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Readers Sound Off on German Child Abuse and Prosecuting Bush

An article on the abuse of children in German institutions brought in readers comments this week. So did articles about prosecuting Bush and what to do with Guantanamo inmates.


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.

Abused Wards of The State Demand Reparation in Germany

I am one of the hundreds of thousands of "wards of the state" imprisoned in one of thousands such prison-like children’s institutions that existed for several decades in West Germany after the Second World War. I am the one who coined that phrase "Child welfare hell holes" after the German word "Fürsorgehöllen," because that is exactly what they were. As a 17-year-old teenager I was able to leave that hell hole and migrate to Australia. Most inmates there were not so fortunate, but were kept there at until age 21. Decency demands that every one of these victims of child abuse in institutional care be fully and amply compensated, not only for their suffering as children, but also for their ongoing suffering throughout their adult lives. For further information visit: www.care-leavers-survivors.org, www.heimkinder-ueberlebende.org. -- Martin Mitchell, Australia

This story is disgusting! Just reading it gets me upset! I grew up in Germany and know their mentality. I believe this did happen. The institutions and wardens should be taken to court and locked up. -- Erika Mandarino, US

Thank you for bringing these human rights atrocities to the English-speaking reader. -- Sieglinde Alexander , US

Bavaria Seeks to Ban Reprinting of Nazi Newspapers

As I understand it, these were historic newspapers and were not published by the Nazi Party. So it is incorrect to call them Nazi newspapers. It seems these newspapers copies do not contain anti-Semitic material. -- Lloyd Gretton , Iraq

I agree that they should be reprinted and that their distribution will help to educate the public, especially the young. -- Michael Ruddy , Ireland

Germany is a democratic nation now, but these reprints should be kept only in the hands of appropriate people, such as historians and universities and other learning institutions so that the lies of the Nazis can be used for educational purposes only. I hope that the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall will make Germans appreciate what a great democratic country they have to live in now. -- Stuart John Pearson, Australia

In my opinion, as long as the context is commented on and described as historical reflection on a frightening time, then the papers should be allowed to be printed. At the very least, people may benefit from being reminded about the language and tools that were used to sway public opinion and thus avoid a repeat of such evil. -- Sean Messina, US

If Germany believes in a free and democratic press, the Third Reich newspapers must be allowed. Does Germany not trust its own citizens? If these papers are banned, then according to the same logic, the Communist papers must also be banned. -- Scott Barnes , US

Bush Should Face Prosecution, Says UN Representative

Like myself, there is a large contingent of people in the United States, especially those people that helped elect Barrack Obama, who feel that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and probably also Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and John Yu, should be tried before the world for what they are: war criminals. If we can't prosecute these people here, perhaps the International Criminal Court can arrest them and try them in The Hague. -- Robert Crawford , US

Bush should be prosecuted along with anyone else who was involved. -- Henry Bemis , US

Of course Bush should be prosecuted. But I assure you there will be no prosecution here in the US. It is up to you in Europe to see that there is justice. -- Dursun Sakarya , US

I feel that Bush and Rumsfeld should be tried for the treatment of the detainees. They should be held accountable. Laws are to be obeyed no matter who you are. -- Carrie Davis , US

The world moral standard has declined to the lowest point in history in the past eight years and will still continue to decline if corrective measures are not put in place. This will not happen if people who commit such heinous crimes are left to go on living in freedom. It is important and necessary that this should not be allowed to happen even by a superpower. Collective action by responsible heads of states can stop this. -- Abdulsamad , Afghanistan

Coercive interrogation techniques are not torture and for that matter neither is water boarding. Why are the Germans like Manfred so ultra sensitive about Islamic terrorists -- except that you have so many of them living in your country -- and want to appease them? Where was Manfred when Saddam Hussein was hiring German firms to build bunkers for him?
-- Maxie Pearl , US

Let the UN try to arrest President Bush and see what the proud people of the US think of the UN and its staff lackeys. I for one would defend him with all of my abilities. They should look in the mirror and face prosecution. -- William Hatten , US

There is nothing to prosecute President Bush for. He has committed no crimes. The detainees in Guantanamo are criminals. They tried to kill us. They are treated better than they have been in their own country. Putting panties on someone's head is not dangerous. The prisoners should go to another country but not the United States. Perhaps Germany and France can take them in. Also please take the UN too. -- S.J. McAfee, US

Analysis: EU in Disarray over Guantanamo Inmate Relocation

This is about the dumbest idea I have ever heard and I am surprised Germany thinks it is a good one. A significant number of former internees at Gitmo have already been implicated in new acts of terrorism. Nobody wants the remaining inmates in their backyard, least of all Germany. Here in the US they are talking about what other prison we could send them to. If they are going to be in prison, why not in Guantanamo where they are secure. Of course, if Germany would like to volunteer to take them, that could probably be arranged. -- Gordon J. Johnson, US

Germany should not take any prisoners from Guantanamo, unless they are German citizens or residents. There is nothing better the US would like than to have other countries take care of this problem they have created. Guantanamo prisoner should stay in US and pursue their legal cases in US courts. Most likely they will win and the US will have to pay millions of dollars in compensation. It is not only about fair compensation, but also about righting a wrong. -- Juan Santana , US

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