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Letter: A reminder of bigotry and hatred

A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi Chancellor

A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler giving the nazi salute during a rally next to Deputy Furhrer Rudolf Hess. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The story “Jacket’s curious journey,” about the discovery of a jacket from a Nazi concentration camp [News, Nov. 23], was very moving. I particularly noted the sense of meaning that finder Jillian Eisman derived. After all, how often does someone find such an extraordinary archival piece at a tag sale?

There are moments that remind us that chance and serendipity lead to improbable events. The improbability of even surviving the Holocaust reminds us of the meaning of life itself. We approached Thanksgiving with a sense of gratitude. The horror that camp survivor Ben Peres suffered while wearing that jacket should serve as a sign that we are blessed to be in America. Sadly, there are forces in society today that seek to challenge our freedoms. I hope the jacket worn by a prisoner at Germany’s Dachau camp, a symbol of horror and hate, is an unmistakable reminder of where unbridled bigotry leads.

It is troubling that right-wing groups recently convened in Washington. They should visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington to see where the Nazi “heil!” salute and what it represents would lead.

Steven A. Ludsin, East Hampton

Editor’s note: The writer was a member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust and the first U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council that built the Holocaust Memorial Museum.


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