Bitburg

The President is right to lay a wreath at a German war cemetery to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War II. The wreath also symbolizes the remarkable reconciliation between this country and Germany, looking to the future with determination to reinforce ties rather than backward to exact perpetual humiliation for crimes the present governing generation in Germany did not commit. The world has witnessed too many examples of man's crazed inhumanity -- the slaughter of Russians by Stalin, of Chinese by Mao, of Cambodians by Pol Pot, of Hindus and Muslims in South Asia, of Arabs in Lebanon. Regardless of scale, the killings of innocent human beings is offensive to men of all faiths. William C. Burdett Gloucester, Mass. What a miraculous thing it would be if someone on President Reagan's staff had suggested a visit to the graves of Martin Niem"oller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, two of God's pilgrims during the Nazi period who provided sanctuary for the German soul. It is people like pastors Niemoeller and Bonhoeffer -- two Germans who acted on the clear and direct teaching that obedience to God comes before obedience to men -- that, along with those who suffered and died in concentration camps, have the most to say to us at this time. Samuel W. Smith Williamstown, Mass.

The insensitivity shown by President Reagan's decision to visit the German military cemetery is hardly surprising. . . . He has repeatedly demonstrated insensitivity to the plight of victims of injustice both within and beyond our borders, not to mention insensitivity toward the potentially catastrophic problem of overpopulation. Edd Doerr Silver Spring, Md.

How good it was to read April 22 ``A German soldiers' cemetery in France.'' I had a similar experience four years ago: After revisiting the American cemetery near Arronmanches, France, and being moved by so many lives given for the liberation of my country, my wife and I stopped at a German cemetery nearby and prayed that out of so much suffering, love and peace will triumph. Michal Koechlin Alsace, France

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