29 MAY 1936, Page 32

IN THE HEART OF EUROPE • BY - Oeiald 15 - ruc'e

This is chatty travel book (Allen and Unwin (Is.) about Czechoslovakia, which the author has visited more than twenty times. Mr. Druce does not assume too. miteli know- ledge in his readers, or too critical an attitude himself. He tells you what to eat and where to eat it inria,gue and adds that " most people drink and eat those beverages and -foods


they like best." He believes that there is now little friction between the Czechs and the German minority. . . who are on the whole satisfied with their conditions . . . and good

and diligent-citizens .of the republic." Mr. Druee was writing'in December, 1635; after the Sudeten Deutsche party of Herr Henlein had captured 70 per cent. of the German- speaking electorate for a progranune. which, whatever its catch-words, is deeply suspect to. the government coalition. The author's liking for the Czechs and justified respect for their achievements seems to have blinded him to the extreme danger and difficulty, of their position "in the heart of Europe," amidst hostile neighbours. He winds up his epilogue by saying that there is 'every prospect of friendly relations being maintained on all sides." May he be right How many people who know Central Europe would agree with him ?