1 AUGUST 1952, Page 15

Von Papen

SIR,—In his review of Franz von Papen's memoirs Mr. Alan Bullock takes an objective and detached standpoint which is wholly admirable, but inevitably inadequate.

To follow Papen's actions one must have had the subjective experi- ence of living in Germany and undergoing the nervous stresses of the early 30's. If Papen went to Austria after the night of the long knives it was probably his only alternative to a painful death. If he remained in close contact with the Nazi Government it may well have been to exercise the " liberalising influence " that every defeated Liberal candidate pleads in Britain today when he joins one of the other two parties. In fact, Franz von Papen did save several Jewish lives and may well have prevented the cold pogrom from becoming a hot

one. Should he have resigned ? As an historian, Mr. Bullock should remember Hitler's dictum, " no one resigns in the Third Reich."

No war correspondent, as I know to my cost, can really report an action, as he is not in the position of a combatant bound to obey orders. Similarly no one can do justice to von Papen who was not in his place. This is certainly a case of " judge not, lest ye be judged "