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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 26, 2007 / 8 Adar, 5767

Read a burned book for freedom

By Nat Hentoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For years, I have been covering the Castro regime's imprisonment — often for very long sentences — of what Amnesty International accurately calls "prisoners of conscience." Among them are independent journalists, labor organizers, women's rights supporters, authors and independent librarians. The latter are brave Cubans and women's-rights supporters who make available books that their neighbors and other Cubans are not allowed to read in the state-controlled library system. Whatever direction a post-Fidel government takes, this punishment of free thought will continue.


From kangaroo-court records I have seen, when independent librarians are sent to the gulags, certain confiscated books — and sometimes all books in their libraries — are ordered incinerated by the presiding judge. A biography of Martin Luther King was sent to the flames because, said the judge, it "is based on ideas that could be used to promote social disorder and civil disobedience." And the nonviolent King's own books have been burned.


Even works by Jose Marti, the 19th-century organizer of Cuban independence, have been incinerated. Maybe because of the pamphlet he wrote during his exile in Spain, planning the liberation of his homeland. Marti's pamphlet was about the horrors of political imprisonment in Cuba under a pre-Castro dictator.


Among thousands of other incinerated "subversive" books and pamphlets are those books by George Orwell, Pope John Paul II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (particularly dangerous) and reports by Human Rights Watch.


When I found these court records by Castro's judges, I called Ray Bradbury, whose classic novel "Fahrenheit 451" — still reverberating among readers around the world — tells of a tyrannical government destroying "disloyal" books by fire — and the resistance by courageous citizens memorizing those forbidden books to preserve them for future generations. Ray Bradbury authorized me to circulate his response to these real-life bonfires of free thought in Castro's Cuba:


"I plead with Castro and his government to immediately take their hands off the independent librarians and release all those librarians in prison and send them back into Cuban culture to inform the people."


The dictator was not persuaded. Many of these librarians are still in cages, some in dangerously failing health, and other independent Cuban librarians have joined them.


Now, like the resisters in Ray Bradbury's novel, who were determined to preserve the freedom to read, a group of American and international librarians, authors and human-rights activists have started a liberating Read A Burned Book campaign — including a curriculum aimed at high school and college students. The campaign is also encouraging people in the United States and around the world to read the books that dictators, not only Castro, burned.


The independent American librarian members of FREADOM — the generators of this project — have created, among other classroom and research activities, a discussion inquiry on the history of book burning in ancient and modern times. There will also be a classroom inquiry on what made the books burned by Castro so "dangerous" to the dictator and officials who will remain in power after Castro dies. He has famously said that "history will absolve me!" But as long as these condemned books keep rising from the ashes, they will bear witness to his reign of fear and destruction, not only of books but of so many Cubans who believe in their right to be free.


The growing number of the Read a Burned Book campaign's endorsers includes a former prisoner of conscience in Cuba, Armando Valladares, author of the classic "Against All Hope," about the Castro dungeons.


Also: Yale professor Carlos Eire ("Waiting for Snow in Havana"), winner of the National Book Award; Gisela Delgado Sablon, executive director of the Independent Library Project of Cuba; poet, novelist and National Public Radio columnist Andrei Codrescu; and Anna Maulina, president of the Library Association of Latvia. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have also signed on.)


The main contact for this campaign is www.4freadom.org/RBBStatement.html. There are links to sign on as a supporter, and links for students and teachers on the activities pages.


When signer Valladares was in a Castro gulag, locked in a so-called tiger cage, guards would puncture the steel-mesh ceiling with clubs to prevent him from sleeping — and pour in buckets of urine and excrement collected from other prisoners. (See Arnold Beichman's "Viva Valladares," The Washington Times, July 9, 2006.)


Valladares survived, as has his book "Against All Hope." This "Read a Burned Book" campaign is a message to all those prisoners of conscience of the rising support they have from all over the world. My congratulations to America's independent librarians at FREADOM for shaming the leadership of the American Library Association, which persistently refuses to demand the immediate release of the caged Cuban librarians.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006, NEA

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