SIR, In his review of Rudolph Hoess's "Commandant of Auschwitz" Mr. Baber speaks of Hess's attempt to justify his enormities by the plea of military obedience.
Hess cites as a parallel British airmen carrying out area bombing. Mr. Haber comments: "What an analogy!" Unfortunately, the two crimes are analogous. To murder the innocent, whether Jews or German civilians, is a sin, an atrocity which obedience to orders
justify. ustify. The reviewer's attempt to explain God's permission of the Nazi atrocities by respect for human freewill is unconvincing. No-one could maintain that regard for freewill should prevent the police restraining the free activities of criminals.
And what then of pestilences, e.g. the Black Death not the effect of freewill abused?
How much more helpful the explanation taught me by that wise Jesuit Ft. Joseph Rickaby that since in spite of the evil in the world we know that God exists we must conclude that there is a negative factor, the comparative deficiency of finite being, which makes It an intrinsic impossibility that God can obtain the good He designs from His creation without permitting the evil.
E, I. Watkin
THE depths to which even a nominally Christian government can sink in time of war are indicated by the admission of one of the two observers who accompanied the Nagasaki raid that the bomb was dropped two days after a surrender note had been submitted by the Japanese (Group Captain Cheshire, V.C., speaking at a Civil Defence meeting at Saltash, Devon, December 4, 1951). If this is so, the victims were murdered without even the pretext of military necessity. In 1944 and 1945 the Allies carried out the systematic massbombing of German cities. The principle of attempting to pinpoint legitimate objectives was abandoned in favour of "area" or ''Obliteration" bombing. This consisted, in deliberately wiping out the whole or part of a city, regardless of the destruction of innocent human life, on the grounds that the area contained legitimate military objectives and that thls method of striking at them was the most effective. The killing of the innocent was no longer the accidental consequence of the action; it was part of the plan of campaign. Protests against this violation of the moral law were made at the time, not only by the Catholic Hierarchy of Germany, but by the Catholic Hierarchy of France, the Cardinal Primate of Belgium, and the Catholic Hier:archy of Australia, as well as by a number of individual Catholic Bishops;
Was there a single Catholic airman who refused to engage in the massacre of helpless German and Japanese civilians?