“Swastikas: let’s destroy them!”

The Ridgefield Press: Letter to the Editor

Prof. Sami Repishti

Dear Sir:

Mr. Macklin Reid’s informative: “Swastikas Again Defile Ballard Park” (May 5/31) has more than upset and unsettle me for the seriousness of the subject and the potential danger that it presents for all of us.
I was appalled to read that these “symbols of ethnic and religious hatred” defacing our buildings and our parks have appeared seven times since November 2016, and yet, we don’t know the culprit. Today, I join the good Rabbi David Reiner of Temple Shir Shalom: “I am sad and disappointed but not feeling scared or threatened.” I wish our good Rabbi were more assertive.
It’s not a personal “safety concern” because this conclusion “personalizes” the threat; it’s a great community threat by a disease that could affect all of us, if we remain indifferent and contemplative. As the old saying goes:””For the evil to succeed, it’s enough that good people do nothing”. It’s indifference that threatens us today, and it’s this indifference that sets the ground for future catastrophes. We have seen it and we still remain indifferent when the snake raises its head.
We must learn the lesson by the horrible attacks in our schools today, a nation still in disbelief that even after the unspeakable Newton massacre nothing has changed. The forces of evil are stronger than we think, and we forget about their ability to destroy us once they usurpe the power. Then progroms, Kristallnachts, midnight mass arrests reach their peak with the crematoria, the darkest stain in mankind’s history.
I write with anger today, because I was a witness of Yesterday and a victim of the three dictatorships in Europe in my small country of Albania from 1939 to 1991. My father was a victim of Fascism, my 17 year-old cousin was executed in the Nazi Mauthausen Camp, my mother, brother and sister were sent to a communist concentration camp, and myself spent ten long years in communist jails and forced labor camps. Yet, my family composed of was ordinary law-abiding citizens.
It’s not simply that these incidents “do not reflect the character of our town”; it’s much more than that. It’s happening everywhere in our country and that frightens me. It happens in our schools and that frightens me. Our next generation is growing in an atmosphere of bigotry and terror compounded by a frightening official indifference!
It’s not just a problem for our Town Hall, or school superintendent or the police department, for that matter. It’s a grave problem for all of us, young and old, with no distinction of faith, or race or religion, or political conviction, to resist and act. It’s a question of life, of our lives in the future.
Let’s oppose the evil now that we still have the upper hand. Let’s mobilize all people of good will. Let’s detect, discredit, and prevent those who feed us with bigotry, by words or deeds, those who want to destroy our present now and our lives tomorrow.

Sami Repishti, PhD.(retired)
Ridgefield, CT