Letters to the Editor: We keep hearing about parallels to Nazi Germany. What about the Communists?

Rioters trying to overturn the 2020 election storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
(Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images)

To the editor: While I’m endlessly grateful that news organizations, in their coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, continue to highlight the horrific evils of the Nazis, I’m also puzzled as to why the Communists are not assailed as well. (“How subtle changes in language helped erode U.S. democracy — and mirrored the Nazi era,” Opinion, Jan. 23)

As the daughter of Nazi death camp survivors whose parents — four years later — quickly had to make plans for their escape from the Communists who invaded their country, I feel that it is vital to be careful not to take the rubber band that former President Donald Trump stretched to the far right and allow it now to fling wildly to the far left.

Hopefully President Biden will be able to hold the right-wingers and left-wingers at bay and allow something in the middle to prevail.

Klara Shandling, Los Angeles



To the editor: In his odious comparison of present-day America to Nazi Germany, Martin Puchner carefully omits any mention of the “woke” social justice crowd that has successfully hounded speakers whom it has deemed unfit from college campuses.

Indeed, some have lost jobs and livelihoods because they dared voice a dissenting opinion to that mob. Witness the recent shutdown of Parler by Big Tech.

If there is an assault on free speech in our country, it is coming from the left, not the right.

Louis H. Nevell, Los Angeles


To the editor: Puchner rightly compares the Nazi use of language for lies and disinformation with that of Trump, his followers and the alt-right. Puchner wisely examines the subtleties of language.

But subtlety goes even deeper. Over the last four years, many in the media, including The Times, spoke of Trump as “amoral.” This was absolutely incorrect.


The first definition of “amoral” in the Oxford English Dictionary is this: “Not within the sphere of morality; that cannot be characterized as either morally good or bad; non-moral.” This definition is not even remotely accurate for Trump.

The definition of “immoral” is more appropriate for Trump: “Not consistent with, or not conforming to, moral law or requirement; opposed to or violating morality; morally evil or impure; unprincipled, vicious, dissolute.”

As we recover now and learn and relearn, may we also direct sharper attention to our language.

Tim Vivian, Bakersfield