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Horrors of Nazi camps will never be forgotten

Douglas Turner's thought-provoking column on the moral cost paid for our manned space flight program mentions the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany. The inmates were forced to perform hard labor in Nazi Germany's space program factories. Hundreds of thousands died of starvation, illness or were deliberately killed. This brings to mind some unpleasant memories of man's inhumanity to man, which I have never forgotten in these past 67 years.

After World War II ended, our outfit was moved to Munich, Germany, in June 1945. As a 19-year-old soldier, I had read in the Army's Stars and Stripes newspaper about concentration camps, especially Dachau, which was a short distance away and had been liberated in April.

Within a couple of months, my buddies and I had our first opportunity to travel to the concentration camp. Even those months after its liberation, some of the surviving inmates were in their striped clothes and still wandering around the grounds with apparently no home or families to return to. The ovens were still there with the doors swung open, and we could see the cremated body ashes. Urns full of ashes were nearby. The killing posts were there where people were shot to death. To all of us young soldiers, it was a horrible death scene to witness.

I am now in my mid 80s, but will never forget this site. I hope and pray our leaders remain vigilant to preventing such tragedies from happening again. It was real, no matter how some try to rewrite history. Turner's message is another timely wake-up call to our leaders.

Michael A. Altieri

Amherst

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It's shameful to unleash dogs to chase baby geese

For shame, Forest Lawn. On April 27, the first of the baby geese were born. Over the weekend, scores of people happily visited the park to see proud parents and to take pictures of their tiny offspring making their way along Scajaquada Creek. And what did we see on Monday? The return of the attack dogs.

After all the wonderful publicity it got last year from the famous episode of the deer standing guard over the nesting goose, the cemetery has shown its true colors by bringing back the hired goose wrangler and his two trained attack dogs to terrorize the water fowl and hound them out of the park. To do this at a time the geese are nesting and hatching babies is just plain animal cruelty. As if there isn't enough mindless animal cruelty in this world. For shame.

James Nietopski

Williamsville

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It would be great to put Bills stadium downtown

For a moment, forget reality. Forget the economics, the institutional inertia, the not-in-my-backyard protests. Think about how it would be to have an NFL stadium in Buffalo. I recently walked past the site of the former War Memorial Stadium, and I can't stop thinking about how cool it would be to have an NFL game actually in the city.

Don't misunderstand me; a torturous slow drive down Route 219 through stop-and-go traffic to a part of the world that I would never visit otherwise is great. I even enjoy the after-party where people lay on their horns, swear and cut others off in an attempt to get home three seconds earlier. The DUI checkpoints make me feel safe. It simplifies your Sunday when you know that you'll have to spend every waking moment preparing for the game, getting to it, then fighting your way home. Thinking about One Bills Drive on the 359 days of the year without football makes me sad. What purpose does that giant building serve? Even team practices -- the only other use the stadium might regularly see -- are generally held in the Field House. What work are the unending parking lots doing?

Imagine something similar to War Memorial Stadium, smack dab in the middle of a community. People would always be around, because they live there. The community could find other uses because it is so convenient.

A waterfront stadium might be interesting, but it would have few ties to the fabric of the city, and the cost could be astronomical. Negotiations between Erie County and the Bills on extending the lease of Ralph Wilson Stadium are beginning. If I had a vote, I'd knock that old dinosaur down and move the Buffalo Bills back to Buffalo.

Christopher Szczygiel

Depew

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Jury selection is a form of profiling

What is profiling? To judge people on how they dress. To judge people on how they look. To judge people on their color. To judge people on what they believe in. To judge people on who they know. To judge people on what they have done in their past. To judge people on where they live. To judge people who are on public assistance. If these examples are true, then I have just described jury selection.

Ronald Petruzzi Peters

Williamsville

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Union contributions should also be banned

I agree wholeheartedly with a recent letter writer's opinion that it is time to pass Fair Elections legislation. She wants to ban well-heeled CEO campaign contributors from donating to representatives so that the "99 percent" get the ear of our representatives. If CEO campaign contributions are banned, then union contributions must also be banned. This would truly give the voice back to the 99 percent. What's good for the donkey is good for the elephant.

Russ Arcara

Wheatfield

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Consult with the experts to fix public education

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's appointment of a commission to fix public education in New York does not include anyone from parent groups, school board organizations or school administrators, specifically Parent Teacher Action Research, New York State School Boards Association or New York State Council of School Superintendents. These groups have expertise in this very area and are dedicated to the mission of school and student advocacy.

Was this an oversight on the governor's part or is ignoring these groups a statement of contempt for them?

Anne D. Ehrlich, M.D.

North Collins

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Soda is unhealthy, too, so why not tax that?

While I applaud the strides we've made to warn people about the dangers of cigarettes and alcohol, I feel we must also focus on the soda industry. Drinking pop, either regular or diet, is a leading cause of childhood obesity and a major cause of tooth decay, yet it's widely advertised and regularly offered at discounted prices. A simple warning on the product of its dangers and a hefty tax would not only make our population healthier, but also help cut our state's tax deficit.

Martin Farrell

West Seneca