20 SEPTEMBER 2003, Page 38

How anti-American?

From Franz Metzger Sir: What Andrew Gimson writes ('A sad case of schadenfreude', 13 September) is correct, but you managed to turn what could have been a balanced report into a piece of Germanbashing. The cartoon was really below the belt. Not because the Germans depicted are so ugly — there are some very ugly Germans — but for its insinuation that the Germans were rejoicing over 9/11. That is vicious slander in the tradition of Der Stunner. The Germans were — and are — as deeply shocked and aggrieved by the death toll of that day as any other nation in Europe. If the US administration would now admit its misjudgments in the case of Iraq and sincerely opt for an international resolution of the mess, the German 'antiAmericanism' would quickly shrink to its 'natural habitat' on the leftish and right-wing fringes of German society.

Franz Metzger

Nuremberg, Germany