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An Emotional Return Visit to Berlin

November 06, 1988

Thank you for publishing Liesel Brooks' story ("The Awakening," Oct. 26). I met many people like her when I was invited two years ago by the City of Berlin as an ex-Berliner. This program by many West German cities is to rebuild bridges with the Jews who are fortunate enough to be alive and now live all over the world, to come back and visit their homeland.

It was difficult to explain my ambivalent feelings to my native-born American Jewish friends. Although it was a most emotional experience, I have not regretted going. One of the options our group had was to meet a Christian family. It was the highlight of my trip. The afternoon which was to last two hours turned into a home-cooked dinner and a lasting correspondence.

Fifty years after "Kristallnacht" we must never forget, but peace can only come if new generations learn to understand each other, and the atrocities of man against man in the name of religion can be stopped, be it in Ireland or Israel.

GABRIELLE M. GARTNER

Los Angeles

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