Page 1, 21st July 1961

21st July 1961
Page 1
Page 1, 21st July 1961 — SOLOMON AND BERLIN

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ONE of man's greatest blessings, it has been said, is the weakness of his imagination. If he was imaginatively aware of all the cruelty. misery and stupidity in the world, he could hardly continue to live.

But this lack of imagination has its dangerous aspects — and never more so than today. Actual nuclear warfare is something against which we close our minds. yet today it is coming close to us. And it is coming because of the craziness of the after-war settlement which divided Germany between the free world and the Communist world with the capital city, itself divided, an enclave within the Communist world.

Solomon in his wisdom risked dividing the disputed baby and got away with it. We are left with the baby divided.

It is possible to think of a variety of ways of patching things up which could give the West Berliners for a time the freedom to which they have a right: recognition of East Germany with guarantees of West Berlin's full and free communications with the West. But what would this settlement be really worth?

There seem to be only two possible solution+. The first is the evacuation of the West Berliners to the Federal Republic with full compensation for the loss of what they have created. The second is the neutralisation and disarmament of both West and East Germany.

It is possible, indeed it is probable. thank God, that some temporary patching up today will avert supreme disaster; but until we accept the fact the divided baby is dead and try to make a fresh start, we shall perpetually remain at the mercy of Moscow's bullying with all that that means in the way of disaster, if only by miscalculation. M.O.

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