FDR impeded the exodus of European Jews

Re: "Credo: Diane Saltzman, director of survivor affairs at the Holocaust museum," April 6

It was only fitting that on the eve of Yom Hashaoh, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be memorialized Wednesday with ceremonies in Israel and internationally, that The Washington Examiner featured a spokesperson for the Holocaust Memorial Museum as well as a quote from Rafael Medoff, who has indicted the role of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in that catastrophe.

FDR was a typical WASP of that period with anti-Semitic leanings, despite having friends who were Jewish. There were no Jews in the State Department hierarchy, although a limited number with no influence worked in departments that had no say in the political and historical events of that time.

Certainly FDR did very little, and in fact at times impeded the possible exodus of Jews trying to flee the Holocaust in Europe. His negative attitude and denial contributed to the slaughter of many of the 6 million Jews lost in that tragedy. While FDR may have been a great president, he was not a decent human being.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Human beings must chart their own course

Re: "Both parties should wake up and smell the common sense," April 3

The first paragraphs of Greg Orman's op-ed read like he was honestly attempting to remain balanced -- until he took a hairpin turn to the left with the words: "[W]ouldn't be such a bad thing if all Americans had equal access to the ladder of success."

As a performance consultant who motivates and teaches leadership skills at the end of my commute each day, I found those words incredibly offensive. Government does not ultimately provide or deny a person opportunity. Human beings have the capability to think and make decisions. Acting on those decisions is sometimes restricted and regulated by government, but the point is that we can all decide what we want to do.

Various obstacles make it more difficult for some people to act on good decisions and achieve success. However, with few exceptions, those who have achieved the greatest success are the same people who struggled the most to overcome those obstacles.

"Think and Grow Rich" author Napoleon Hill says that "the starting point of all achievement is desire. ... Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat." In my professional and personal experience, attitude and desire are the first keys to success, but both seem to be lacking in today's society.

Jeff Wright


Not all whites are guilty of racial transgressions

Re: "America needs racial healing," Editorial, April 1

Isn't it true that to claim that "whites don't care and won't participate constructively" in the discussion of race, you must also assume that all white people are responsible for Jim Crow -- even if they had nothing to do with it and are not descendants of those responsible?

Or do you have to assume that the entire country was under Jim Crow, even though it was prevalent in just eight or nine states?

Maybe my refusal to "participate constructively" is due to the fact that I'm deemed guilty for Jim Crow laws just because I have white skin, when I was born and raised a Yankee and just happen to be living in Virginia.

That's like accepting blame for crimes committed by Hitler because we both have the same skin color.

James G. Witte