22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 19


StR,—Can there ever have been a more pitiable travesty of the meaning of the word " sympathy " than when Nazi propa- ganda, alone of all published opinion, gave out that it felt sympathy for Russia in her insistence on crushing Finnish independence?

But not the most thorough and cynical tyranny of all time can completely crush out the last vestige of feeling from a great people. If good can come out of evil, there must be a grain of hope in this Russian parody (call it a " parody rather than an imitation) of the sickening technique of the Nazis. For the first time the German people will be able to look objectively upon a parallel of Nazi policy in all its brutality and false pretensions. (Italy's Albanian affair was on too small a scale ; Japan's too remote.) They will be able to see themselves as free peoples see them. And, what- ever efforts Dr. Goebbels may think it politic to make to gloss over this revelation of Stalin's real ambitions and methods, it cannot be kept from them in all its implications. There is bound to be a deep revulsion of feeling amongst the Germans themselves, and Herr Hitler's own dictum on the significance of a pact with Russian communism recalled.

Hitler himself is hardly likely to be troubled by the intrusion into his mentality of sympathy, an attribute that only exists for him as a political excuse or weapon. But even he must be disturbed in his self-esteem by having to look on and condone his own methods being used against his own ambitions.

Quo usque tandem?—I am, Sir, yours faithfully,