25 OCTOBER 1997, Page 33

Poetic justice

Sir: Like your contributor, Anna Reid, (`Among the Pied Piper's children', 18 October), I have also very recently visited the 'Saxon' churches and towns of Transyl- vania. Anna Reid mentions the memorials to Unsere Heiden' 1916-19, when, some- what fortuitously, they were persuaded to join the Allies and were therefore rewarded with a large slice of Hungary. She does not, however, choose to mention the same memorials to the next generation when they joined the Nazis, and indeed frequent- ly volunteered for SS units and thereby ensured subsequent retribution. The post- war fate of these 'Saxons' is just one more instance of the hostility engendered by a hard-working, and therefore prosperous, ethnic enclave which persists in claiming cultural superiority and exclusiveness. Jews have suffered tragically from this, as have Ulstermen and indeed Pakistanis. It is poetic justice that the clean little houses vacated by the Ilerrenvolle in Transylvania are now occupied by the Gypsies whom they persecuted. The local hero, Vlad the Impaler, known to us as Dracula, has also had a bad press.

Claus von Billow

109 Onslow Square, London SW7