A packed mailbag

1st February 2005, Comments 0 comments

It has been a brisk start to the new year with the flow of news giving our readers plenty to think and write about – from Islam, the Second World War anniversary, abortion through to Berlin-US ties and whether Germans have a sense of humour.

60 years on

Sir,

I never see articles written on how the Germans had to suffer. Doesn't anyone care? Germans lost family members too at the hands of Nazis. They too lost homes. They also rebuilt their lives and went on.

My parents were kids in the war and had to suffer just as much. Going to bed hungry, losing their home, and family members...Why doesn't Germany pay tribute to the heroes and real Germans

Diane

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Rumsfeld scraps munich visit over war probe

Sir,

Thank you for publishing this story.
 
I live in the US and I know nothing will ever be done here to investigate and punish Rumsfeld.
 
He deserves the same kind of treatment he put those poor souls through, especially the waterboarding.
 
Peggy

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Rumsfeld scraps munich visit over war probe

Sir,

Thank you for printing information such as this because it gives me hope to know people around the world realise Rumsfeld and the whole Bush Administration cannot be trusted.

The power grab that is occurring in my country must be held accountable and stopped. The rest of the world must realise Bush did not fairly win  re-election. I am still proud to be an American, but I will not travel outside the country because I fear for my life as a result of Bush's foreign policy.

The citizens of the United States are pleading with publications such as yours to please resist this administration and do not believe them unless
you get everything in writing!

Please do not hate Americans in general. The United States is under
distress and fascism is alive and well here.

Once again, thank you for giving me hope.

Shane

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US must pressure Israel, says SPD leader

Sir,

Gernot Erler better stick to local politics before telling Israelis to climb out on a narrow ledge. His advice to pressure Sharon when Abbas sounded more jihadist than moderate during his campaign talking about the "Zionist enemy" and a promise to defend and protect terrorists?

Give me a break! And as soon as there's an election, this Erler demands
more powerful and sophisticated weapons for Fatah? Even though Abaas promised to never confront any terrorist group and after praising the terrorist al-Aska killers who are a Fatah offshoot? Does Gernot Erler have any idea what is going on?

Richard Martens

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US must pressure Israel, says SPD leader

Sir,

My question is why?
 
If the SPD thinks that pressure should be on Sharon and allows Abbas to get away from clamping on terrorism then we have encouraged more terrorism and we are not better of when Arafat was alive.

It is time for the Palestinians to stand up and accept their responsibilities.

Do not blame Israel when it is the Palestinian problem. Israel was never the aggressor but was pushed and provoked to defend itself for the last 56 years.  It is time to be fair, not one sided. 

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Should Germany care about US opinion?

Sir,

I just read Marius Benson's comments on why Germany should not care about US political position, etc., etc. As a US citizen of immigrant grandparents, I do not understand the European psyche which currently prevails against the US-at-large.

There are too many reasons to mention why Benson's views are ill-informed and myopic. I do not know who this person Henson is but if he is any sort of area of responsibility woe be unto him who reads his material.  He's ridiculous under any terms. 

Marie J May

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Should Germany care about US opinion?

Sir,

My father was in the American Army in June of 1945 when he spent several months in Berlin just as the war had ended. I have photographs that he personally took of a nearly ruined Brandenburg Gate and the Tiergarten.

I was born in January 1945. From 1968 to 1971, my wife and I lived in Heidleberg while I was in the American Air Force.

Our son was born in Heidelberg. We lived with a German family in Sandhausen, and they we like parents to us. We were treated extremely well whenever we took mini-trips through the beautiful German countryside. The experience of living in Germany changed our lives in the most positive ways possible.

This Summer I attended a conference at Humboldt University inBerlin. As part of the conference I was able to take a 35 km bicycle tourof the route of the former Berlin Wall. The German people shouldbe very proud of creating a new spirit in Germany while still "keeping Germany, Germany".

Here is to success in the future!!!!!

Richard H.Schmoyer

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Israeli envoy: German democracy still faces test

Sir,

Germany's democratic system has not been tested with poverty yet.  However, with no central bank of its own, fat social programs and a spoiled work-force, the country is heading in that direction.
 
Amir Stamper

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The Trouble with Harry

Sir,

Regarding Prince Harry wearing the swastika with 'in-your-face' attitude, if his Royal Highness has any sense of what is proper and fitting, he should stand in front of the Cenotaph in Whitehall (which commemorates the dead of two world wars) and try to make amends to the more than 500,000 English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish (both Catholics and Protestants), Canadians (both English and French), Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans (both White and Black), Indians (Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs), and Jews & Arabs of the British mandate of Palestine, who gave their lives for the House of Windsor fighting that emblem which Prince Harry so blithely wore.

There is also that little matter of 405,339 Americans who died to save the Windsor's' sorry ass not to mention the 78,976 missing and presumed dead who also fought against the Swastika.

E. David Litvak

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Us flags mounted in dog droppings in german city

Sir,

Regarding the flags mounted on dog droppings. Seems to me that the real problem is the high number of dog droppings in the area which were not cleaned up for the public.

I enjoy my Expatica information.

Sam

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Archbishop regrets abortion holocaust remark

Sir,

What is more lamentable: Archbishop Meisner needlessly apologising for comparing the savage butchery of abortion to the Nazi holocaust (a morally correct comparison), or Paul Spiegel of the Central Council of Jews in Germany thinking he can dictate who may or may not invoke the memory of the holocaust?

Those who would continue the slaughter of the defenceless through abortion have this in common with Nazis and early American slaveholders: each group attempted to re-define their victims as somehow less than human in order to "legitimise" destroying them.

The comparison was apt. Archbishop Meisner has nothing to apologise for, and Spiegel has no authority to censor free (and accurate) speech. I'm still trying to figure out who is more pathetic.

Rabbi Glenn Harris

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Archbishop regrets abortion holocaust remark

Sir,

I happen to agree with the Archbishop, and he should have clarified rather than apologised.

Jim Nuziard

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Archbishop regrets abortion holocaust remark

Sir,

The Archbishop should not have to apologise for any remarks he makes in a sermon. End of Comment

Dr Vitale

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Archbishop regrets abortion holocaust remark

Sir,

I agree whole-heartedly with this clergyman's comment. In fact, this was, and is, my own reasoning when I am voting.

Anne Vera

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German intelligence cracks terror group's codes

Sir,

Now that you have given this out to everyone, including the terrorists, they can change their code to something else.  This would have been a great victory on the war on terrorism.

Sometimes the news media should have the common sense to not publish this type of information, while the government is trying to capture or destroy the enemy.

To me all you did is tell this organization that German Government broke the code and now we have to change it, to something else. Good job to German Intelligence, bad day for all the work that they did because the press gave the enemy al the information they needed.

What a joke!

Don Whitbeck

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German intelligence cracks terror group's codes

Sir,

How short-sighted to announce cracking the "enemy's" code - now they will change it and once again their communication will be secret.

Steve

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Best of times, wurst of times

Sir,

Some of the best time I had in Berlin (1962-1964)- drinking beer and eating a curry wurst at one of those small stands.

Bob Greenwell

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Putting out the welcome mat

Sir,

In order to help solve the problem of a shrinking and greying workforce, rather than bring in masses of foreigners from Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Third World, who may not fit in well in German society and may cause racial and other problems in the long term, why doesn't the German government institute something similar to Israel's "Right of Return" for the German diaspora?

Wouldn't Germans generally feel a lot more comfortable living side by side with their cousins - cousins who are eager to learn German and become more and more German with each passing day, than they would living with Indonesians, Arabs, etc. who don't have any particular love for Germany or Germans?

Sarah C.

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Turkey splits Germany

Sir,

I am a Canadian citizen who is very interested in relocating to Europe in future. I read an article online about Muslims not wanting to adjust to life in more modern countries. Hence it may become more difficult to immigrate to the EU. I lived in the Middle East region for a time. When a westerner lives in their region they are expected to live by the local morale. So why then should Muslims relocating not be expected to do the same in other more modern regions of the world?

Maybe countries in general should be certain before allowing immigration , that said individual is patriotic to said country.

Carrie

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German schools slip in global rankings

Sir,

Sounds ominously familiar. Schools in one of the world's biggest economic powers "slip in global rankings" but the teachers' trade union warns against "blaming teachers, pupils or their parents". Is this a wise response? If teachers, pupils and their parents are unwilling to take responsibility, then who will? Politicians? Bureaucrats? This is what we've done in the US and I don't recommend it.

James F. Reynolds

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Do Germans have a sense of humour?

Sir,

After reading that article about whether Germans have a sense of humour...eh...NO

Wesley Weld-Moore

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January 2005

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: German news

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