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Reagan's Visit to a German Cemetery

April 26, 1985

I am inspired by President Reagan's humanitarian gesture of visiting the cemetery of German war dead and the sight of a concentration camp. It is an important time in human history for courageous leaders of the world to open their hearts and minds.

As a Jew, I am saddened to witness the politics and controversy surrounding the proposed visits by the President. Understandably, there is high emotion attached to a visit of this sort. From my own experience I can empathize with the feelings of fear and anger in the minds of those who are critical of the trip. My stepmother spent three years as a prisoner at Auschwitz. Her two infant children were taken and never seen by her again.

I believe it is my mother's love of humanity and lack of bitterness or hatred that pays witness to her beauty and physical strength. She lives in Los Angeles and thanks God every day that she is a citizen of this wonderful country.

Often, when I was a teen-ager, in order to help me gain some understanding of the agony of the war, she would tell me stories about what happened. I believe that it is the essence of her wonderful life spirit that caused her to tell me stories of the courageous Germans who risked their own lives saving Jews and non-Jews alike from the evil that plagued their land.

Now is the time for people to stop fighting. It is a time to let go of old hostilities and bad memories. It is a time for all people to honor the memories of all the victims of hatred and injustice.

MIKE FARKAS

Jerome, Ariz.

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