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A anti-war sign hangs on a traffic light in the middle of of Romerstrasse, the street that splits Mark Twain Village in Heidelberg, Germany, and goes past Campbell Barracks, home to U.S. Army Europe and V Corps headquarters.

A anti-war sign hangs on a traffic light in the middle of of Romerstrasse, the street that splits Mark Twain Village in Heidelberg, Germany, and goes past Campbell Barracks, home to U.S. Army Europe and V Corps headquarters. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

The first day of war was sunny and springlike in Darmstadt, Germany’s shopping district.

Just hours after the U.S. military attacked Iraq, German shoppers strolled through the town’s center, many voicing their opinion against any war and against both the leaders in the United States and Iraq.

German Anne-Lore Klein, 88, summed up what many people seemed to be thinking: “I’m horrified. I’m against Saddam [Hussein] and also against war. We survived several wars, but didn’t get smart.”

Agata Duda, 22, who is Polish but living in Germany, had a succinct view: “No good, no good. War is never good.”

Others voiced their concern over the safety of Iraqis, adding that they hoped no one would get hurt.

“I don’t believe in war,” said Erika Schmidt, 77, who lived through World War II.

“My generation has a trauma about war. When Sept. 11 happened, I thought about my Sept. 11 in 1944 when Darmstadt got bombed. Important people start wars, little people pay the price.”

Others saw an easier solution to the current conflict.

“The war is rubbish,” said Daran Baban Kalil, 17, who is Iraqi.

“Saddam doesn’t want war, the Americans want the war. Saddam should leave by his own will. I’m not for Saddam, I’m for the Iraqi people.”

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