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Reagan / West Germany Trip #95572

ABC Evening News for Friday, Apr 19, 1985
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(Studio) President Reagan reported now scheduled to visit Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during his trip to West Germany next month before proceeding to German military cemetery, site of SS troops graves.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

(DC) Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel's use of today's Congress Gold Medal award ceremony to plead with Reagan to cancel visit to German military cemetery featured. [WIESEL - implores President not honor the SS, but rather its victims.] White House visitors' denunciation of Vietnam war to Lyndon Johnson recalled. Reagan's telephone conversation with Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who pleaded with President to retain stop at cemetery, described. [WIESEL - recounts President's rationalization of cemetery visit.] New itinerary outlined; political implications of controversy for Reagan considered.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson

(Bitburg, West Germany) Kohl's reaction to controversy noted. [KOHL - (thru translator) praises Reagan's decision to visit both Bergen-Belsen and military cemetery.] Camp's role in Holocaust recalled; Anne Frank noted dying there. [Bergen-Belsen SURVIVOR - hopes President benefits from stop.] Simon Wiesenthal Center's telegram to Reagan about graves of SS officers Otto Franz Bengel and Eugen Schuler, the former allegedly decorated by Adolf Hitler for killing several United States soldiers, noted. Annual ceremony here commemorating German war vets. said held by United States and allied vets.
REPORTER: Don Kladstrup

(Studio) Report introduced
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

(DC) Implications of Bitburg controversy for Reagan's new White House staff's ability to function examined; political cartoons shown. President's other faux pas this week listed, shown. Similar gaffs recalled noted occurring before James Baker and Don. Regan exchanged jobs. ["Washington Post" spokesperson Lou CANNON - considers sources of current problems.] [Thursday, REAGAN - thinks canceling Bitburg stop would imply he gave in to critics.] State Department sources said suggesting concentration camp visit was originally scratched due to opposition by Nancy Reagan.
REPORTER: Jim Wooten

Donaldson, Sam;
Jennings, Peter;
Kladstrup, Don;
Wooten, Jim

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