The article, "Holocaust Museum to revise exhibition on U.S. response," (Ashland Daily Tidings: Thursday, Aug. 2), mentioned Lithuania. Formerly the Baltic states: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, harbored larfe Jewish communities. This changed when Nazi Germany invaded and attacked the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, during World War II (1939-1945).




Following behind the German Army (Wehrmacht) were Nazi SS mobile killing squads or Einsatzgruppen who perpetrated genocidal massacres against perceived enemies of the Third Reich: Jews, Gypsies, political targets, etc. An estimated one million Russian Jews were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen alone in 1941 and '42. The industrialized mass killing centers: Auschwitz, Sobibor, and Treblinka in Poland, and other death camps in Nazi occupied Europe appeared shortly afterward.




In September 1939, the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact was signed, just prior to the German/Russian invasion and partition of Poland, starting World War II. Though ostensibly a nonaggression pact, secret protocols outlined an agreement between Hitler and Stalin, dividing the borders lying between them. In Nazi- and Soviet-occupied regions, both the SS and Gestapo and Soviet Secret Police (NKVD) implemented mass arrests, deportations, executions, murder, brutality, and terror against peoples prohibited from owning firearms or weapons. Thus Poland and Eastern Europe were converted by theNazis and Communists into one vast execution yard. Source: "Gun Control: Gateway To Tyranny" (1993) by JPFO Inc.




"Remembering Victims With Honor" by William Jasper, (The New American: Aug. 6) mentions memorials in Lithuania and the U.S., bearing witness to Communist atrocities. Also, "The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, and Repression" (1999) reminds us the brutal, criminal, and godless regimes of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung parallels, if not exceeds, the Nazi Holocaust. The evils of the modern totalitarian/collectivist state of National Socialism (Communist, Nazi, and Fascist) must be kept in remembrance. Likewise, the war crimes and atrocities of the Japanese Empire in Asia, China, and the far East, also contemporary with the Hitler/Stalin era.




During World War I (1914-1918) the Ottoman Empire's (Turkey) genocidal massacre of Armenians was the precursor to modern genocide. This was repeated in Pol Pot's killing fields via the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia (1975-1979) following the Vietnam War (1961-1975) North Korea, Communist Red China, Castro's Cuba, Uganda under Idi Amin (1971-1979) and Rwanda (1994) remain as mass graves of man's inhumanity and cruelty. Have contemporary smug Americans become so lazy, apathetic, complacent and materialistic to appreciate what they have? Freedom is not free.




James Farmer