Aug 11, 2006

What is History For?

WASHINGTON (Reuters-Bund) - U.S. German groups criticized President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Thursday for calling a foiled plot to blow up airplanes part of a "war with Nazi German fascists," saying the term could inflame anti-German tensions.

U.S. officials have said the plot, thwarted by Britain, to blow up several aircraft over the Atlantic bore many of the hallmarks of Nazi German fascists.

"We believe this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counter-productive to associate Germany or Germans with fascism," said Fritz Kuhn, executive director of the German-American Federation advocacy group.

"We ought to take advantage of these incidents to make sure that we do not start a nationalistic war against Germany and Germans," he told a news conference in Washington.

"We urge him (FDR) and we urge other public officials to restrain themselves."

Kuhn said U.S. officials should take the lead from their British counterparts who had steered clear of using what he considered inflammatory terms when they announced the arrest of more than 20 suspects in the reported plot.

Hours after the news broke, Roosevelt said it was "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Nazi German fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."

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