Hierarchy of Evil

First I would like to express my gratitude for the hard work you put in to print such a wonderful paper each and every week. The writers and editors are truly amazing and unparalleled in their insight, ideas and delivery, while never compromising on the Yiddishe aspect of the paper.

For this reason I was taken aback by the cartoon in the December 7 edition featuring Stalin, Mao, and Fidel Castro in the same vein, without getting involved in the pain, suffering and destruction that each one of those monsters caused to humanity. It could be said that Fidel Castro was something close to a saint next to these other dictators, who killed millions of people without blinking an eye. There’s no room in this letter to write how many of our people were killed by Stalin, how many were displaced, how many were tortured. It would not be an exaggeration to say that gunfire was sweeter to his ear than classical music. The people dying from gunshots were the lucky ones; millions of others of from starvation on the long train rides (Hitler wasn’t the first) to displace and imprison innocent civilians.

I think it would be a disservice to history, and the many millions who died under these regimes, to somehow downplay the atrocities of these monsters and add a person who, by the highest estimates, killed (although unacceptable) thousands of people.

As the years pass, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we never forget nor forgive what happened in the last century.

Ben Baruch, Brooklyn, NY

Editorial Response:

Thank you for your letter.

Please note that, like Op-Ed pieces, cartoons reflect the opinions of their creators and not necessarily those of Hamodia. In addition, by their nature, cartoons often use exaggerated illustrations to make statements, and are generally not intended to be taken literally.

With respect to this specific cartoon, it is doubtful that cartoonist intended to fully equate these murderers. Perhaps the common denominator is that they were dictators who had complete disregard for the value of a human being.

Nevertheless, your point is well taken, more vigilance will be exercised in the future to avoid a recurrence.