Sunday, February 12, 2012

Immaculate Conception

The uproar about birth control coverage by insurance companies not only points out the friction between freedom to choose birth control and religious liberties but also the fallacy of our employer-based healthcare system. Yes, I defend religious freedom but I question the authority of religious institutions to impose their morality on others. I understand that bishops and priest do not have to worry about the impact of contraception on their families but I do. Maybe I should not speak up because I am a Jew but I vigorously defend the right of catholic women (and men) to choose the most suitable form of birth control. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute three quarter of sexually active women of modest means, ages 18-34, said that they could NOT afford a baby BUT thirty percent had put off a gynecological or family planning visit to save money. For those still using an oral contraceptive, one quarter skipped their daily pill to safe money. The cost of birth control is one reason why poor women are more than three times as likely to have unintended pregnancies. We all pay for this failed approach to family planning! Every dollar the U.S. government spends on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74!! If each employer (such as the catholic church and other affiliated institutions, can reserve the right to raise "moral objections" to almost each and every aspect of a broad-based healthcare coverage then we are in real trouble! Whats next? Infertility treatment, already covered only by a quarter of health insurance companies, may be next. Whats about erectile dysfunction treatment for seniors? Treatment for gender identity problems in teenagers? Maybe some orthodox Islamic or Jewish employers will not pay for treatment in clinics that do not provide sex-segregated waiting rooms, or only male gynecologists. Maybe some employers object to gay doctors on moral grounds? In these times of a religiously and ideologically based culture war anything is possible! When will it stop? Well, there is one solution! A single-payer system funded by the tax payer in which each recipient receives a benefit card to CHOOSE healthcare coverage from any doctor, clinic, hospital, emergency room of their choice! Wow, free choice! What an outrageous thought! I hope that more will speak up against the Ayatollization of our society. Yes, I am for religious freedom but priest, rabbis and imans should confine their morality to their respective church, temple or mosque and leave it up to us to make moral choices! Yours Bernd

Saturday, February 11, 2012

US Marines and SS Symbols

Attached a link US Marines and SS Flag to a disturbing article titled " Panetta seeks probe of Marine SS flag" reporting that the U.S. military scrambled to explain a picture of an elite Marine unit posing with a flag symbol that is similar to a Nazi "SS" logo which surfaced on the Internet a day earlier. Marine Corps Scout Snipers from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion are seen in the photo standing and kneeling with their sniper rifles in front of a blue flag with white Nazi "SS" runes. The picture was taken in 2010 in Afghanistan and the photo's description says the "SS" flag had been "adopted and used by the Marines in reference to Scout Sniper." The Military Religious Freedom Foundation was alerted to the photo by Marines who expressed their concern, said group founder Mikey Weinstein. MRFF then distributed it to news organizations. The Marine Corps said it became aware of the photo last November and the local command investigated, but found it not to be racially motivated, according to a statement released by a Marine Corps spokesman, Lt. Col. Stewart Upton. The unit's commander decided not to proceed with disciplinary action, it said, but all Marines in the unit were reminded that such behavior will not be tolerated and any further display could result in punishment. Its hard to believe that the top US military leadership is only now responding to the event. Imagine this would have been German, French or British troops serving in Afghanistan? We should demand more than an apology from our military! Outreach and education efforts are sorely needed to prevent this from happening again. Yours Bernd

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Unite Against Hate

Attached a link to an article titled " Uproar after Jewish American newspaper publisher suggests Israel assassinate Barack Obama" reporting that Andrew B. Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, published an article last week, in which he suggested that Israel consider assassinating President Obama!!! Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the third is to “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”Adler goes on to write: “Yes, you read “three correctly.” Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it. If have thought of this Tom-Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles?” Adler apologized for the article, saying “I very much regret it; I wish I hadn’t made reference to it at all,” Adler told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. And in an interview with, Adler denied that he was advocating an assassination of Obama. The American Jewish Committee in Atlanta last night issued a harsh condemnation of Adler’s article, saying that his proposals are “shocking beyond belief.” "While we acknowledge Mr. Adler's apology, we are flabbergasted that he could ever say such a thing in the first place. How could he even conceive of such a twisted idea?" said Dov Wilker, director of AJC Atlanta. "Mr. Adler surely owes immediate apologies to President Obama, as well as to the State of Israel and his readership, the Atlanta Jewish community." Andrew Adler smeared not only the image of the Jewish community in the U.S. but has pleased anti-Zionists and delighted anti-Semites by giving them the kind of “proof” they relish for accusing American supporters of Israel not of “double loyalty” but of one-sided treachery, plain and simple. Furthermore, he also tarnished the image of Israel, a close U.S. ally by claiming that it may consider assassinating the U.S. President! Unfortunately, this event had to happen and the putrid stew of falsehoods, hatred and bigotry boiled over! Adler’s crazy and criminal suggestions are not the ranting of some loony-tune individual and were not taken out of thin air - but are the inevitable result of the inordinate volume of repugnant venom that some of Obama’s political rivals, Jews and non-Jews included, have been spewing for the last three years. In my opinion certain extremist groups within the Jewish community are responsible for this propaganda campaign alleging that President Obama is an enemy of Israel. Words lead to deeds and we should have the courage to speak up and point out those who spread this nonsense. Vile resentments need to be replaced by civil discourse. We can disagree with each other but should maintain civility. Andrew Adler's action should remind us that we have to double our efforts to return to a dialogue based on facts and accepted norms of behavior. Yours Bernd

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Update

My book is going to be released in Israel in July. I also participate in a project called "The Ghosts of the Third Reich."
For more information see

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NPR Interview, June 2010

Attached you find a link to my recent interview with The Story.
Looking forward to your comments.

Friday, April 16, 2010

German Life Published in Brazil

Dear Reader:
A lot has happened since my last blog entry. I never expected that my book would trigger so much interest which resulted in over 100 lectures and presentations throughout Florida, Canada (Montreal), New York,California (Los Angeles) and Israel.Furthermore, I have given several radio interviews on local NPR stations, was featured in a JTLV Yom Hashoa program and contribute to a documentary about children of supporters of the Nazi regime.
I feel humbled and honored to have had the privilege sharing my life experience with so many wonderful people from all walks of life. I also continue contributing all of my lecture proceeds to various charitable organizations supporting the teaching of the Holocaust and the support of Holocaust survivors. Meanwhile my book was also published in Brazil and an Israeli edition is pending.
Most importantly, I just returned from a very emotional journey to Poland visiting the sites of the former concentration camps culminating in the March of the Living which I walked together with my daughter Jade from Auschwitz to Birkenau.
I will never forget standing next to the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria in Birkenau silently praying for the all of victims of Nazi genocide. I hope that my creator will give me the strength to build a better world and to share my aspirations and ideas for many years to come.
I look forward hearing from you.
Yours truly,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amazon Kindle Edition

If you like to read the book on your kindle then follow this link