Page 2, 10th January 1947

10th January 1947
Page 2
Page 2, 10th January 1947 — AMNESTY APPEAL

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Locations: Paris


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Sut,—May I congratulate you for your Christmas appeal ? How comforting it is to think that our British brothers in Christ share the views of so-many Catholics in France, who are disgusted by the disgraceful excesses of a so-called " epuration " which is untrue to the real spirit of the Resistance. We are craving for true Christian justice in this country. Too many respectable men of the highest value have been deprived of their essential rights and condemned to disgraceful punishments simply because they had courage to protect France from the Germans in the Vichy Government. We have seen too many unfair trials, too many measures only animated by a spirit of revenge, which is not patriotism. Let there be more Christian charity in our poor shattered country and I would like you to know that in spite of our situation, there is still a very strong Catholic Faith in France, acting with renewed modern methods and strong instinct with intense charity. Thus, there is still a reason 'to hope that we shall see the end of this deep misunderstanding among the French people and the return to more Christianity.



SIR,—We have read your Christmas appeal for amnesty to all war and political prisoners in Europe and we wish you to know with how much sympathy we share your feelings.

In Holland the number of internees still runs in the tens of thousands; not so very long ago it reached the 100,000 figure. Surely there cannot be so many criminals amongst so small a population ?

Numerous are the people who have felt a sort of divided or dual loyalty amongst them; again, there must have been many who lost sound judgment at the critical hour. There being no guidance, they went off the right path, but more through ignorance and incompetence than for the unpatriotic reasons attributed to them. On top of it, a great many believed in ideals, although it appeared later that they were being led astray. According to your article's wording you seem to have understood this thoroughly.

But if there was confusion in the minds of these people, the same was, and still is, the case with the " patriots." They have been led astray by propaganda, and if they are told they point at their scars. It is well to find how some of the worst hit find solace in showing magnanimity. But their number is still far too small.

J. L. S.

S111,—It is surely sorrowfully significant that while your Amnesty Appeal found strong support in papers like the Ouaker Friend and Peace News, no Catholic or Church of England paper even so much as mentioned it.


r Oar correspondent is not wholly correct. The C. of E. "Guardian" commented on the Appeal and supported it.—EDIToR.1

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