An Inclusive Litany

8/19/01

Ivy Meeropol, granddaughter of communist spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, describes her experiences during the late 1970's at Kinderland, a politically progressive children's camp in Tolland, Massachusetts, in the New York Times August 19, 2001:
Taking Kinderland's ideals into the world at large was never something we thought of doing. For me, the place was a sanctuary. The rare, delicate beliefs we held were reserved for camp.

If we already had a sense that almost anywhere outside was enemy territory, it was only reinforced by some of the Kinderland cultural programs. Many of our heroes had suffered or died for their beliefs. The persecution of Jews, African-Americans, unionists and Communists was often laid out in graphic detail. In their enthusiasm to impart this knowledge, the Kinderland staff designed some hair-raising activities. To bring home the horrors of the Holocaust, counselors locked children in their bunks, led them into communal showers or had them hide in an attic and read excerpts from "The Diary of Anne Frank."

One summer, some counselors wanted to set fire to the lake for Hiroshima Day, Aug. 6, and decided not to only after a long debate.

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