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Letters to the Editor: Holocaust survivor: World War II education is key to defeating Trumpism

A crowd of pro-Trump demonstrators at the U.S. Capitol.
A crowd gathers at the U.S. Capitol before pro-Trump rioters storm inside Jan. 6.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: Only 1 in 10 Jewish children survived World War II; I am one of them. The sight of that man in the shirt with the words “Camp Auschwitz” appalled me beyond the pale. I was reminded of the seldom-remembered burning of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933. (“Trump’s sway over Republican Party fades as end of his term nears,” Jan. 13)

More than that, we must call for a renewed commitment to teach Holocaust and World War II education in all our schools. Not because I’m Jewish do I urge President-elect Joe Biden and the new secretary of Education to mandate this; it’s because anti-Semitism is the canary in the coal mine, warning of worse to come. It starts small and becomes a Holocaust.

Thus, we must teach about what happened in Germany during the 1920s when a little-known man, Adolf Hitler, wrote “Mein Kampf,” which was mocked and ignored at first. I fear that Trump could rise again, just as Hitler did.

Critically, civics must be made mandatory in every high school, lest our democracy perish when the fascists come next time.

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Josie Martin, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: So many tweets and stories that discuss “alternative theories” on the Capitol riot mention “BLM and antifa,” as one might say “peanut butter and jelly” or “red beans and rice.”

Black Lives Matter is driven by the fight against racial injustice, while antifa, to my knowledge, is a catch-all anti-authoritarian concept.

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I think it does damage to Black Lives Matter when people present these two groups together. It makes it easier for the sound-bite society to envision the pairing as a negative, violent entity, rather than comprehend what the separate movements really are.

Solomon Daniels, Long Beach

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To the editor: In June last year, Trump tweeted: “Black Lives Matter leader states, ‘If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.’ This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”

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On Jan. 6, Trump incited his supporters to attempt to steal the presidency for him.

David Fink, Los Angeles


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