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The Remarkable Life of Richard Pipes

Reader comment on item: NYT: Richard Pipes, Historian of Russia and Reagan Aide, Dies at 94

Submitted by Clark Whelton, Jun 10, 2018 at 21:09

To: Daniel Pipes

Thank you for a wonderful tribute to your remarkable father.

When I heard the sad news of your father's passing, I went to the NYPL and read "Vixi," something I'd been meaning to do for years. Immediately, I was struck by the drama of the escape from Poland, and by the extraordinary persona of your grandfather, whose powers of foresight, determination and international savoir faire enabled him to free his family from the Nazis. That dangerous moment in Innsbruck, when a Gestapo agent orders the Pipes family off the train, might have been the end of the story. But your grandfather understood the German mentality and reboarded his family at the right moment. Very few people could have survived that perilous encounter.

In Vixi, the Latin American consul who provided the blank passport that saved your father and grandparents was not identified. There were several such heroes from Latin America. Years ago, when I was Ed Koch's speechwriter, I met George Mantello at a reception in his honor at City Hall. Mantello, a member of the El Salvadoran diplomatic corps, was a key figure in forcing the international community in Switzerland to confront undeniable evidence of the Holocaust provided by Vrba and Wetzler, who had escaped from Auschwitz. Mantello's superior in the Salvadoran foreign service was José Castellanos, who also saved thousands from the death camps.

Our entire country can be thankful for the life of Richard Pipes. He set high standards in academe, and advanced the well-being of our country for decades. America owes him a lot.

One last thought. You mention that your parents frequently argued, and speculate that the disagreements may have helped keep them fit and alert. You are not only right, there is even a name for this phenomenon – "noyau." A noyau is an inwardly antagonistic group of fauna that, to outside observers, appears to be constantly bickering. However, when danger threatens, the group instantly forms a common front for mutual defense. When the danger has passed, they go right back to bickering. More than one zoologist has noted that the inward antagonism must have survival benefits for the group as a whole because it's seen so frequently in nature.

In closing, please accept my deepest sympathies on the loss of your father. And thank you for all you're doing to advance the interests of America and Israel in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

Clark Whelton
New York, NY


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submitting....

Daniel Pipes replies:

I appreciate your note but no, the fake passport was from Bolivia. The point about the noyau is news to me but makes intuitive sense.

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Reader comments (38) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
On passing of your father [89 words]Greg MargolinJun 12, 2018 10:00243235
Response to Daniel Pipes Remembering Professor Richard Pipes [280 words]Chris BealJun 11, 2018 22:15243228
The Remarkable Life of Richard Pipes [407 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Clark WheltonJun 10, 2018 21:09243207
Tribute to Prof. Richard Pipes [168 words]Joel FishmanJun 10, 2018 08:41243202
THE UNKNOWN RICHARD PIPES [190 words]Jiri ValentaMay 31, 2018 20:29243143
Thoughts on Richard Pipes from an MEF colleague [157 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Cinnamon StillwellMay 31, 2018 15:40243138
Condolences to Daniel Pipes [9 words]Jim RyanMay 24, 2018 10:09243082
Richard Pipes' Extraordinary Contributions [107 words]Paula DobrianskyMay 23, 2018 23:54243078
Richard Pipes - a life of purpose and meaning [147 words]Marilyn SternMay 23, 2018 23:20243077
Condolences [41 words]Embassy of EstoniaMay 23, 2018 09:29243072
For a blessing [157 words]Paul DonnellyMay 23, 2018 06:07243070
How I knew your dad [53 words]Max AbrahmsMay 22, 2018 23:01243066
A Legacy Does Not End If Well Remembered [109 words]M ToveyMay 22, 2018 17:23243064
The Passing of Richard Pipes [222 words]Senator Rudy BoschwitzMay 22, 2018 10:54243055
My sincere condolences [224 words]Edgar MizrahiMay 22, 2018 10:03243053
The apple and the tree [108 words]Michael SMay 22, 2018 01:41243052
Condolences [49 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
ArshMay 21, 2018 00:05243043
Rememering your father [89 words]Gary BowserMay 20, 2018 10:38243039
Condolences [15 words]A regular readerMay 20, 2018 05:16243036
RESPONSE [73 words]Alan Lasnover, MDMay 19, 2018 13:38243029
Support for Daniel [13 words]Jim HigginsMay 19, 2018 09:14243023
Condolences to Daniel [19 words]Ariel ReinheimerMay 18, 2018 16:11243013
May G-d console you among to other mourner of Zion & Yerushalayim [64 words]LenMay 18, 2018 15:29243011
Condolences to Dr. Daniel Pipes [3 words]US Citizen living in TurkeyMay 18, 2018 12:47243009
Condolences [5 words]IraMay 18, 2018 12:17243008
My condolences [6 words]dhimmi no moreMay 18, 2018 16:06243008
My deepest condolences [127 words]Maria MeylikhovaMay 18, 2018 12:07243006
The passing of Richard Pipes [191 words]David DyzenhausMay 23, 2018 06:58243006
Very sad [28 words]Lewis AmselemMay 18, 2018 11:06243002
My condolences [42 words]AnonMay 18, 2018 10:03243001
Response to above article. [38 words]Joy Moss-RendellMay 18, 2018 07:30243000
Daniel - proof of the legacy of a great man [65 words]kmanMay 17, 2018 23:35242995
Condolences [26 words]Cathy ShreveMay 17, 2018 22:36242994
My Condolences to Daniel and Gratitude To Richard Pipes [77 words]DaveMay 17, 2018 21:53242991
your father [72 words]Jere van DykMay 17, 2018 21:44242990
Baruch Hashem [7 words]Jeffrey GouldMay 17, 2018 21:08242988
My Condolences on the Death of Your Father [48 words]David RyanMay 17, 2018 19:34242986
My Sincere Condolences [63 words]Jim WherryMay 17, 2018 19:31242985

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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