Letter to the Editor: Survivors Speak; A Patriarch Remembered
Beyond New York
I had just returned from speaking to high school students in Denver when I read “Living to Teach” in the April issue. Unfortunately, it gives the impression that only in the New York area and California [are survivors lecturing about the Holocaust].
Here in Denver we have the Anti-Defamation League as well as the Holocaust Awareness Institute of the University of Denver, both with speakers’ bureaus with lists of survivors capable and willing to speak. I personally have done so since 1948: As a recruit in the U.S. Army, I was ordered to speak on the topic “From Nazi Concentration Camp into the American Army.”
This was the first of many requests to speak. I did so at schools, universities, synagogues, churches, the Air Force Academy, Colorado National Guard and to troops at the Fort Carson Army base. Sometimes I teamed with a liberator, a friend of mine.
I am a survivor of… almost six years [in] Sachsenhausen, Auschwitz and Dachau.
Jack J. Goldman
There are no words to describe the importance of Holocaust survivors telling their stories. The Florida Holocaust Museum, located in St. Petersburg (727-820-0100;www.flholocaustmuseum.org), is one of the largest Holocaust museums in the country. Associated with it are many survivors who speak both at the museum and in the community.
FHM vice president
Sophie Friedlander, FHM docent
St. Petersburg, FL
In “The Jewish Traveler: Lvov” (April issue), it says “[Simon] Wiesenthal… later moved to the United States….” That is not correct: He lived and worked in Austria. He visited the United States but never lived here. Our reference is our daughter-in-law, who is Wiesenthal’s granddaughter.
Evelyn and Mort Zakarin
I could not believe what Ruth Behar wrote [about] her great-uncle Moisés Levin (“Such Good Thieves,” February issue). This gentleman was a genuine, charitable man, one of the first to invest in Israel immediately after the establishment of the state in 1948.
Levin’s relationship with his sister, Esther Glinsk, was of love, respect and care, and the fact that Behar forced her grandmother Esther to lie to her brother about “The Book” is outrageous.
Behar forgot to mention that all the information she has about the Jews in Cuba was given to her by the same man whom she disrespectfully called “the Godfather.”
Ruth Behar responds:
I wrote my essay with huge love for my Baba, my great-uncle Moisés and my entire family. I marvel at their resilience in the journey from Poland to Cuba to the United States. We survived many losses and sorrows. I believe that our Jewish roots kept us together.
Moisés Levin was the family patriarch. I call him the godfather (a beloved family figure in Latin American culture) with no disrespect. We both wanted to preserve the family’s history. As the oldest son, he kept “The Book” out of his sister’s hands. As a woman, my Baba felt powerless. I never forced her to act against her will. I simply reminded her that, as firstborn, she, too, had a right to “The Book.”
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