If the Nazis Did It…

To the Editor:

I just finished reading Ron Rosenbaum’s column in The New York Observer about the seminar held in Tehran to “assess [the] Holocaust” [“The Iranian ‘Scholars’: Times Bends Backwards for Holocaust Deniers,” the Edgy Enthusiast, Dec. 18]. I think it’s always important to hear both sides of an issue where the debate merits it—e.g., how to raise children, going to war.

I don’t think this needs to be extended to subjects beyond debate. The Earth is indisputably round; I needn’t give equal time to someone who says it’s flat. There’s nothing to debate here. Likewise, the use of the gas chambers during World War II is indisputable. This should be common knowledge and beyond debate.

Nonetheless, Mr. Rosenbaum was wise to cover all bases and include the Web site with Richard Green’s essay, “The Chemistry of Auschwitz,” for any doubters or those susceptible to questionable influences. Mr. Green’s essay is impossible to refute. Just because something is indisputable doesn’t mean it won’t be disputed (see Tehran’s current Holocaust seminar).

I’m an American (I grew up on Long Island) who has been living in Germany since 1999. I currently reside near Hamburg. I think it’s important to stay factually informed, and it’s an ongoing task. It’s sad to say—and I say it not to brag, but because it’s true—that as far as general historical knowledge and intellectual curiosity, I have more of both than the President, George W. Bush.

Keep up the good work.

Kevin Curran

Hamburg, Germany

To the Editor:

Is there a category beyond “self-hating”? If so, that’s where the self-denying Sulzbergers live. I’ve never said this before, because even thinking it makes me ashamed, but I wonder whether their vociferous denial of their Jewish origins invites a softer response to anti-Semitism than one would otherwise expect from a major media outlet in New York. You would think that as Germans, the Sulzbergers would know that it is impossible to escape one’s origins.

It almost makes me laugh to see them try. Almost.

I admire Mr. Rosenbaum’s efforts to focus thinking people in the right direction. I especially admire his perseverance in the face of so many obstacles. I wish I were as optimistic as he seems to be. Unfortunately, I think there will be a long dark night before those of us who are left emerge on the other side. I just hope my kids will be O.K.

Sorry for the buzzkill.

Ron Stack

Mendham, N.J.