Voice of the People

Chicago Tribune

Dear editor

You are indulging in overkill by publishing two articles on one day regarding Jewish suffering in World War II. ("The Stories that no one could kill" by Ron Grossman and "Is the Meaning Lost in court?" by Natfali Bendavid, Chicago Tribune, August 12.)

During the last few years,just about every major media outlet in America has published stories about Jewish suffering in the war. So it is not very accurate of Mr. Grossman to claim that the books of Jewish survivors have not received enough attention.

It's time to be more universalistic in our compassion. We should not forget that many innocent Germans, including millions of children, suffered at the hands of the victorious allied armies. We need books which would begin: "I was five when Dresden was bombed by the British ...." or "I was ten when my entire family was wiped out in the firebombing of Hamburg" or "My mother was raped in front of me by Russian soldiers" or "I was starving in Nuremburg when an American GI took pity on me and gave me a chocolate bar in exchange for sex with him." There are millions of such stories of innocent German victims. No one has the monopoly of suffering.

Mr. Bendavid reaches new depths of special pleading in his claim that even after the billions of dollars paid by Germany and Switzerland to survivors, the book on Jewish suffering is not closed. Research is needed to disclose Germany's funding and arming of the Israeli war machine which has been involved in the genocide of the Palestinian people in the last 50 years and more.

A prestigious paper like the Tribune should not become a forum for one community especially when the suffering of the Jews is nothing more than painful history. When will we begin to pay reparations to the African people who endured 400 years of slavery?


Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

2001-08-23 Thu 17:47ct