22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 19


Sm,—During the past few weeks there have appeared in the Press several letters in which the writers express more or less forcibly the view that there are no grounds for distinguishing between the present German Government and the German people, apparently so meekly submitting to their guidance, implying that our Government was mistaken in holding and proclaiming another view. The following froth a thoroughly trustworthy German refugee, whom I know intimately, may show why the outward solidarity of the German nation is more apparent than real, and indicate that the government may be much better informed than these confident writers. My friend writes: " If you will picture what is happening in the concentra- tion camps (my own personal experience verifying the state- ments in your White book), will remember that, unbelievable as it may seem, the whole of Germany is a vast concentration camp, in which everybody is watched and must daily, aye, hourly, fear that without any trial he may find himself in one of these dread punishment camps, then I think you may understand why to the outside world the whole of Germany seems to stand behind Hitler.

" The injustice of Versailles paved the way for Hitler and assured him many followers, but recent years have produced basic change, and converted former followers into enemies of the present regime. The Nazi party, the number of registered members of which at one time only numbered 2-3 per cent. of the population, was at first content to fill all Reich and State office with trustworthy, obedient, and ruthless

men, but has more recently with unheard of pressure striven to force every official, business man, anyone prominent in public life, into the party. The methods used were so severe and merciless, so carefully calculated, that nearly all those concerned, even opponents, were compelled to become members to save fortune, calling, family, even freedom.

" The power of the Nazi regime has been developed by means of an inescapable and unscrupulous spying into the private and public life of every individual. This has made every German so careful of his utterance that it is almost impossible for the foreigner to get a clear impression of the dormant opposition to Hitler. I believe that the simple fact that at this very time the Nazis cannot do without this Terror, proves the truth of my contention.

" The remarks of a bullying official to a woman applicant for permission to leave the country ' Don't you imagine you can get out of Germany to join your Jew. You are watched even as we are ourselves' brings home the universality of the system of espionage."

So convinced am I of the truth of my friend's description, and of the risks his relatives would run, if his identity could be traced, that, while enclosing my card, I prefer to remain anonymous.—Yours faithfully,