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Nowitzki, Seals and a Nazi-Era Family Pique Readers' Interest

Readers wrote in this week on Dirk Nowitzki carrying the German flag in Beijing, a possible EU ban on seal hunting and the Quandt family's Nazi ties.

Germany national basketball player Dirk Nowitzki

NBA star Dirk Nowitzki is set to carry the German flag at the opening ceremony in Beijing

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

The issue at hand about the NBA German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki being flag bearer at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing is purely about money, not tradition. To me, it's also about the element of jealously because he is a professional basketball player who is probably a multi-millionaire. Allowing professional athletes to compete at the Olympic Games has thrown the original ethics and ideals out of the window. This certainly allows the best athletes to compete at the highest elite level, but does tradition have any place in our modern world? Probably not. -- Stuart John Pearson, Australia

I can understand the tradition in the eyes of some of the athletes, but, in this situation, what does it matter? If you have a person who personifies the symbolic presence of honor for his country as Dirk does, it should be no problem for him to carry his country's flag. In an international arena, you would want someone that everyone can relate to. I am a firm believer in tradition, but who is to say that the person carrying your national flag has to be a person who competes in a traditional Olympic event? Dirk is all about tradition, but he is also all about representing his country with honor and dignity and who else would be able to carry that flag as high and honorably as he could. Who knows, maybe with him playing in the NBA, winning the MVP last year, helping to take the German national team to the Olympics, who's to say that he might not be the person that helps to inspire more youngsters to be involved in basketball? -- Barbie Clay, US

Seal

The EU may ban the import of seal products

I am happy that the EU is considering some type of ban on seal products. This fight for a ban has come a long way. But it will mean nothing but a slap in the face to people around the world if they don't remove all the loopholes and adopt a complete ban. Loopholes are for lawyers and politicians that sit on the fence. The loopholes must be removed or the seals will lose on the ice, the lawyers will win in the courtrooms and the rest of us will cry ourselves to sleep in bed! -- Scott Kolodge, US

The Canadian Harp seal pup slaughter is about as inhumane as can be and so is the Russian seal pup slaughter. Where Canada is concerned, do not be fooled by the pro-sealing propaganda about how humane their "hunt" is. They have always been defensive about their annual ritual and continually tightened restrictions on reporters' access to the "hunt," for good reason. A sealer's job is to strike or shoot as many pups as possible in order to immobilize them, dead or not because his money is in numbers. Thousands of pups are struck and lost in this manner. There is little or no market for seal meat outside of indigenous native groups so there is terrible waste just to get at the fur. I urge the EU to stand by its moral conscience and enforce its ban on Canadian slaughtered seal pups because the visual images and factual record are inded worth 10 million words of political propaganda. -- Robert Watson, US

I believe that the Quandt family does need to have light thrown onto its past history, to set the record straight about its Nazi past, whether for good or evil. If they profited by the slave labor of people, especially Jewish victims, this wrong needs to be addressed and the family and business needs to "shell out" to the victims families where possible or to the countries of the victims' origins to pay back the debt these people suffered under the regime of Hitler and under this family. -- Thomas Melvin, US

Magda Goebbels reads a book to her five children

Magda Quandt married Nazi Propoganda Minister Joseph Goebbels

I have not seen the documentary about the use of forced labor by companies owned by the Quandt family during the war, I have only read the DW article about it. It seems to me that the Quandt family has been unfairly pilloried. All German companies used forced labor supplied by the SS during the war, and actually paid a fee to the SS for that labor. It was the SS that was primarily responsible for the treatment of the forced laborers, not the companies employing them. -- Michael Mills, Australia

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