In the Opinion page article ``Germany in Europe's Crisis,'' Sept. 1, the author speculates about German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's motives for the early recognition of Croatia and Slovenia. His assumption that Mr. Kohl wanted to avoid new trouble with the Catholic-dominated Christian Social Union is not correct. Actually, former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher (who belongs to the liberal Free Democratic Party) was responsible for this German policy.
The recognition of Croatia wasn't only very popular in Germany; it was also the right step. This step didn't come too early but too late. From the very beginning of the Yugoslav crisis, Western diplomacy underestimated Slobodan Milosevic's strategy of doing what he likes until he meets real resistance.
Srdja Popovic, the Serb human rights activist, also criticized this in his interview with the Monitor (``My Serbs: `How Did This Happen to Us?','' Aug. 26). Now, Europe has betrayed its own ideals of freedom and human rights. Europe is dying in Sarajevo. Christian C. Steinle, Gaufelden, Germany Quatrilingual country
The Points of the Compass article on the city of Zurich ``City Balances Old Ways, Tough New Realities,'' Aug. 18, refers to the divisions between French- and German-speaking Switzerland. The author does not mention that Switzerland also includes the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and the Romansch-speaking canton of Grisons.
The diversity of languages and cultures within Switzerland perhaps has lessons for the rest of Europe. The movement toward political and economic unity (as symbolized by the Maastricht treaty) should not undermine the sheer richness and vitality of cultural life within the nations of Western Europe. Alistair Budd, Rolle, Switzerland