Readers can help save the PrattHere we are, proud (we...


April 26, 1996

Readers can help save the Pratt

Here we are, proud (we thought) to be living in:

The City That Reads;

The city whose Pratt Library director, Carla Hayden, has been named Library Journal's ''librarian of the year;''

The city whose library serves as the State Library Resource Center.

Yet now we find ourselves in the city whose mayor has proposed a major cut in the fiscal year 1997 budget for the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

To protest that cut, we urge concerned citizens to attend the read-a-thon at the Central Pratt Library during the 24 hours beginning 8 a.m. on May 1 and ending 8 a.m. on May 2.

Citizens may also protest the budget cut by attending Taxpayers' Night at 7 p.m. May 2.

Ann Weller Dahl


The writer is president of the Friends of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

City needs nature, restful places

I was dismayed to read of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's plan to close both Cylburn Arboretum and the Conservatory in Druid Hill Park, in the interests of saving money.

This plan is short-sighted at best. Both Cylburn and the Conservatory are important amenities in a city that badly needs them.

Over-development in Baltimore threatens to make this a far less attractive city, where no thought is given to nature or to providing restful places away from frantic urban life.

I hope the mayor will have second thoughts about this proposal, that good sense will finally prevail.

Adelaide C. Rackemann


Light rail needed for Ruxton area

The time has come to develop a light-rail station in the Ruxton-Riderwood area. For too long, those of us who use light rail have had to make an inconvenient and impractical drive to either the Lutherville or Mount Washington stations, which are too many miles away.

But now opportunity presents itself to our community and the Maryland Department of Transportation. Baltimore County has decided to sell the public school property across from the Riderwood Post Office near Joppa Road and Bellona Avenue. This is an ideal location for a limited park-and-ride center with easy access to the light-rail line. The existing parking lot can be expanded to accommodate more than 150 cars.

Light rail is here to stay and our community needs to wake up.

With a convenient station, our enlightened residents can conserve our precious resources.

George A. Kahl


Perpetrators of the Holocaust

William Pfaff's Opinion Commentary article, ''A predestined Holocaust?'' April 18, attacks the premise of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen in his book, ''Hitler's Willing Executioners,'' that the German rank and file citizenry was responsible and participated actively and willingly in the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, Mr. Pfaff is unwilling to examine the overwhelming evidence for the average German citizen being responsible for the Holocaust.

The Nuremberg trials, while bringing the main Nazis to trial for crimes against humanity, did not make clear the active cooperation of the average German citizen in these atrocities.

Instead, historical revisionism was allowed to occur as the average German citizen was pictured as either unknowing or uninvolved.

This myth has been perpetuated now for nearly 50 years with the picture of the good German during the Third Reich and the Holocaust.

In his attack on Mr. Goldhagen, Mr. Pfaff has attempted to cleanse the average citizen of Germany of blame, but to no avail.

With words that obfuscate the action of German citizens, Mr. Pfaff states, ''Responsibility however is not guilt," and that there are all degrees of anti-Semitism, indicating that the German citizens were merely involved to a non-virulent degree, a picture that cannot be borne out by the murder of 6 million Jews.

Mr. Pfaff ignores history in his excuses for the German perpetrators of the Holocaust; his pity should be to the victims, not to the ones responsible for mass murder.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Chernobyl memories compel to action

Your coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident ("Clinton, seven leaders open Moscow summit on nuclear security," April 20) ignored the most urgent problem. It is critical that Japan and the West put up real money to close the Chernobyl-type nuclear power reactors and repair the others in Eastern Europe.

Time is running out. Desperate economic conditions in those countries are forcing them to run reactors with inadequate staff and inadequate training, with jerry-rigged spare parts and with little regulatory oversight.

Recently, the Group of Seven industrialized nations negotiated a $3.1 billion deal with Ukraine to close Chernobyl, although the Ukrainians are still asking for more money. The European Union has also promised $1.16 billion in other nuclear safety projects to upgrade salvageable nuclear plants throughout Eastern Europe. Not only is this not nearly enough for improving the 60 commercial reactors of Soviet design, it is also woefully inadequate for buying power to replace that lost from the shut plants.

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