The Maine Holocaust Museum and Klahr Center story (April 2) is interesting news to me. Bob Katz, a University of Maine at Augusta art professor, is quoted in the story saying that he sees the center not as museum focusing on lifeless collections of objects from the past, but as “an active, living resource for learning lessons of the past and applying them to today’s world.”

The Klahr Center is a great idea. I believe, though, that by focusing “out there” on the terrible things that happened in Germany, we have largely avoided close scrutiny and honest historical reporting about the holocaust “right here,” in this land of the free and the home of the brave, to native peoples.

From our earliest years, we are indoctrinated with the idea that the United States is the greatest of all nations but acknowledgement that this great nation was built upon the plundered lands of the Indians and the forced labor of slaves is pretty much neglected.

What a different world we could be enjoying today if European settlers had honored the values of ancient, pre-existing cultures – cooperation rather than competition, sharing rather than greed, respect and caring for the natural world instead of exploitation, for example.

Those are also lessons we could apply to today’s world.

Joyce White, Stoneham

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