My grandfather, who was a first-generation German-American, was as proud of his German heritage as any man could be. But, when World War I broke out in 1914, he stunned his family by going against his heritage and supporting the Allied cause against Germany.
He tirelessly supported U.S. entry into the war from its earliest days because of his hatred for German militarism.
Later on, he wanted the U.S. to be in the League of Nations, which, of course, did not occur. No doubt, my grandfather would have little respect for today's historians who say the WWI was a war that was fought over nothing.
My grandfather died in 1929, or four years before Hitler came to power. Perhaps, it's just as well that he never lived to see his beloved Germany become consumed by Hitler and his monstrous Naziism.
In response to Michael Gerson's excellent column, "Keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust" that appeared on May 22, I find the notion of two-sidedness when considering the Holocaust to be not only dangerous but also morally offensive in the extreme.
Granted, the pluralism and diversity of our world requires that we have an open and tolerant society. Perhaps, we have to accept a certain amount of moral ambiguity. But, the Holocaust remains one of the purest and most profound examples of evil that there is. I may not be able to readily define evil. But, I know it when I feel it, and the very word "Holocaust" just makes me cringe throughout.
We should teach our young people about the Holocaust so as to make them fully aware of the reality and horror of evil. Only then, can our youngsters develop a tolerance and an acceptance that is combined with a passion for justice so as to right what is wrong.