15 APRIL 1938, Page 18


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR] Stu,—Your last two articles describing the recent events in Vienna certainly add to the idea, that is unfortunately only too prevalent abroad, that the English, because they have a Demo- cracy, necessarily find any other sort of government both wrong

and ludicrous. I am very proud that we can achieve a demo- cracy, but that is no reason why we should condemn other countries who find other forms of government more suited to their requirements. It is this attitude of superiority that makes foreigners consider that we are a very conceited people, and if the tone of your recent correspondents express the feelings of the majority of people in England, we are heading for a fall.

The writer of the above article objects to any attempts to make fun of the Nazi leaders in Vienna, because they showed enthusiasm when Sahuschnigg announced his resignation.

Is it not only natural that men, who have risked for a cause, imprisonment and the loss of all their possessions, should show enthusiasm when they hear that their party has won ? He

further expresses surprise that during the old regime the Nazi salute was only a timid apology and " Heil Hitler " barely

audible. Is this surprising when the penalty for such an offence was gaol? He further finds ridiculous the fact that when " Deutschland fiber alles " was played, the Austrians

stood to attention and sung it with fervour. Does he suggest that we in England do otherwise when we sing our National Anthem ? The German is just as proud of his country and his Fiihrer as the Englishman is of England and the King. Would he have it otherwise ?

I heard the broadcast of Hitler's entry into Linz and find the suggestion that Hitler's emotion during his speech was not

genuine, rather mean. A man, who returns after 25 years to his home country as a hero, having left it as nobody, may I think, be forgiven for showing a little emotion, when he SC ::3 it again for the first time and in circumstances such as surrounded Hitler.

The last three weeks here in Vienna have undoubtedly been very trying and exhausting, and although no blood has bee:i

shed, it must not be forgotten that there has been a Revolution

and that during a Revolution things are not inclined to he either easy or comfortable. Your contributor complains that

no trams could run for days and that he had to walk home from

his work at 3 in the morning. As far as I am aware, however, no tram line ever ceased running, further there was never a day

during those times when I did not several times travel by tram. Also, I know of no tram that runs at 3 a.m., the trams normally stopping at 12.30 a.m. - We may not at all like certain methods of the Nazis, but every government has its failings and its achievements are much more important. We have alviays prided ourselves on our fair-mindedness, but articles like the above not only give a most unfair view of the situation but cause us as a nation to be intensely disliked in Germany and will make it ever more difficult to live peaceably with them as neighbours.—Yours