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Letters to the Editor: A Holocaust survivor’s story shows just how ridiculous mask refusers are

William Good and his future wife, Pearl
William Good and his future wife, Pearl, in Italy after World War II.
(Good family photo)

To the editor: I read the Column One article about Dr. William Good, an immigrant who cheated death multiple times during World War II and was one of a relative handful of Jews in and around Vilna, Poland, to survive. He was described as a heroic, intelligent and gentle man who knows 11 languages and has been married for 67 years to his wife Pearl, a retired chemistry professor and another Holocaust survivor.

There are Americans who think that wearing a mask and taking other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are too burdensome and encroach on their freedoms. Tell me, who better epitomizes our country and deserves to live here?

Judy Pang, Palos Verdes Estates

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To the editor: I couldn’t help but be struck by the interesting juxtaposition of two stories on the front page of Monday’s Los Angeles Times.

There was reporter Kevin Baxter’s moving piece on the harrowing journey of Holocaust survivor William Good. In another piece, reporter Greg Braxton powerfully recounted the indignities he and his father suffered because of their race.

While both articles illustrate all too well the tragic and very personal consequences of hatred and prejudice, what really unites the two stories is their shared themes of resilience, redemption and healing.

As the son of Holocaust survivors I know that hatred will always leave its mark, but I also know that people can triumph over the worst of experiences and “find light in the darkness.”

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Stephen Bulka, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Dr. Good’s story is moving and perplexing, a feel-good Holocaust survival tale published on Yom Kippur that includes a hero-Nazi and notes, “Not only had [Dr. Good] survived the Holocaust, he actually fought back.”

“Actually” implies resistance was unusual, but Jews in ghettos resisted and rose up, as did Jews languishing in death, labor and concentration camps.

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A recent survey found that 63% of Americans under 40 do not know that 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust; 11% believe that Jews caused the Holocaust, and 3% deny it happened.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will likely soon sign off on an ethnic studies requirement for high school students. The curriculum omits anti-Semitism and erases the diversity and history of California’s Jewish community.

Thank you for Dr. Good’s story. I hope future Holocaust stories will be fleshed out with unambiguous historical background, and your news will include anti-Semitism’s expression in the here and now.

Jo Perry, Studio City


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