Destroying Headstones is Not in Your Mission Statement

One thing that used to set America apart from our enemies around the world is that we used to treat our defeated enemies with a measure of respect. This was helpful because enemy soldiers would often surrender rather than fighting to the death because they heard that America would treat prisoners fairly. Once “W” Bush started torturing people, that reputation has been severely damaged.

I am Jewish and served for twenty-two years with our Navy. I would never condone destroying headstones because they bear Nazi, Communist, Imperial Japanese, or any symbols underwhich a deceased soldier served. Once a combatant is captured or killed, their war is over. If they died in a US prison camp, if their body could not be repatriated (something not practical in wartime) then the honorable thing to do is to provide a proper burial and marker.

You are dead wrong to try to destroy these grave markers. I agree with those who say that trying to wipe out symbols, monuments or documents about the Nazi, Soviet era, will only mystify these regimes rather than helping people learn the truth.

Your organization has some very nice principles stated in your mission statement. By going off on this quest to wipe out Nazi symbols from grave markers, you are discrediting your organization and your actions make me doubt the sincerity of your organization’s stated goals.

Just a suggestion: If you want to do something positive instead of defacing headstones, address the problem of young Jewish Americans failing to serve in our Armed Forces. Shortly after I retired, I attended a JWV conference. I was astonished that I was the youngest man there. Several of the leaders told me that this was because most Jewish Americans, if willing to serve at all, are more inclined to serve in the IDF than in our own military. Perhaps you could turn your energies to something more constructive, like partnering with the JWV to help recruit highly talented Jewish Americans to serve in our Armed Forces.

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

Hey, brother, we don’t even get to the issue of whether or not enemy combatant should be buried in our honored national veterans cemeteries… If the headstone for a German World War II soldier includes the swastika with an accompanying homage to Adolf Hitler the third Reich and the German people, we will NEVER support that… Nor should you…


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Bryan Hodges

    White Washington history, is a communist ideology. They were Nazis and as a Jew, I am perfectly fine with enemies headstones with any symbol on it no matter how horrific.

  2. A.L. Hern

    “Your organization has some very nice principles stated in your mission statement. By going off on this quest to wipe out Nazi symbols from grave markers, you are discrediting your organization and your actions make me doubt the sincerity of your organization’s stated goals.”

    WHAT is there about this issue that you fail to understand? I wrote the below in response to another letter about this issue elsewhere on the website, but I think it bears repeating here:

    This is all of a piece with the dispute over the appropriateness of Confederate monuments, whose defenders claim that that statuary is and should be protected “history.”

    Unlike in ancient times, history is written in books; when it is written by responsible, qualified historians it is with precisely the sort of context that MAKES it history and not hagiography (don’t know the word? Look it up). But in the long history of the world, no one ever erected a statue to anybody that was intended to do anything other than glorify its subject.

    Before you can “defend” history, you must first learn both its definition and how it is properly studied.

    The fact is that no grave marker with Nazi iconography or sentiments would be allowed on modern German soil. And no American who actually fought the Nazis would share your “tolerance” toward them now, ESPECIALLY those who were put in those veterans’ cemeteries’ graves BY the Nazis.

    We need to get something straight right now: there’s nothing wrong or ignoble about hating, if you hate the right people, those who, via their words and actions demonize and injure the innocent. As a Jew, whose entire history is a litany of persecutions at precisely the sort of hand that the Nazis wielded, you above all people should understand.

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