The article "Keep Germany Divided" by Frank Getlein {Outlook, June 14} left me deeply concerned about the future of the American-German relationship.

Getlein's view of German history is biased and based on several misconceptions. Not analyzing the historical roots of European history (a more complex task), Getlein singles out Germany as the destructive force in recent European history. Clearly denying that historical progress is achieved by learning and political piecemeal engineering, he tries to portray the present and future of the German people as a simple linear continuation of its simplified past. Therefore he is led to suggest that the most important factor for the maintenance of peace after World War II is the division of Germany. He totally neglects that the existence of a divided Germany could not prevent the dangerous and harsh confrontation of NATO allies and Warsaw Pact states all across Europe -- the causes of which the author does not even try to elucidate. Without mentioning the right of people (including the Germans) to live in a self-chosen, free and unified society, the author advocates keeping Germany divided. Carrying his arguments even further, Getlein ultimately concludes that "the Germans are not quite ready for self-government."

Questions arise: Does this conclusion represent what Getlein tries to characterize as a fatal German trait -- an imperialistic attitude? After all, the Roman strategy of divide and conquer was designed to rule conquered nations and peoples. Does the author regard the American-German relationship as based on this principle? Should partnership not be based upon and guarantee mutual respect and the principles of equality?

Obviously the author's opinion does not reflect the opinion of the American government. As President Reagan pointed out during his speech at the Berlin Wall on June 12, people "in the West stand ready . . . to break down the barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world." Whether his proposed dismantling of the wall can be achieved within the near future is an open question indeed -- but the idea of liberty and self-determination of people has to be kept alive.

"Dirty little secret{s}" cannot be helpful in our efforts to secure and develop further the stable and fruitful partnership between the American and German people as it has grown now for more than four decades. Neither can prejudice (on either side) help "in a world parched for peace."