1 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 14


SIR,—May I comment on the article by Sarah Gainham (Spectator, October 25)? It seems strange to me that anyone really familiar with German history should have the effrontery to contrast the political record of Willy Brandt with that of Konrad Adenauer, and even have gone so far as to throw doubt upon Brandt's ability to rule.

To keep the record straight, Konrad Adenauer. who, in Sarah Gainham's words, has 'done much for his countrymen.' actually retired into obscurity when Hitler came to power. Conversely, by 1933• Willy Brandt was sufficiently well known to earn the hostility of the Nazis, and he was consequently forced to escape to Norway in a fishing boat. From then on he kept in touch with the anti-Nazi under- ground movement in Germany, covered the civil war in Spain for Scandinavian newspapers, and he returned to Germany in 1945 to cover the Nuremberg trials.

Willy Brandt, too, has 'done much for his country- men,' and, whether or not he can qualify for the description 'statesmanlike,' the stature he now enjoy` in the Western world largely derives from the superb contempt he has always shown towards Dr. Adenauer.

JAMES D. 1 01 NG

Southerion House. Southerion Road, Kirkcaldy, Fife