Holocaust MemorialEditor: I would like to respond to...


June 22, 1991

Holocaust Memorial

Editor: I would like to respond to comments concerning the Holocaust Memorial in the Opinion * Commentary article June 8 by Sharon Miller, identified as a partner in a Baltimore architectural firm.

Of course, Ms. Miller is entitled to her observation regarding the ''concrete slab'' which was the starting point for the Holocaust Memorial Plaza. However, perhaps her 20/20 vision may be the result of not being awarded the design?

And what does Ms. Miller suggest? Water! Does she really believe that the creation of the water fountain or its equivalent will solve the problem? I think perhaps it can only add to the problem.

Yes, the street people are creating dirt, debris and bodily waste. Yes, the location needs help. But, alas she says a fence cannot do.

Why not? Why not duplicate the fences of such camps as Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen and, horror of all horrors, include the barbed wire? Why not identify the various fences as examples of the fences which held Jews imprisoned until they met their fate?

And her suggestion that the ''statue'' was some sort of afterthought is totally unacceptable.

The Holocaust statue, by Baltimore-born and world-renowned Joe Sheppard, graphically tells only part of the story of Jews abandoned and children destined for the ovens.

Let's remember, too, that many survivors of the Holocaust and their children do not have the comfort of visiting the graves of their loved ones and that the Holocaust Memorial, as unappealing as it may be to some, does indeed provide some solace for the survivors in their grief.

Cheap shot.

Jack Luskin. Baltimore.

Two-Party Politics

Editor: Your editorial of May 30, ''Who Will Take on Mikulski?'' demands rebuttal.

In the past, you have repeatedly stated that you backed a two-party system in the Free State, and now you close your most recent assertion with this paragraph: ''Either we have a two-party system in the state or we don't. If the best Republican candidates duck hard races, we don't.''

Let's briefly examine The Sun's editorial endorsement record over the past decade to see what your own track record on a two-party system has been.

In 1982, when Richard Bennett ran for state senator against the current incumbent, John Pica, you endorsed the latter, but decided last year that wasn't such a good idea after all. Meanwhile, Mr. Bennett went on to become United States Attorney for Maryland, the highest federally appointed post in the state.

In 1986, you endorsed Barbara Mikulski over Linda Chavez for the U.S. Senate, and in 1988 Paul Sarbanes over Alan Keyes that seat.

Last year, for county executive, you endorsed Elizabeth Bobo over Charles Ecker in Howard and Dennis Rasmussen over Roger Hayden in Baltimore County, but the voters wisely decided otherwise in both cases.

As for myself, I am no stranger to tackling tough, uphill races, as my trio of runs against Clarence Long will recall. In all my races, you were kind enough to endorse me, and I look forward to that same kind of support in the future.

It would be nice if other hard-working Republican candidates could expect the same! Either we have a two-party system or we don't, as you say. The ball is in your court.

Helen Delich Bentley. Washington.

The writer is a member of Congress from the Second District of Maryland.

Ethiopia's Hope

Editor: Much as I commend you for your excellent editorial, "Ethiopia after Absolutism," allow me to point out a few errors.

Neither the Amharas nor any ethnic group is opposed to any Tigrean ruler as long as he measures up to the job and has genuine commitment for the integrity of the nation.

The two heads of state after Haile Selassie, Aman Andom, an Eritrean, and Teferi Benti, an Oromo, were well received by all Ethiopians until Mengistu Haile Merriam executed them. The so-called Amhara supremacy effectively ended in 1974 with the mass execution of the aristocracy. The emperor himself and the remnants of the "Amhara feudo-bourgeois elements" were systematically and brutally exterminated by Mr. Mengistu, who chose them for "special treatment" because of his visceral hatred of a race he considered superior to his "ethnic stock."

Hence, your description of the Amhara today as oppressors of the Oromo is flippant and misleading. To equate the Amhara with Mr. Mengistu is to confuse the prey with the predator.

"One Ethiopia" is not an Amhara-only movement. "One Ethiopia" is an expression of deep-seated, stubborn conviction ever-present through many centuries in the hearts of millions of Ethiopians of diverse ethnic origin, many of whom paid dearly with their lives to keep the nation united in one form or another. For not even one single group, including the Eritreans, not to mention the Tigreans and the Oromos, will be better off in the long run with a fractured, Balkanized Ethiopia.

"One Ethiopia" challenges its deverse peoples to transcend pretty racial and religious chauvinism and together to build a truly pluralist, secular nation with equality, freedom and justice for all.

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