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Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to mail@austinchronicle.com. Thanks for your patience.
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Distorting History

RECEIVED Mon., April 14, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Like many Americans interested in the Holocaust, Anne S. Lewis accepts Jan Gross' allegations as irrefutable truth [“Reexamining History at AJFF,” Picture in Picture, April 6]. In fact, since the publication of Gross's controversial book (Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland), volumes of documentary evidence have been available showing that it was the Germans (under SS commander Hermann Schaper, later prosecuted for war crimes) with the participation of approximately 40 local townsmen who were responsible for the massacre of about 300 Jews at Jedwabne.
    In any case, according to history professor Richard Lukas (author of The Forgotten Holocaust), “It was an atrocity that every decent person should deplore." At least Poles are willing to examine darker episodes of their history, something not forthcoming from other European countries which – in contrast to Poland – spawned collaborationist regimes during the German occupation and produced thousands of volunteers for the Waffen SS.
    It is a poor reflection on Ms. Lewis that she judges an entire nation by the actions of a few dozen; she is engaging in the same stereotyping committed against Jews for centuries. She is callously dismissive of the fact (not "revisionist") that the Germans murdered millions of Polish Christians; among those were Poles who aided Jews and paid the ultimate price. Poland was the only occupied country where the Germans carried out an automatic death sentence for even the smallest token of help to a Jew.
    The greatest irony of Neighbors and the resulting Aftermath is that if Jan Gross' mother, a Polish Catholic member of the Polish Resistance, had not risked her life to save his Jewish father, Gross would not be alive today to defame his native country and distort its history.
Yvonne Kowalczewski
Boston, Mass.

Really Just Contempt for the People

RECEIVED Mon., April 14, 2014

Dear Editor,
    City Council's decision to delay the meeting of April 10 in order to hobnob with celebrities drew a gloat from Michael King, who crowed that "it appears the anti-fluoridation ranters will have to wait a bit to deliver to Council another rhetorical fusillade," [“Council: Water Into Whine,” News, April 11].
    One has to question the judgment of an editor who considers this newsworthy information. Here are some recent numbers: During the Citizens Communication of March 6, zero people out of 10 spoke about fluoride. At the March 20 Citizens Communication, it was zero out of 9. On March 27, it was one out of 10. Two people out of 10, including myself, were set to talk about fluoridation on April 10. When Citizens Communication was canceled, we were offered a speaking slot for next week and took it, but apparently three people prepared to talk on other subjects lost out.
    What this says to me is that Mr. King shares the contempt for the entire Citizens Communication process that the Council is renowned for. Contempt for the process is really contempt for the people. And that's not very progressive, is it?
Rae Nadler-Olenick

Beautiful Piece of Writing

RECEIVED Mon., April 14, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Sam Ramos’ article “My Dove Springs … and Ours” [News, April 11] was one of the most poignant and insightful pieces of writing about our town that this 67-year-old Austin native has ever read. It sparked a lot of memories about my own boyhood neighborhood, Rosedale, in the late Forties, Fifties, and Sixties – where tossing a baseball around at Ramsey Park in the evening was an acceptable thing to do. Thank you for publishing it. I hope Mr. Ramos keeps on writing.
Forrest Preece

Chaining Dogs Is Illegal

RECEIVED Fri., April 11, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Nice article on Dove Springs by Sam Ramos [“My Dove Springs … and Ours,” News, April 11]; but sadly, it included a photo of a fenced dog secured with a large chain. Everyone needs to know that chaining a dog in Austin has been illegal for five years. Chaining a dog is cruel and dangerous for the dog and can lead to aggressive behavior. This, in turn, endangers any children who may approach such an animal. Anyone who sees this type of situation should dial 311 and file a complaint. Anyone who needs assistance obtaining fencing should also dial 311 and ask for animal services.
David Lundstedt
Chair at Austin Animal Advisory Commission
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