25 APRIL 1992, Page 25


Cold War heroes

Sir: May I suggest that when the next hon- ours list is prepared, the Prime Minister should remember the forgotten heroes of the Cold War?

For a long period after the second world war, it was utterly unfashionable to be anti- communist. Socialists and Conservatives vied with each other in praising the virtue of co-existence, the need to accept the Sovi- et dominion in Eastern Europe as a fact of life and the wonderful business benefits of détente. Those who dissented from this policy of appeasement were dismissed as fanatics, warmongers, or mere émigrés.

The collapse of communism and the dis- solution of the Soviet empire have fully vin- dicated the few who were never prepared to accept the blandishments of co-exis- tence. Gradually, it is becoming clearer that had their advice been accepted, the Soviet Union might well have disintegrated before 1990.

People like Robert Conquest, the author of The Great Terror, Professor Leopold Labedz, who edited for 30 years the great East European publication, Survey, Mel Lasky, the editor of Encounter, George Urban, the distinguished director of Radio Free Europe, and Gerald Frost, the direc- tor of the European Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies, to mention only a few, made important contributions to the cause of freedom in Eastern Europe and throughout the world. Yet their vital politi- cal and cultural work has not received the recognition it so richly deserves. In the eyes of the discredited foreign affairs establish- ments, they are all guilty of something quite unforgivable: they were right.

It is not enough to he magnanimous in victory. I can only hope that the Prime Min- ister will also be magnanimous to those who, in adverse circumstances and for long and unrewarding decades, helped to bring the victory about.

Lionel Bloch

9 Wimpole Street, London WI