Letters to the editor

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Concealing Nazi crimes

You are to be commended for your coverage of the Nazi archives stored in the German town of Bad Arolsen, the world’s biggest repository of files pertaining to the Holocaust (“Nazis’ diabolical legacy,” Briefing/Global Issues, Monday).

Most people are unaware of the existence of this source of information and are astounded that access to these crucial records by scholars, journalists and family members has been denied consistently. Meanwhile, claims against the German government by former concentration camp inmates and those forced to perform slave labor have by now missed deadlines for compensation because of lack of documentation — the very information contained in these files.

Excuses given include the German government’s concern for individuals’ privacy rights and the fact that the records could prove embarrassing to certain individuals. However, none of this excuses the authorities from being complicit in the concealment of Nazi war crimes. After 61 years, the world has a right to know.

VICTOR CHOLEWICKI

Washington

The truth about the morning-after pill

It is a great irony that Clarence Page blames black parents for the staggering black crime rate in many cities. He accuses black parents of failing to raise their children properly, but he has helped undermine the authority of black parents to guide their children (“Crimes make a comeback,” Commentary, Tuesday).

Mr. Page’s solution to reducing unintended pregnancies, which negatively affect blacks at disproportionate rates, was to make the morning-after pill available to youngsters without parental knowledge. This would further erode the parents’ authority and make more children into parents, because, as reported, access to the morning-after pill does not reduce pregnancy (“Morning-after pill access fails to cut pregnancy rate,” Nation, Jan. 5, 2005).

Also, there are studies showing that pregnancies increase where the pill is available in schools and over the counter to children because more children engage in sex there.

Mr. Page’s policies are helping to send more children over what he calls the “social cliff” to lives of crime. He and other black leaders must advocate policies that reduce teen pregnancy, illegitimacy and immature parents in order to reduce crime.

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