The Germans Who Welcomed D-Day
Recently I read in the Monitor about the D-Day celebrations to be held on June 6 in France. All nations involved will be taking part except Germany, which was not invited. For many Germans, D-Day was just as important as for the countries fighting Hitler, and somehow we feel left out.
In 1945, when I was 8 years old, I experienced how numerous German people looked forward to the end of the war and how every advancement of the Allied troops was greeted secretly with joy. This advancement meant freedom for my father from political imprisonment in Berlin.
When the American troops marched down the road into the farm where I lived with my mother, sister, and three brothers after fleeing from the air raids in Frankfurt, the women watched with relief from behind their curtained windows. A few days later, when the American military had settled down, soldiers were always surrounded by children eagerly receiving chocolates and chewing gum - unknown treasures to them.
I am still grateful for the aid Germany received after the war and the social and commercial development that was only possible though the very generous help of the United States and the Marshall Plan.
All nations have many common problems to be solved today - floods, hunger, and water and air pollution. Can't we try to work constructively together and remember D-Day as a day of gratitude? Wouldn't that be a better way to heal wounds and foster goodwill? Gerda Deith, Nieder-Olm, Germany
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