Having lived in South Africa before the pernicious and divisive system of apartheid was started, I feel the article "Pretoria Ends Apartheid System," June 19, which acknowledges the progress made by President De Klerk's government in ending the legal basis for apartheid, is timely. I also salute the constructive attitude of that day's editorial "Next Steps In S. Africa" in calling for the release of black prisoners and the improvement of African education.But we should all remember the sabotage, indiscipline, and widespread strikes in the African schools and understand that the slogan "liberation before education" has done a lot of harm. Senior men like Oliver Tambo should explain to the young militants the great importance of education now that negotiations have started for the building of the new South Africa. And although all sensible people want to see rapid steps toward black-white reconciliation, we must realize that some of those still detained have taken part in the bestial necklace executions. We must ask ourselves whether such criminals ought to roam in new South Africa as free persons. Howard Fry, Dulverton, England
Locating Austria historically Regarding the article "Austria's Capital Faces Rivals in the East," June 19: One very important date in Vienna's history is 1483, when the advance of the Ottoman Empire across Europe was stopped. Later Prince Eugen of Savoy continued the campaign against the Turks for the Holy Roman Empire and won a victory in the twin cities of Buda and Pest in the 1690s. These events put Austria in its historical and geographical position as a bulwark against Russia and the East. Janice R. Morrow, Belfast
More pressure on the 'melting pot' In the opinion-page article "Subtle Erosion of America's Uniqueness," June 26, the author writes: "The 'melting pot' concept is under pressure from those who would emphasize ethnic identity over integration." The author becomes, however, one of those very people when he uses the term "African-American." This moniker is just such an example of the attitude he supposedly opposes, yet he still feels obligated to be "correct." Michael Pupis, Newton Square, Pa.