Article on Holocaust vigil fails to mention Poles

To the Daily:

In the article Victims remembered in 24-hour ceremony (03/13/2003), the Daily reported: “Holocaust victims included a range of groups, including Jews, Russians, homosexuals, communists, socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies and the handicapped.” Here, the Daily made a glaring omission by not mentioning the Poles who, after Jews and Gypsies, were third in the queue to the gas chambers in the German concentration camps.

During World War II, Poland lost approximately 6 million of its citizens: 3 million Polish Jews and 3 million Christian Poles. This tremendous loss was due to the extermination of the Poles undertaken by two totalitarian regimes: Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s communist Soviet Union. It is also significant that the first group of prisoners sent to the German concentration camp, Auschwitz, consisted exclusively of Christian Poles. I would be very grateful for a correction to the incomplete information.

Jerzy Petryniak

Biology research fellow

‘Mathematical illiteracy’ demonstrated in NCAA article dangerous to public

To the Daily:

A recent article NCAA Needs Major Geography Lesson (03/17/03) claimed that there were 4,536,559,206,400 National Collegiate Athletic Association brackets “needed to mathematically guarantee that you win your office pool.” This number is far too small. There are 32 games in the first round, each of which has two possible winners. For each possible first round combination, there are 16 second-round games with two possible winners each, all the way up to the final game. This makes the number of possible brackets two to the power of 63, or 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.

In these dangerous times of war and threats to civil liberties, mathematical skills are one of the public’s only defenses against propaganda. While the NCAA is a relatively trivial example, statistics about public policy abound, and if the public is mathematically illiterate, they won’t know what to believe.

Jeremy Cook

LSA sophomore

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