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Holocaust was unique

I am very grateful to the Winnipeg Free Press's coverage of Names Instead of Numbers, which is being shown at Westminster United Church. I must, however, suggest an amendment to a statement made in the otherwise fine article by Alexandra Paul (Exhibit gives names back to Nazis' victims, March 19).

The article said that "Dachau was unique because Jews and Christians alike were victims of the Holocaust there." I would have written "Dachau was distinctive because Jews and Christians alike were victims of the Nazis there."

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The Shoah (Holocaust) was, in fact, unique in that the Nazis rounded up every Jewish man, woman and child, simply because they were Jewish, and killed them -- most often without even trying to exploit them for slave labour. This was a genocide carried out and organized on bureaucratic principles and on an industrial scale with the aim of annihilating a people.

The other five million Nazi victims in Dachau and elsewhere were not part of the Final Solution, although their deaths were also cruel and tragic.

Incidentally, Jews increasingly use the Hebrew word Shoah (Catastrophe) instead of the Greek word Holocaust (Burnt Offering).

Belle Millo

Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre


Helmets not the answer

Introducing a mandatory helmet law in Manitoba will have an overall negative effect on cycling in the province. In the Australian experience, ridership steadily decreased after their helmet laws were introduced.

If the goal is healthy living, then discouraging bicycle use with misguided laws is not the answer. The greatest danger to most cyclists is motorists, and without getting into the blame game, inattentive motorists and irresponsible cyclists are the root cause of cycling injuries, not the lack of foam on people's heads. Unless the goal is to discourage cycling, deal with these issues if you want to make cyclists safer.

Ian Summerhays



Read my lips

Re: Loose Lips shouldn't sink these ships (March 19). This editorial by the Halifax Chronicle Herald suggests that I am somehow trying to halt the construction of six Arctic patrol vessels at the Irving Shipbuilding Halifax yards, at great cost to Nova Scotia's economy.

It is true that I have long argued that taxpayers' money would be far better spent on building icebreakers. The patrol vessels will puddle around in the Arctic summer displaying the Canadian flag under the silly pretence that they are repelling invaders. They will be useless in the winter, when Canada badly needs better icebreaking capacity.

I am a long-standing promoter of replenishing Canada's navy through contracts to Canadian shipyards. But I'm not going to pretend that we should be building these slow and ineffectual patrol vessels when we should be building something useful.

I made that point in two previous op-eds in the Herald, which they seemed pleased to publish. So why, suddenly, this editorial claiming that I am trying to shut down the Nova Scotia economy? Read my lips: I just want the right ships.

Sen. Colin Kenny



We are what we eat

Re: Really nasty E. coli strain sparked recall (March 21). Today it's beef; tomorrow it's another meat or some type of produce. E. coli gets into the food supply via untreated animal excrement.

It has polluted our croplands, groundwater, streams, lakes and rivers. We're practically choking in our own filth.

Factory farms and industrial agriculture are unsustainable methods of food production. If we continue cutting down rainforests to grow grain to feed livestock, there won't be an ecosystem left for our children to save.

We are what we eat.

Gordon Warren



Review Handi-Transit

City council has cut Handi-Transit's budget for the coming year because more people with disabilities are using regular transit. The Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) is very concerned about this budget cut for a number of reasons -- for one, that ridership fluctuates throughout the calendar year.

Numerous complaints have come in to MLPD on a regular basis from community members who have been denied Handi-Transit due to the system's strict eligibility criteria. Yet Handi-Transit has implemented a new policy that allows those living with Alzheimer's to now be eligible for services. That, coupled with our aging population, will have a significant impact on the number of riders using Handi-Transit over the coming years.

Furthermore, due to human rights legislation, equalization of fares is being developed between those using regular transit and those using Handi-Transit (student discount is currently 20 per cent and seniors' is 50 per cent), at a cost of $265,000 to Handi-Transit.

Handi-Transit was first implemented through the work of MLPD two decades ago. It was formed to provide a parallel service for persons with disabilities who were unable to use the public transportation system. It is important that the Handi-Transit system be reviewed now and action be taken to better manage the anticipated growth in ridership that will most likely be experienced over the coming years.

Nick Ternette

MLPD Transportation Committee


Teachers' wisdom ignored

Re: Schools require flexibility (Editorial, March 19). Your review of the research on class size is symptomatic of the ills of both education and society. As a retired teacher I found the problems with the research quite blatant. Yes, a smaller class enables different kinds of teaching, but what are they? In my experience, researchers, administrators and academics have no idea what the differences are or how to practise them.

This is mainly because the knowledge and experience of the practising teacher are belittled, if not ignored. Further, what are the differences and who is to guide and train teachers in the new methods appropriate to the size of the class? In my experience, researchers, administrators and academics have no idea about the realities of teaching and learning. No wonder trustees are bamboozled and fail to ask the obvious questions when this kind of research is shovelled at them.

The world is beset with excellent research in almost every field of endeavour, which leads decision-makers to the stupidities which those who do the work have to contend with.

Derwyn Davies



Sonogram is invasive

In regards to Cathy Brunet's letter (March 21) about the Doonesbury comic strip and transvaginal sonograms required by law in the state of Texas prior to an abortion:

Obviously Cathy has no idea what a transvaginal sonogram is and how invasive and akin to rape it actually is if done against someone's will.

Maureen Laydman



Don't call me kid

Lindor Reynolds told a good story about Grant Tays' encounter with a generous young man, but she fell into the same trap that many do when trying to describe those of us in our early 20s. I'm 22 and have the right to vote, drive, run for office, buy a home, purchase weapons and father children. Should I choose to do so, society would gladly allow me to take up arms and die for this country.

Don't call me "kid."

Adrien Dessens


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 24, 2012 A19


Updated on Monday, March 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM CDT: adds links

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