QIL-I cannot agree with Fr. Keenan and cannot see 1../ how he puts the blame for what Eichmann did on Luther and Kant. Luther, a lapsed Catholic, brought out his ideas for his own advantage only. He tried to persuade the Jews to follow him by promising them freedom since they were persecuted and suppressed. I need only mention his letter An Meine Lichen Eiden. The Jews took no notice and Luther in turn helped to persecute them.
Kant said that one should act so that the subjective principle of one's will could be used as the basic principle of common law (German Encyclopedia Meyer 1906). So why put blame on these two revolutionaries? The Jews have been a scapegoat for nearly 2,000 years now and unfortunately antisemitism does exist in England, although in a rather polite form.
It is a fallacy and wishful thinking to hope that the Germans did not know what was going on. To illustrate this I can only say that when my own mother was about to leave Germany in April '38 (I did not leave 'till May '38)a fellow Heliand girl (Catholic girls from secondary schools belong to this youth movement which exists in Germany still) came to bid farewell and told us that there was some talk of camps being built in East Prussia for Jews and people of Jewish extraction. This sounded very odd at that time and un believable, but unfortunately proved to be only too true.
One can not absolve the Germans of their guilt altogether because the people as a nation allowed these things to happen and it was much more easy to ignore these facts und turn the other way when whole families were being deported.
Even now the Germans have not learned to be humble and all the material compensation will not make good the physical and mental anguish these unfortunate persecuted people have suffered, and they are not Jews only who suffered. I went back to Berlin after 21 years and met a group of Heliand girls and one of them, whom I knew from my days in the Heliand and who to my own knowledge was not a Nazi, asked me whether 1 was not proud to be a German! How can anyone be so assuming, knowing that I had emigrated, not by my own choice, but due to the foresight of my parents; we were lucky, having left early, and suffered comparatively little physically.
Perhaps 'we should not put the blame on one individual alone. or even the German people as such. Or we may find it difficult to exonerate the whole of humanity.
Fr. /Ilan Keenan, 0.F.M., writes: Professor McGovern's judgement on Luther is relevant. He writes (From Luther to Hider, Harrap, p. 35): "The average man to him (Luther) was full of wickedness and needed to be restrained by the strong arm of authority . . . Though the ruler be wicked and tyrannical, rebellion is inexcusable." Kant himself writes 1...bi(avophy of Law, p.251i): "The will of thr people is naturally (mortified and consequently it is low its unconditional submission under a sovereign will uniting all particular wills by one law is a fact .....Finally. Henry A. Zeiger, 2 Jew, writes in "The Case against Eichinann'', pp. 189, 190: "Throughout the pages of this hook. running like a leillnOrif IA the theme of secrecy . . Nazi orders dealing with Jewish policy were labelled 'top secret': 'extermination camps were built in high security locations and their function was officially secret . ."
SIR, The Catholic world has heaved its sigh of relief on discovering that Adolf. Eichmann has no connection with the Church; how easily he might have had, in a country populated by almost as many Catholics as Protestants. While it may be expedient to pretend that our half of Germany knew nothing of the policies and practices of its government during the war, let us not think it convinces anyone-except ourselves.
Israel was chosen. yet again, to hear within herself the sufferings of the Jew we all crucify. While she is setting the record straight for history, she may be, as Fr. Keenan says, "the living witness to Catholicism" but she is also the living and silent denouncer of Catholics. Once more, however. we will have been recorded as declaring ourselves to be "without sin".
E. H. Cottle "St. Albans," Wivelsfield Road, Saltdean, Sussex.