Category Archives: 02 November 2012

Doing the right thing

It doesn’t matter whether you are twenty, thirty, fifty, or one hundred years old. It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor. It doesn’t matter whether you live in New York, Las Vegas, Slippery Rock, Luckenbach, or Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a high school education, an Ivy League B.A., or a PhD. It certainly doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican, Democrat, libertarian, or a socialist.

At some point in your life, you likely have had to stand up to someone who is abusing authority or acting irresponsibly. You may have had to confiscate the keys from a friend who intends to drive drunk. Or report a boss’s discrimination to your HR department. Or as happened recently at Texas A&M, take a public stand against bigotry.

It’s hard. Often we feel terribly alone. Sometimes the consequences of “doing the right thing” appear to cost too much. We may lose friends or family, we may lose our job. We can second-guess ourselves forever, wondering if it would have been smarter to stay silent. You know what I’m talking about. You cannot live life without facing these kinds of situations head-on. Continue reading

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Last week, I sat with Ita Gordon of the Shoah Foundation, discussing general matters regarding German resistance. Our conversation centered on those who claimed to have been part of the resistance, but who were not. That age-old “what-if” resurfaced. Continue reading

The Dichotomy of Dissent

By Denise Heap

Dr. Armin Mruck of Towson University recently observed that the stories of those who resisted Hitler during the Shoah remind us of the importance of being idealistic. “I don’t think there’s too many idealistic people in our environment. And it wasn’t just these students [White Rose], there were other resistance groups as well who thought it was worthwhile to put your life on the line. That’s not very popular these days.”

Mruck’s statement generated a fascinating and ongoing debate: What is the proper balance between idealism and realism when one is trying to right a wrong? Continue reading

The German Jew Who Bombed Berlin

by Marc H. Stevens
A true tale of escape, evasion and revenge

My father died in 1979, when I was 22 years old. We lived in Toronto, Canada, where I still live today.

As far as I knew, Dad had been born in Hanover, Germany to Christian parents – though that information was a highly-classified secret, and I was warned at an early age to tell no one. Since my mother was a French-Canadian Catholic, my older brother and I were raised in that faith. Dad spoke with a highly-cultured British accent, and passed himself off as an Englishman. The fact that he had served as an RAF bomber pilot only helped to reinforce that cover story. What I didn’t know, and only discovered in 1996, was that my father was Jewish. Continue reading

Caught in an Ancient Rite of Sex and War: The Sexual Abuse of Women during World War II

By Magdalena Kubow, PhD, ABD
Western University

It is hard to believe that rape and sexual violence have only been recognized as a crime against humanity since 1998. When it comes to war, history tends to focus on tales from the battlefield, both heroic and grim. What is less known is the impact of war on women and children.

We have tales of heroic feminine efficiency on the home front, including rationing, growing freedom gardens, upholding morale, and working in the factories – Bomb Girls comes to mind. Stories of women on the front lines are usually confined to the realm of Nightingale-esque nurses. Rarely do we hear of civilian women as targets in war, a means of ethnic cleansing. Continue reading