One of the "Kindertotenlieder," "Songs on the Death of Children" set to music by Gustav Mahler reads: In this weather, in this windy storm/ I would never have sent the children out. / They have been carried off/ I wasn't able to warn them!
In 1905, when this work premiered in Vienna, no one could have seen the trail of tears that would extend over the 20th century. We, however, must stand up for our children and others whose expendability will be articulated in time. We must reject the Belgian model, and reiterate the timeless truth that human life has infinite value. We should not, in the name of compassion, become active dealers of death.
The author acknowledges the able assistance of Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in preparing this essay.