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Jane Yolen wrote a fictional work on the Holocaust some years ago. The book dealt with the numbers and statistics used by the Nazi’s (and their helpers from all over Europe) who came to see both their dehumanized Jewish and non-Jewish Untermenschen compatriots from across the continent as statistics to be calculated or canceled out.

That popular Jane Yolen fiction book was entitled The Devil’s Arithmetic and was made into a TV movie for Showtime. 

Many modern youth who have read Yolen’s work have felt drawn into the haunting numbers game of Nazi’s--including tattooed numbers on people and trainloads of numbered, living, dead, and dying victims.


One real victim of the Holocaust was the author known by most readers as Primo Levi, a Holocaust survivor, poet and chemist—who had gone to Auschwitz and actually survived to tell his tale. (Levi was also known in some works by the pen name: Damiano Malabaila.)

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Levi committed suicide many decades after the Holocaust, but he did not die a forgotten number.

Levi was a chemist and administrator for years after WWII with the SIVA-company in Italy, his homeland. 

It has been reported that when Primo Levi traveled to Germany for professional reasons in the 1950s and 1960s to deal with his German counterparts, Levi always wore short sleeves so that the apparently unrepentant Germans of WWII age would see the numbers tattooed on his forearm by the Nazis decades before.

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One of Levi’s later publication, The Periodic Tables, is called by some the best written science book of all time—although it included some fictional chapters as well.  In this work, 22 elements are linked together to tell the story of chemistry and the story of Levi’s own life.


As the fourth day of bombings of Gaza this holiday season begins, Israeli military officials are busy with numbers and statistics.


For examples, the number of sorties are counted by F-16s.

Tonnage of bombs are notated.

Bodies of so-called Hamas supporters are counted by Israelis and presented to the Israeli media.

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Meanwhile, bodies of women and children are being counted as Gaza residents morn the loss of non-combatants.

The score-sheets on the first three days (as tallied on Reuters & Yahoo) of attack on Gaza by the mighty Israeli military state is reported as follows:

“The three-day death toll rose to at least 315 by Monday morning, with some 1,400 wounded. The U.N. said at least 51 of the dead were civilians, and medics said eight children under the age of 17 were killed in two separate strikes overnight. Israel launched its campaign, the deadliest against Palestinians in decades, on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns. Since then, the number of Israeli troops on the Gaza border has doubled and the Cabinet approved the call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers.”

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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