History is never quite as real as when it is told by those who lived it. Ruby Thompson, living during the World War ll London Blitz bombing blasts history out of the realm of dry, dusty names and dates and places the reader in the midst of the terrifying events as they unfold. This is very important documentation and will have tremendous appeal to those who have an avid interest in the effect of the war on ordinary citizens.
4-19-45 Today all our papers show photos of the various Labor and Concentration Camps in Germany, awful beyond words. The German’s who did these frightful horrible deeds are worse than the fiends of Hell.
Today all our papers show photos of the various Labor and Concentration Camps in Germany, awful beyond words. The German’s who did these frightful horrible deeds are worse than the fiends of Hell. In Parliament Mr. Churchill has said that he received a telegram from General Eisenhower recommending that we send a delegation of some responsible men to see these things for themselves, and then make their own report to the Government; he said he thought eight men form the Commons and two from the Lords should go, and go tomorrow, and asked for volunteers. I am not going to detail the atrocities here, they are frightful and inhuman. What I want to note is this, touching the problem of suffering. In this gratuitous brutality inflicted upon scores of thousands of innocent men, women and children, by other human beings (the Herrenvolk!), where does God and His Righteousness come in? What about the responsibility of God? These victims were innocent and defenseless, and their sufferings were arbitrarily imposed upon them for years, or until death released them, by the Germans. They did not suffer for their guilt or their sins; they did not suffer as a sacrifice for others. They suffered for nothing. Nothing. How can they be recompensed? Since God permitted everything, and foresaw it all, how can God be excused?
Sunday April 23, 1945
The Russians are fighting in the suburbs of Berlin. I am reading Martha Dodd’s book, “My Years in Germany”, which I missed when it came out in nineteen thirty-nine, though I did send for her father’s book, which was an account of his years in Germany as the American Ambassador. Reading this book today, which ends before the outbreak of the war, I am surprised at the vice, horrors, crimes and madness it reports. One can see that war was the inevitable outcome of it all. What fools of statesmen we kept in office! Martha Dodd scorns Chamberlin and Daladier. In her closing paragraphs she writes: “We have witnessed the rape of Austria, the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, the wholesale and unparallel murder of the Jews, the vicious and destructive class action by unprincipled if hard driven Judases like Chamberlain and Daladier. We have seen even America participate inadvertently in the capitulation to Hitler and his war mongers… if we do not urge a support of international peace and democracies whatever they remain; we do not realize that cooperation with England and France can be effected only when Daladier, Chamberlain and their ilk either change their policies or are removed from office if we do not recognize that the French and English leaders are in desperate straits with their own people because of their betrayal of their nations before, at and after Munich, we cannot possibly understand their pursuit everywhere and especially in our own powerful democracy for support, and appreciate our potentially constructive influence in remolding European affairs. If we do not conclude once and for all, as an American nation, that there is no such thing as isolation when the nations of the world are on our doorstep, we will discover too late that we are fighting the destructive and international Fascist spirit almost single handed, aided surely, only by Russia.”
Monday April 24, 1945 St. George’s Day
General Saunts, is already in San Francisco for the coming conference, is reported as having said last night, that not only must the delegates draw up plans for the establishing of future peace in the world, but that they should also draw up a plain statement of what we aim to live for, a sort of new Declaration of Liberty, I take it. He also said something to the effect that the world must know what it is to live for, because society has suffered such a psychological shock, it could not possible survive another one.
Thursday April 26, 1945
Berlin is entirely surrounded by the Russian’s, who also occupy two-thirds of the city. Hitler is reported to be in the city, personally directing the defense.