Re: OUT with those Nouns!

From: Gregory and Carol Yeager (
Date: Fri May 23 1997 - 22:19:33 EDT

I......think an apology just might be in order. I'm not really sure
what a kvetch is, but Jonathon jumped upon the context I use when saying
"arbeit macht frei" to anyone, students or otherwise. I did not use
such context here. Terribly sorry. Rest assured none of my students
wear brown shirts with arm bands. The phrase is a wonderful teaching
point when discussing the absalute value of works and freedom, however.

> At 10:36 PM 5/22/97 -0700, Gregory and Carol Yeager wrote:
> >Thanks Jonathan Robie for the Deutsch - Arbeit macht frei, as I always
> >tell my students!
> Sorry to be a kvetsch, but this phrase isn't one that should be tossed
> around lightly. "Arbeit macht frei" was posted over the entrance of one of
> the concentration camps, and means "work liberates". Fifty years after the
> end of World War II, both Germans and Jews are extremely sensitive about
> this history, much more sensitive than most Americans might realize. I lived
> in Germany for 7 1/2 years, where there is still a very high degree of guilt
> and pain regarding this history. In the Jewish community, there is only pain.
> Throwing this phrase around might be roughly equivalent to asking an
> American "how do you treat your niggers?" Neither blacks nor whites
> sensitive to how we've treated blacks through much of our history can read a
> phrase like that without being offended.
> Jonathan
> ***************************************************************************
> Jonathan Robie
> POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
> ***************************************************************************

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