A colleague of mine, Barbara Mathews from Massachusetts granted me permission to post the following comment. She had posted this on a online discussion list and I thought it was an excellent follow-up to the revelations in this morning’s Boston Globe story. Barbara is a descendant of a Belgium nationalist family. Thank you for this insiteful posting and for sharing it.
“This story really hit home for me. My father’s uncle Charles Pons [Dad’s name was Charles Pons Mathews] was killed as a nationalist by the Nazis in Belgium, as was Misha’s father. My father’s cousin Marcel survived a concentration camp. Both met their fates because of nationalism. But the rest of the family survived. Aunt Julia and little Albert were never arrested.This makes my family’s experience completely different from that of Jewish families. All members of Jewish families died. All of them. That’s what makes it genocide and not war.I am not happy that Misha takes the experience of a nationalist family and abuses the holocaust experience of the Jews to give herself credibility or sympathy or whatever. It makes me angry. And I’m saying that as a person whose Belgium family had an experience in World War II similar to that of Misha’s family. That’s no way to bear witness to the holocaust. Misha’s actions are an abuse.Had to get that off my chest. Please don’t think that all Belgium nationalist families would react the way Misha did. She shames us.”
© 2008, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.