I understand and agree with Joe Ellis’s concerns about the cartoon on decreasing anti-mask rhetoric (“Mask cartoon worse than troubling,” letter to the editor, Interior News, Dec. 24, 2020).
The cartoon was in poor taste and not conducive to building bridges amongst people in this valley.
I, however, do take exception to the statement:
“…I have navigated through conversations with people with deep concerns that policymakers are taking steps that are reminiscent of those in Nazi Germany.”
My father-in-law was head of physics for the Canadian Research Council. When he was still a young graduate student pursuing studies in the north of Europe, he was “collected up” in the round-ups of Jews “and other undesirables” and taken to one of the concentration camps (Bergen-Belsen, I believe).
He spent all of the war in that camp. When I met him many years later, he never talked about his experience, but he always had a deep, deep fear of any dental procedures because of the torture and maltreatment that he had undergone when “in the care” of the Nazis.
I also remember meeting one of my in-laws’ friends, an elegant woman of great grace and kindness. I remember one day when she came for a visit, the sleeve on her dress sliding up to reveal five numbers tattooed on her forearm. She too had spent time in the Nazi’s concentration camps.
To compare current policy on mask-wearing etc. to what happened in Nazi Germany pays great disrespect to people like my father-in-law and his friend who suffered deeply and long under the draconian measures of control and eradication advocated and enacted by Nazi Germany.
You are right; kindness and respect are essential in these times. But let us keep what is happening in perspective. Brenda Mallory in her column (“Spice of Life,” Interior News, Dec. 31, 2020) gives this great definition of perspective:
“I try to remember those precautions are not about me, but it is all about the person I encounter. Be selective in your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right.”