National Geographic : 1991 Jul
Forum Eastern Europe I liked "Dispatches From Eastern Europe" (March 1991) even if reading it was like going back in my bad dreams. I lived in eastern Czechoslova kia for almost 35 years. The majority there are Slo vaks, but there are also Hungarians, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, Czechs, and Gypsies, and very strong religious divisions among Roman Catho lics, Greek Catholics, Russian Orthodox, Jews, and others. Hate dominates everyday life and poli tics. This hate was exploited by the communists and before them by German and Slovak Nazis. It will be exploited by any other political group that emerges. That's why I have doubts that achieving democracy will be easy. It will take generations. VOJTECH ACKERMAN Houston, Texas In June 1990 my Navy Reserve training took me to Poland for the first visit by U. S. Navy ships in 67 years. The outpouring of affection for America and her Navy during the three-day port call was astonishing. Our sailors were treated as celebrities in Gdanisk, Sopot, and Gdynia. More than 30,000 people came aboard the two ships opened for visit ing. Although vestiges of the bad old days remain, the Poles I met enjoy their new freedoms and want closer ties with the United States. LT. COMDR. MARK S. JOHNSON USNR Eden Prairie,Minnesota One photograph (pages 6-7) typifies a disturbing phenomenon in our society - Polish, American, or otherwise. Two young men (neofascists) armed with clubs attack a student. Around them a crowd rushes to the scene. At least 12 adults are focusing on the violence. All have the same objective: to get a good photograph. We will do almost anything to record violence but apparently nothing to stop it. THOMAS A. BODDEN Wailuku, Hawaii Lechuguilla Cave Tim Cahill deserves highest praise for doing the caving and for writing such an intriguing report. However, I could find nothing about how to pro nounce Lechuguilla or about the derivation of the word or why it was selected to identify such an awe some wonder. ROBERT E. POERSCHKE Wake Forest, North Carolina 1.Worldwide Acceptance. 2.Hand-Delivered Refunds.