Villains and victims

January 13, 2006

Seasonal festivity congestion prevented until now my reading the feature "Uncle Joe's less obvious legacy to the oppressed" (December 2), in which Andrew Puddephatt considers how Comrade Stalin might have argued his case for being the initiator of the human rights movement.

Why wasn't Hitler given the chance to "plead his case"? His was the Holocaust.

Stalin and Hitler are morally repugnant. The former crudely exterminated millions more people than the 14 million alluded to in the article, and the latter adopted technological innovations to annihilate millions.

It is, and forever has been, the silenced and surviving victims who instigate human rights activism.

It is victims, not torturers, who provide those of us who have not experienced their torments with the inspiration to ensure that human rights are not overlooked.

The spread, however unevenly, of movements promoting human rights throughout the world testifies to the endurance of human decency and rationality in the face of terror.

Stalin, Hitler, A. N. Other. The case is fallacious.

Richard Sochacki
Perth, Australia

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