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May 21, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-05-21

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THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue OtJuly1 .20. 1951

Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite Si;:,, Southfield, Ntich. 48075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield. Michigan and Additional N1ailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

Editor and Publisher

Ian

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Advertising Manager

llitsky, Nelss Editor . . . Heidi Press. kssisiant NeNks Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 22nd day of Iyar, 5736, the following scriptural selections will be read in mu. synugoimes:

Pentateuchal portion, Leviticus 26:3-27 ...34. Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 16:19-17•14.

Candle lighting. Friday. ilay' 21. 8:33 p.m.

NOL. LXIX. No. 11

Page Four

Friday, \lay 21. 1976

The Political Quandaries

Emergence of comparative unknowns on iticians gathered in smoke-filled rooms at the
the political arena provides proof that the im- convention.
Meanwhile, there are the many quandaries,
possible may become plausible. George McGov-
ern also was a nonentity before his machine the puzzles relating to struggles between liberal-
rolled over better known names in the list of ism and conservatism and the new slogans that
candidates for the Democratic nomination for are heard from the office seekers. The evangel-
President in 1972. The 1976 lesson is becoming ists have become the chief propagandists, both
even more apparent. Jimmy Carter catapulted Republicans and Democrats, in quest for votes,
into prominence, although few would have given and are advocating amendments to the Constitu-
him the chance for success three months ago. tion to introduce religious studies in the public
But the genius for organization and his cam- schools. The. Church-State Separation principle
paigners' ability to utilize their funds wisely is is at stake and no one fights the quest for the
beginning to gain him the success he aspires to. godly even if it is mere political shibboleth.
Is this nation endangered by new threats of
For the nation at large there is much to a divisiveness that emanate from exaggerated
ponder over. The conservative incumbent may sanctimony? Will there always be a rational Su-
have strong opposition, but incumbency is hard preme Court to prevent the irrational?
Supersanctimonious threats are not new to
to overcome. Selection of an opposition candi-
date often results from expediency. The man American politics and if the test is to be on the
who presently is top contender has a strong ar- agenda of this year's presidential campaign it
gument stemming from democratic ideology will be marked by a repeated challenge to com-
that a man seeking the office of President mon sense. Americans usually come through
should be the choice of the people, not of the pol- such testing with glory.

Secretary of State as Scapegoat

In the Russia of cruel Czarist days, when
some Jews hoped for the oppressing ruler's de-
mise, there were the wiser who always said:
"How do we know who will come after him?
Couldn't it be an even more tyrannical Czar?"
When Ronald Reagan scored a triumph in
Texas, one of the successful candidate's aides
predicted that it would mean the resignation or
dismissal of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
within a month. As if the Secretary of State
were the culprit in whatever is occurring in this
country and in the troubled world!
The Baltimore speech by Kissinger was an
affirmation of the Secretary's faith in Ameri-
can-Israel relations and a renewed pledge of U.
S. support for Israel. It was a welcome state-
ment providing a bit of relief from the Middle
East tensions and as an admonition not to judge
the Secretary harshly.
The reason for Kissinger having become a
target in anti-Administration political ranks is
that in any conflict there is always resort to a
scapegoat. Kissinger has been a scapegoat for a
long time. Friends and foes have attacked him

as if the nation's panacea were in displacing the
Secretary of State who carries the brunt of res-
ponsibilities for the nation's business.
The practical mind must, however, think in
terms of the replacements. Who would follow
him? Would he be an isolatiOnist or a militarist?
Is a step-by-step policy of the Kissinger pro-
gram so damaging that it has no value?

No one is above reproach and there are no
perfections. The admissible fact is, however, in
relation to the Middle East step-by-step diplo-
macy that Dr. Kissinger did succeed in partially
resolving the Israel-Egyptian problem, assuring
an end to warfare in that area; he succeeded in
prolonging the stalemate with Syria. Perhaps
the future approaches to an accord, even if it
does not lead to a desirable peace will at least
prevent an end to bloodshed and to loss of lives.

True: no one is irreplaceable, and Kissinger
will be replaced sooner or later. The prayerful
may well hope and worship for a proper replace-
ment when the Kissinger service to the nation
ends. The successor could well be a painful head-
ache for this country and for the world.

100 Years of Yiddish Theater

An anniversary of significance is currently
being observed by Jewish communities through-
out the world where Yiddish was a spoken lan-
guage by the forefathers of the present genera-
tion among whom the Yiddish is witnessing a
decline. Even in its declined state, the language
plays a significant role as communities observe
the centenary of the Yiddish theater.

Founded in Romania by Abraham Gold-
faden, the Yiddish theater assumed one of the
major roles in the advancement of Jewish cul-
tural values.
It was 'an' inspiration for authors and .th

ter lovers and it became the path for an emerg-
ing great cast of actors who influenced not only
the Jewish state but the theatrical world glob-
ally.

Abraham Goldfaden, the father of the Yid-
dish theater, and the many who played the roles
of creative artists with him in the decades that
followed, left an indelible mark on stagecraft.

The appearance here, on the occasion of the
100th anniversary of the Yiddish theater, of dis-
tinguished group of Yiddish artists gives empha=
sis to:the importance of the centennial of the
Yiddish theater.



Two Polish Views

Chilling Look at Holocaust
and Nightmarish Aftermath

The bloody horrors of the Nazi concentration camps and the bru-
talities of World War II are presented in two very personal books as
part of Penguin Books' "Writers from the Other Europe" series that
is being edited by Philip Roth.
The books, "This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen" and "A
Dreambook for Our Time" were written by Polish survivors of World ,
War II.
"This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen" by Tadeusz Bo-
rowski was first published in Poland after World War II and was first
printed in this country by Viking Press in 1967.
Borowski's concentration camp stories show atrocious crimes be-
coming an unremarkable part of a daily routine. Prisoners eat, work,
sleep, and fall in love a few yards from where other prisoners are
systematically slaughtered. The will to survive overrides compassion,
and the line between the normal and the abnormal wavers, then
vanishes.
The author, a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau, tells his tales of
horror in the first person, as the lines of,Jews come down the ramps
from the trains on their way into the woods that hide the gas cham-
bers and crematoria.
The horrors of the camps — living in filth and excrement, the deg-
radations suffered by the prisoners and the life-and-death games
played by the Nazis and the Kapos — are almost overshadowed by the
repeated glimpses of the Jews bypassing the camps on the paths that
lead to death.
Over and over Borowski interrupts his horrible camp scenes to
show the Jews being herded to their deaths. In his first short story,
whose title is borrowed by the book, the narrator dreams of acquiring
new shoes, and therefore joins the prisoner Kommando responsible
for helping to unload the incoming trainloads of people destined for
the gas chamber.
A hardened veteran of the cruel concentration camp, whose own
horrors are amply described, the narrator, nevertheless, is unable to
cope with the scenes at the unloading ramp:
The morbid procession streams on and on — trucks growl
like mad dogs. I shut my eyes tight, but I can still see corpses
dragged from the train, trampled infants, cripples piled on top
of the dead, wave after wave . . . freight cars roll in, the
heaps of clothing, suitcases and bundles grow, people climb
out, look at the sun, take a few breaths, beg for water, get into
the trucks. drive away. And again freight cars roll in, again
people . . . The scenes become confused in my mind — I am not ,
sure if all of this is actually happening or if I am dreaming.

The effects of such nightmares are amplified in "A Dreambook
for Our Time" by Tadeusz Konwicki. The book's narrator, a young
Pole in the 1960s, emerges from a coma after trying to poison himself.
He is surrounded by provincial villagers, whose lives were forever
shattered by the trauma of World War II.
The incoherent. mass of his own wartime memories arises —
nightmarish images of guerrilla warfare, of blood, cruelty, betrayal,
and guilt. As the past and the present succeed each other in his mind
with frightening illogicality, he sees his choice to be between self-as-
sertive survival and the peace of self-destruction. He chooses to live
and is condemned to death-in-life.
The stream-of-consciousness approach is coupled with the futility
of trying to rationalize,the incomprehensible tragedies perpetrated by
the Nazjs, and; in this case, the shattered co -privy that remained after
Poland's civil strife following the war.

N

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