15 NOVEMBER 1946, Page 15


Sta,—Please allow me to make a few remarks on the first paragraph of Mr. Harold Nicolson's Marginal Comment of November 8th. Even if we assume that the German professors to whom he refers really did not know anything about the atrocities and murders of Jews in concentration camps, there can, at any rate, be no doubt that they were aware of the treatment which their Jewish colleagues had suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime from the time it assumed power. They must have known that scholars with whom they had worked for many years were expelled from their posts, and were even forced to leave the country. They must have been aware of the sudden disappearance of those who had decided to stay. Treatment of that kind would have been barbarian in any civilised country, and even in Germany before 1933. In Ger- many, in particular, professors had for many years prided themselves on the irremovability of officials, a class to which they belonged. I admit that these early actions of the Nazi regime tend to appear rather in- significant compared with the deliberate extinction of whole peoples by gas chambers in concentration camps. But professors should be able to value also the spiritual possessions which the Nazis have destroyed.

—I am, Sir, your obedient servant, ERICH EYCK. Chilswell House, Boars Hill, Oxford.