Sincere thanks to Ben Mauk for his long read about Germany’s great refugee experiment (19 April). It was a superbly written, carefully measured and well-balanced account of the way in which one tiny German village, Sumte in Lower Saxony, had received an influx of 800 refugees. By doing so, its inhabitants had kept the promise of Angela Merkel and thus fulfilled a key article in the German constitution that “human dignity shall be inviolable”. Those involved, both locals and immigrants, deserve full credit and boundless respect, since living up to such high aspirations sadly seems to be a rarity in this world. I am left feeling immensely humbled by what was achieved, especially when compared with the widespread intransigence, not to say antipathy, within my own country over the same issue.
• Your editorial (The stiff upper lip is an anomaly in a tear-stained history, 19 April) alludes to Virgil and his lacrimae rerum. It might have mentioned, in support of its general argument, the moral dimension Virgil gives to tears: Aeneas is reassured by the compassionate paintings he sees on arriving in Carthage that this must be a civilised country, because mentem mortalia tangunt – mortal sorrows touch the heart. So what does this say of our country in its policy towards asylum seekers?
• Your article (Child refugees in Europe ‘forced to sell bodies’ to pay smugglers, 19 April) highlights once again the horrendous position of unaccompanied child refugees. Theresa May’s ending of the Dubs scheme and the tiny number of children brought to the UK under Dublin III show just how callous the government has been. Now, with an election under way, we call on all candidates to show their opposition to this continued failure by Theresa May to do the right thing and save these children from further horrors.
Sabby Dhalu and Weyman Bennett
Joint convenors, Stand Up To Racism
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