War Tax Resister Bernard Offen Writes the I.R.S.

To: Internal Revenue Service

The guards at Auschwitz herded my father to the left and me to the right. I was a child. I never saw him again.

He was a good man. He was loyal, obedient, law-abiding. He paid his taxes. He was a Jew. He paid his taxes. He died in the concentration camp. He had paid his taxes.

My father didn’t know he was paying for barbed wire. For tattoo equipment. For concrete. For whips. For dogs. For cattle cars. For Zyklon B gas. For gas ovens. For his destruction. For the destruction of 6,000,000 Jews. For the destruction, ultimately, of 50,000,000 people in WW Ⅱ.

In Auschwitz I was tattoo #B-7815. In the United States I am an American citizen, taxpayer #370-32-6858. Unlike my father, I know what I am being asked to pay for. I am paying for a nuclear arms race. A nuclear arms race that is both homicidal and suicidal. It could end life for 5,000,000,000 people, five billion Jews. For now the whole world is Jewish and nuclear devices are the gas ovens for the planet. There is no longer a selection process such as I experience at Auschwitz.

We are now one.

I am an American. I am loyal, obedient, law-abiding. I am afraid of the IRS. Who knows what power they have to charge me penalties and interest? To seize my property? To imprison me? After soul-searching and God-wrestling for several years, I have concluded that I am more afraid of what my government may do to me, mine, and the world with the money if I pay it… if I pay it.…

I remember my father. I have learned from Auschwitz. I will not willingly contribute to the production of nuclear devices. They are more lethal than the gas Zyklon B, the gas that killed my father and countless others.

I am withholding 25% of my tax and forwarding it to a peace tax fund.

Yours for a just world at peace,
Bernard Offen