I am a middle-aged Jewish person who lost most of my family on my mother's side in the Holocaust and I must comment on the "affront" claims made against Scientologists for drawing comparisons between the way they are being treated in Germany and the treatment of Jews in prewar Germany (Victims or Villains? Focus, 1-2/2).
I certainly don't take offence at such comparisons; for example, it is shocking to me that Germans should recently have been urged to not view films with Scientologist actors. That just stopped me in my tracks because it is so much like the Nazi actions against Jewish actors, directors and artists in the 1930s.
My uncle, although a brilliant student speaking several languages, including Latin, was refused a university entry due to his religion. My cousin had to change her religion because she wanted to be a doctor. I myself could not say I was a Jew until I came to Australia. I would hate for anyone else to have the same feeling of inferiority that I experienced as a child just because someone didn't agree with my religious beliefs.
As far as I can see, Scientologists are drawing attention to genuine grievances that are affecting real people in ways we would not tolerate in Australia and should not be tolerated anywhere. I think it is time to have a good look at what is actually happening, not at politicians (like Helmut Kohl) who just get abusive and refuse to even look.
Rose Bay, NSW