My response to Mr. Appelbaum
Confederates on the Rhine 
Why are so many Germans participating in Civil War reenactments—and siding with the South?
The Atlantic
Dear Mr. Appelbaum:
As a retired veteran and Civil War re-enactor, I was saddened and appalled by your assertion in the column entitled “Confederates on the Rhine” that German re-enactors who participate in Civil War re-enactments prefer to portray Confederate soldiers because of a subliminal racist mentality.
This is an insult to all re-enactors who chose to portray Confederate soldiers and makes me wonder if your understanding of why Confederate soldiers fought is limited.  Having included that oft-quoted solitary comment by Alexander Stephens, which most Confederate heritage haters utilize in their quest to remove Confederate flags and monuments in Taliban like fashion, makes one to believe that your intention is not to inform but to express a biased opinion.   Moreover, I’m not surprised that you did not state that Confederate President Jefferson Davis condemned Stephens’ words as did other Confederate leaders
Most Confederate soldiers fought for their homes and families and in defense of their state—not to defend the institution of slavery which was as legal in the Confederate States as in the United States at that time—and most Confederate soldiers had no slaves.  The United States fought principally to restore the Union—not to end slavery.
How soon we forget that the North was no racial utopia at the time of the Civil War.  The Union soldier was no more racially tolerant than his Southern counterparts, and race riots occurred during the War in which Blacks were hung from lamp posts and an black orphanage burned.  None of which occurred in the South.  Even Lincoln himself believed that Blacks should not be jurors or have the right to vote. 
Having participated in re-enactments with several Germans, most prefer to participate as Confederates because there are wide variations in Confederate uniforms which promote individuality.  Moreover, many people just naturally support the underdog.  
I would suggest you entertain further studies of this matter and ask the German re-enactors themselves, rather than assume the actions of others are dictated solely because of a certain racial mindset.  Additionally, I would recommend reading the book, Jewish Confederates by Robert N. Rosen. 
Dr. Arnold Huskins
Major, USAF, Retired
20th SC Infantry/ 13th US Infantry