3 MARCH 1939, Page 20

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR] • SIR,—Was it wise

or necessary to publish the letter from "A German Landowner " in your issue of February 24th? Here we are, thousands of humble, well-disposed British citizens, doing our best to think well of the German people by distinguishing between them and their rulers so that we shall not hold them responsible for the prolonged orgy of sadistic crue!ty, torture and terror which has made the Hitler Zgime loathed, feared, and suspected all over the world. And now " A German Landowner," writing of his own rulers, moves us to a fierceness of anger and a depth of despair we had been trying to avoid.

His sham judicial manner ; his bland apologies for " a new system of government which does not officially allow any freedom of speech on Government matters " ; his assertion that " it is, I believe, known to some even in England that a German must be a very real danger to the Government before anything untoward happens to him " ; his admission that " all sympathies for Germany, which had been carefully built up in England, have received a tremendous set-back by our anti- Jewish policy," qualified with horrible complacency by, " My country has made up its mind to get rid of a considerable part of a race which it regards as harmful, and this could never be achieved by way of humanitarian measures alone without prejudice to private interests " ; the dreadful implications of " on the other hand, I am quite ready to recognise that some incidents were deplorable, as they did less harm to the Jews than to Germany itself ": well, Sir, your settled policy of hearing all sides is one of the things for which we value The Spectator. We will try to consider fairly any honest defence of Satan, Judas Iscariot, Nero, the murderer, the dealer in dope and white slaves—and even politicians with whom we do not agree. But " A German Landowner " puts himself out of any decent court.

Unfortunately, I read his letter just before going to bed last night, and had no power to resist the picture of a large, bland, bespectacled experimenter contemplating complacently a terri- fied dog lying bound on his bench: my dog.—Yours faith-