V-E Day: A Misbegotten Trip Opens Old Wounds

Reagan's ill-planned journey sparks a furor on both sides of the Atlantic

The scene was remarkable: the President of the United States was about to be lectured on morality while a national television audience looked on. It unfolded in the White House Roosevelt Room, crowded with top Administration aides, some 30 Jewish leaders, a sprinkling of Senators and Congressmen. Reagan's deceptively gentle antagonist was Elie Wiesel, 56, a survivor of Nazi death camps, who was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal of Achievement for his life's outpouring of books that detail the savagery of the Nazis and the suffering and courage of their victims.

The President listened in tight-lipped concentration as the thin, wispy-haired...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!