed their deaths and miraculously survived.
One does not have to be Jewish to understand this. The swastika remains the symbol of the Nazi movement. Especially when Holocaust deniers exist, the idea of restoring the symbol of the swastika is not only ridiculous but also deeply offensive.
Rabbi Leslie Schotz, Bay Shore
Editor's note: The writer is a rabbi at the Bay Shore Jewish Center.
I am an individual of Jewish heritage, and I deplore the efforts to rehabilitate the swastika as a symbol of good luck.
If the letter writer had lived in Germany or German-occupied countries in the 1930s and 1940s, would he still be looking for a good-luck charm?
Martin Roberts, Oceanside
In reference to the attempt to rehabilitate the swastika, this symbol represents the most vile regime in the history of mankind. Changing the symbol would dishonor those who gave their lives during WWII, as well as those civilians who died in the concentration camps.
This symbol should remain etched in history as it stands, for all eternity, as a lesson to the entire world!
A swastika should never be politically correct, never!
Lawrence Harkavy, St. James