World War ll London Blitz: 3-2-41 to 3-31-41 It was another dreadful night. The first alarm did not sound until about ten o’clock, but from then on there was no quiet until morning. However, the B.B.C. reported that the worst attack of the night had been on Merseyside, and we had brought down nine bombers in that district.

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March 2, 1941

I am so tired and so bored I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel my age this week all right. Artie being at home, is just that one more to cook for, etc., and I’m tired out. It is shocking, really. Artie is very busy with the girls, trying to shake Edna, and rushing Mary Bernadette. It is all really very amusing, but Ted talks and talks to me about the boy, his manners, his ignorance’s, his stupidities, etc., until I could scream. He cross-questions me about the boy until I could swear. It’s all so petty. Talk about a gossip! Ted is the equal of any old village woman.

Artie spent yesterday afternoon with Mary. Last night he visited the Pullans, without Edna. This morning Artie and Mary went up to communion together (Ted tells me) and afterward Artie went home to Mary’s for breakfast not showing up here until dinnertime. All very amusing, really, though Ted is scolding to me about it. This after- noon Artie had gone to see Edna; his third visit only for this leave. He visited her Tuesday night, and took her to the movies on Thursday. I told him not to bring her back here for tea today. For one thing, I’m too tired for company; and for another, since they are quarreling, it might be embarrassing to Edna to visit here today.

Ted has just gone out for benediction. He was out all last night, fire spotting, and went direct to church this morning. Church! I’m tired of that too. All last week there were talks on the radio, Three men and a Parson, a sort of radio mission. The Parson was Canon Cockin, of St. Paul’s, and he is giving two sermons today, one of which we have already heard. What struck me in the “talks” was that they would never convince anybody to join the church; in fact, they were hardly “Christian” at all. However, I can’t stop to write about them now. It’s time to listen to the news. Yesterday Bulgaria signed up with the Axis.

March 7, 1941

I have bought yet another copy of, The Brides Cookery

Book, put out by the Oxford University Press. The first copy I bought I sent to Eddie’s wife, the second copy I gave to Lillian Young, a year ago last New Year’s, when she got married. Now this third one I intend to keep for myself. I intend to start as though I was a bride, and work from their small quantity recipes. All my old familiar recipes are family sized and large family at that; moreover, they are mostly American and none of them work in well to this Darby and Joan English establishment. This bride’s book is a very satisfactory one, on all counts. I shall stick to it, just as though I was a greenhorn, and forget all my other compilations.

March 10, 1941

It was another awful night. The moon is coming up to the full, and the cold has moderated so the air bombardment has begun again in grim earnest. It’s simply devilish. How much longer will it go on? Hitler is winning. Last week he swallowed Bulgaria. This week he is cajoling and threatening Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey; by next week he probably will have swallowed down all three. There is constant talk of the coming invasion of Britain. My God! It’s awful! This is how men run the world! War, bloody war.

There are planes streaming over, going toward the West. Last Tuesday we raided the Lofotan Islands, and destroyed all the Fish Oil Works there. We also brought back over three hundred young Norwegians, to join the fight from here. America has passed the Lease and Loan Bill. Ex King Alphonso of Spain had died in Rome. Well, that’s one bad egg out of the way.

March 12, 1941

I have just been enjoying a lovely hour, sitting in the rocker by the fire, smoking cigarettes, and listening to a program of pleasing gramophone records on the radio. I’m awfully tired today because yesterday I worked too hard. These past two weeks, Lily, my charlady, has not shown up, and on this Monday I got a letter from her saying she had rheumatism so she was giving up her work. That suits me all right. She usually brought her baby with her, a little boy of sixteen months, and he was becoming somewhat of a nuisance. Anyhow, my first response to her letter was, good! I don’t like women about. I like the house to myself. As Kay once said of Sheila, I guess I am anti-social.

Anyhow I am feeling fine. I suppose the spring sap is rising.

Well, yesterday, after fixing up the laundry, I set to work and cleaned the kitchen properly, and I actually washed the floor, a job I haven’t done for forty years. Of course I couldn’t kneel to do it, but I was able to do it by standing and stooping down. Luckily it is only a small kitchen. I enjoyed doing it, and was pleased with myself and with the job when I was finished. It made me very tired, and in the night, and throughout today, my legs have been aching in new places, behind the knees, the backs of the thighs. I still feel fine. I had intended to do the bathroom today, but it has turned out to be an extraordinarily cold day, too cold to be upstairs. So I am spending a lazy day. I put on new plasters this morning and that’s an hour’s job anyhow.

I’ve been writing letters. When Artie was here, that put me out of my scribbling scribe, but today I felt the writers itch returning, so I may begin scribbling again soon. Last night I was dreaming of the time when all the children were small, but it was a nightmare. I was fleeing with them from something, along hot summer roads, and I couldn’t keep them together, nor travel fast enough. It was probably some fright to my old sub conscious induced by the raiding going on overhead. It was another bad night, though not so bad as Sunday and Monday.

Today has been quiet all day, probably because of unfavorable weather. It is very cold and looks like snow. Perhaps it is snowing across the Channel and the Gerry’s won’t take off. If so, I hope it continues unfavorable tonight, so that we can all get a proper night’s sleep. When the war is over and we can once more sleep peace- fully in our beds, those of us who are left alive, what Heaven that will be!

March 13, 1941

It was another dreadful night. The first alarm did not sound until about ten o’clock, but from then on there was no quiet until morning. However, the B.B.C. reported that the worst attack of the night had been on Merseyside, and we had brought down nine bombers in that district. Well, if we could bring down nine during the night, the attack must have been colossal. Hell, hell, hell! Last Sunday a high explosive fell here in Wolsey Road. It demolished twelve houses, and in one bungalow alone seven people were killed, amongst them a baby only two months old. This is the sort of incident that makes me faint with nausea. To think of that young mother who endured her pregnancy and her labor, only to be destroyed, with her child, after only two months, Oh God, there are no words for this sort of crime and lunacy.

This world is hell, and Hitler is Satan himself. The last war convinced me of the reality of the Devil: this war reinforces that conviction. I say, men create war; yes, but the evil in men’s hearts, which creates this sort of war, is the devil’s evil itself. Yesterday there was assassination in Istanbul. Mr. Rendell, the late British minister in Sofia, had arrived with his daughter and the staffs of the Legation and Consulate in Sofia. Ten minutes after they arrived at their hotel an explosion of extreme violence occurred. It completely wrecked the ground floor of the hotel, killed three people outright, and seriously injured many more. Two of our English lady typists have since died this morning from their injuries. This is senseless murder and destruction. A time bomb had been hidden in a suitcase. I suppose some devil thought that a clever idea. Oh God, deliver us from evil, from Satan and his evildoers who prowl through the world seeking the destruction of souls, of souls and of bodies! Last night the R.A.F. bombed Hamburg, Bremen, and Berlin. So it goes. Battledore and Shuttlecock. Aerial warfare. What a curse!

The whole invention of the flying machine has been a curse. There was no need for men to fly the skies. I should think the invention of the flying machine has wrought more destruction to the world than any other of the inventions of man. Well, time passes. Peace will have to return to the world some day and then what? If only we can live through the war!

March 14, 1941

A heavy gun going off near by ever since nine o’clock, but no alert has been sounded so far. We have had another very bad night.
These last two days I have been reading a book strangely entitled, If I Laugh, but its motto is, And if I laugh at any mortal thing, Tis that I may not weep. (Byron. Don Juan.) Subtitle: The chronicle of my strange adventures in the great Paris Exodus - June 1940. By Rupert Downing.

Downing is a British journalist who had been a liaison of the French ministry of information. He left Paris on the night of June 12, with an Englishwoman, Mrs. Hawksley, and the two of them cycled south, six hundred miles, into Spain, in fourteen days. This book is an account of the trip, an eyewitness account of France as she collapsed. It is terrible. One gets a glimpse of the rottenness of France, and why she collapsed. If Hitler thought the English was as rotten and as spineless as the French, no wonder he declared he would dictate peace to the world from Buckingham Palace on August fifteenth.

No wonder our soldiers say of this war, as they said of the last, that they don’t like the French. Of course they don’t. The English and the French are not natural friends, they never have been, and they never will be. In reading this book I have thought of Eddie’s comment last summer. I’m not a bit sorry for the French, he wrote. They got what was coming to them, and they deserved it.

Another thing that occurs to me, though there isn’t a hint of it in this book of Downing’s, is the rottenness of Catholic countries. Consider Spain, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, France; quarrelsome, unreliable, treacherous, uncooperating, dirty, even amongst themselves, let alone towards their neighbors. How one loathes the politicians, own included!

March 15, 1941

A quiet empty morning: Ted at the office, and no cooking to do because I have some left over stew to warm in the oven, and some left over ginger pudding to re-heat to follow. Sainsbury’s have just brought me a chicken. It is only a stewing bird, but it will make a dinner for tomorrow. This morning is very cold, frost again last night, and though it was sunny first thing, it is now clouding over. We had another shocking night, but the B.B.C. says the worst of the attack was on Clyde- side, where one hundred bombers attacked for hours. The spring offensive is definitely on, and all this week, of course, there is full moon light. Moon rises at ten to one tonight, and Ted is on duty on top of Lyon’s all tonight. I don’t know who will be the more frightened, he or I.

When Artie was home he gave me some money, and I put in an order for some second hand books from Boot’s sale. I asked for twenty-six, I got sixteen, which were delivered yesterday; price one pound eleven pence and six pennies. Yes, I keep on buying books: my opium, probably only the undertaker will ever stop me.

March 16, 1941

The night was not too bad. In the evening we had a heavy raid with incendiaries following everywhere, but the all clear was given soon after midnight and the rest of the night was quiet. This afternoon we found a stick of an incendiary bomb leaning against our garden fence at the bottom of the garden, Owelett’s side, so it came pretty near to setting us alight, but didn’t. Ted went off to his home guard drill at ten-thirty, and this afternoon he had a knights meeting. No visitors today, so that’s lucky, for he is just about all in. Our chicken was damned tough. I’ve been cooking it again all afternoon, in hopes to make it ultimately eatable. Tea also was a failure. We tried a tin of corned mutton we are being urged to eat. It’s awful muck, and has given both of us indigestion. As a matter of fact it has made Ted downright bilious, but this may be because of his tiredness, and besides he has caught a cold, up on Lyon’s roof all night, with the weather damp and cold. He’s too old for such doings. 

Three times today we have been given instructions over the air, what to do in case of invasion. This is becoming a constant cry of “Wolf” and pretty soon we shan’t pay any attention to it.

Also we heard a recording of a speech President Roosevelt made last night, from Washington. It was picked up here in its entirety at three-thirty a.m. this morning, and given over the air in full at one-thirty this afternoon. It’s a wonderful speech. He declares that America is united behind the democracies, that she will have no compromise with the dictators, and is all out for aid for Britain and aid right up to total victory. He warns America to be ready for sacrifices. He pledges the fullest and ever increasing aid in the fight for liberty, until total victory is won, for Britain, Greece, China and all governments in exile whose homelands are temporarily occupied by aggressors. He said that Britain and her Grecian Allies needed ships, planes, food, tanks, guns and ammunition and supplies of all kinds, and they would get them. He called on Americans to make sacrifices to speed production. He said, I hope that the watchword, ‘Speed, and speed now,’ will find its way into every home in the nation. So: America is definitely and practically in the war. Once again, America will help the British win a great war. God Bless Franklin Roosevelt.

March 17, 1941

It is St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve received a box of shamrocks from Mrs. Jude! This is my long morning. I have been up since six o’clock, and all my jobs are finished now until its time to cook dinner. I’ve a two-pound joint of loin of pork, and I hope it won’t be tough. I’m longing for a good meal. I’d like to sit down to a good lamb chop, or a piece of fillet. The deprivation of good fresh meat is the greatest deprivation of the war to me. I can get along without sugar and jams, and eggs and butter and fruit and cakes, but it’s a penance not to be able to get enough fresh meat. I seem to need meat, and I’m never properly fed without it.

When Ted called me this morning I was deep in a dream of my girlhood. It was one of my packing night- mares. I was in my old bedroom at home, and I was taking my things out of the old yellow chest of drawers, to pack for my first trip to America. Mother and Dad were there too. Mother was in character, fussing and bustling and supervising every item, arguing and bossing, and making me tired, as she always did, and Dad was just sitting watching, looking patient and saying nothing as he would have been in real life. Mother was obstruction and interfering, as per her usual style; and Dad just standing by, in his style.

I’ve been thinking about the dream ever since: sort of re-feeling it. For one thing, it was queer to think of myself so far back in time, no husband, no children, no America, no infirmities. I was getting ready for America. America, the two loves of my life: Dad and America. In my father’s house are many mansions. What does that mean? To me there is only one house, one mansion, and one home: Six Angel Road, my father’s house. Actually no other house has ever been home to me except that one. That one is home no longer. The house is still there, Mother is still there, the identical furnishings are still there, but something has vanished from it besides Dad, What? Was it the habitat of my girlhood? I don’t know.

All I know is, that was home, and now that has gone I have no home in this world, nor never shall have. All the homes I have had with Ted, strange houses, perching places only, where I have been a bird on the bough, never a bird in the nest. Perhaps if I could once have made the material home I desired? Perhaps then I could have made myself a home. I don’t know.

It can still come over me that Ted is a stranger. Together we have loved seven men into being, but to my innermost woman Ted remains an outsider, a stranger. Not only to my innermost being, to the outer woman too, very often. I listen to Ted talking, I have to, and I can’t help myself! I listen to his reiterative platitudinous piffle, to his forty-year-old jokes, and the more he talks the more I am positive it’s nothing to do with me. He’s nothing to do with me. Our ways could part tomorrow, and I could forget him. Very easily. In spite of blood and children we have never really commingled. We are strangers. Does he love me? Do I love him? Silly questions. My father, there is the unbreakable bond, there is love, real love with its instant understanding, entire comprehension, complete at oneness in heart and mind and soul. My father. Father fixation of course, in Freud’s language. You see, to just dream of my father, I am flooded with a fullness of happiness, contentment, and peace and joy that no other human being had ever given me, nor ever can give me. Father and daughter. If you happen to have the same sort of minds, the same kind of temperaments, the father-daughter relationship is the most harmonious and most satisfying relationship possible in this world. Father and son may be theological: in fact it is only theological, for in life it spells friction: but father and daughter is the real thing. The complement of sex, without the flesh, and without the fights. More satisfying then the mother and son relationship, 
the male partner remains the upholder and protects, as the woman wishes him to be. You know, mothers can get awful tired of being mothers!

March 19, 1941

Last night was terrible. London had the longest alert so far of the war. Alarm went off before eleven p.m. and the all clear not given until after five this morning. The noise was incessant. We could hear the bombs, and the incendiaries falling all over the place, although none fell in our immediate blocks. The one o’clock news said the raiders passed over London and the Eastern counties, and concentrated their attack on Hall.

Today the figures are given for last week’s heavy raids on Merseyside and Clyde. They are: about five hundred killed and five hundred seriously injured. The Clyde area, nights of March Thirteenth, and Fourteenth, approximately five hundred killed and eight hundred seriously injured. This is devilish fiendish air-war, every casualty a civilian. I think the very name of Germany will be hated from henceforth till the end of time.

I am frightfully tired today, not only could I not sleep last night, I could not control my trembling, and continuous trembling seems to exhaust the body as much as continuous work. Today, so far, has been quiet, though I can hear our planes zooming about now. When the moon rises at about one forty-five tonight I expect the slaughter will begin again. God help us!

Mary Jude has phoned, and will be in to tea tonight. I wrote to her mother yesterday, to acknowledge the shamrock she sent me for St. Patrick’s Day.

I also had to write to Edna Renacre. When Ted came home at dinnertime he found a bouquet of red carnations stuck in the water bucket by the door. Tucked inside was a card from Edna, with birthday wishes. She had remembered the date but had forgotten the month. It was very sweet of her to leave them for me. Edna, Artie’s problem is quite a problem. I’ve also written a long letter to Johnnie, and one to Mrs. Lillian Berry, Bill’s mother. I’m in the mood for letter writing, which is a rare mood nowadays. I mean to write some more, to all the boys, but am too tired to do any more writing today. Au-Revoir.

March 20, 1941

I’ve been house cleaning, and now am very tired. However, I feel very satisfied with myself! This morning managed to do the bathroom as well as the little kitchen. Also did down the stairs and the little hall. I’m getting on. Anyhow, I ought to be able to take care of this house single handed, and after all, there are only the two of us here.

We suffered another shocking night, but it slackened about one a.m. so we managed to get some good sleep. The main attack was on London. Four hospitals were bombed and a hostelry wrecked, besides many houses. We had over five thousand incendiaries on Romford last Saturday night. Yesterday it was Hall that got the worst attack.

The attack began early after tea yesterday, Mary Jude was here, and we began to think she would have to stay all night; however in a fairish lull about eleven p.m. Ted was able to take her home. She is sleeping alone in their house, a very brave little girl, I think, especially as Carlton Road quite often gets hit. I have no news from Hammersmith, but presume all is well there or I should have been informed otherwise.

March 22, 1941

I have just been talking with the milkman who has been telling me of this week’s damage. Wednesday was the most awful night. Most of the damage was between Stratford and Aldgate. Coming this way, Ilford got eight land mines. Barking-Side, Canning Town, Eastham, frightful,frightful. In Stratford: Boardman’s, Roberto’s, the co-op, all down. These were tremendous shops, stretching for blocks. The milkman says the people from Canning Town and hundreds of them; he also says that many of them are up at their town hall, demanding that we bomb back at the people of Berlin. As soon as darkness falls, every night, they begin to tremble, raids or no raids. Yes. Oh, what a devil’s war this is!

London was quiet last night. B.B.C. stated in the early news that the main attack of the night had been on a town in the South West of England. This was probably Bristol. Thursday’s main attack was on Plymouth. It seems now the tactics are, to concentrate on one big town each night, and wipe it out. Meanwhile the politicians soft-soap us.

We have queer weather today. It is a day of November like darkness. It was a day like the day when France fell. Oh God! Let time pass quickly! Bring us soon to the end of this hellish destruction and terror.

March 25, 1941 Lady Day

Yugoslavia has signed the Tripartite Pact and become a partner of the Axis. I think this war can go on indefinitely. Country by country Hitler swallows Europe; his supplies will become inexhaustible.

Outside it is raining, so maybe we will have a quiet night tonight. We did have a quiet night last night, no raiders anywhere at all over Britain. The weather is queer, dark, like November. The Essex people call it blight, but who cares if blight means a night without the Germans? Last Sunday was observed as a National day of prayer, by order of the King. What good does that do?

We have had several days of National prayer, but Hitler strides on and on just the same, and prayer is never going to stop him.
Oh the damn foolishness of war, and the ineptitude of politicians!! This world that men have made! Why bother God about it? If only men would get together to see how they could stop the war. Oh what fools men are, and how I hate them!

March 27, 1941

I wakened in the night from one of the most agonizing dreams I have ever had. I was weeping, and must have been crying for some time, for my pillow was wet from my tears. At bedtime Ted had loved me, and we had been happy together for a while. My last thoughts as I fell asleep on my own sofa were of Hitler. Hitler is reported to be a woman hater. Certainly he is a bachelor, and one never hears rumors of him indulging himself with any ladyloves. It is supposed he is a frigid celibate. I was thinking, yes of course, he has to be, because if he could ever feel a manly or human tenderness he could not continue with his perpetual cruelties. Perhaps if he could love just one woman, perhaps then he could ease into normal manhood. Perhaps! Oh my God! The time Hitler makes us waste time thinking about him! So when I fell asleep I was assuaged and content, mind and body.

Some hours later I was dreaming of Tenafly, a dreadful dream. I was back in five hundred and twenty-three, but the house was falling to pieces. I knew I was there without Ted, but the boys were still children; they were the children we had left; and they were busy earning their livings. The queer thing was they were naked, and all seemed only about twelve or fourteen years old. I had arrived upon them unexpectedly, and they were concerned as to where I should sleep and what they could give me to eat. There was nothing, no comfort of any sort. Rain was teeming down, and Johnnie was digging a trench under the front porch. There were other trenches there, like a series of graves and it seemed these were to be our beds. Inside the house the floors were broken, so Johnnie explained that it was much better to sleep on the ground. He’d got to hurry away to New York, to his job, so he explained to me just how I was to dig my trench, and not to let it connect with any of the others because that would let the rats through. Oh no! He didn’t mind the rats! And no! It was no use trying to get rid of them, you would only get another there were so many of them. When he got to town he’d speak to Christian fund, and see if he could get a loan to buy some food. Then Jimmie appeared, also quite naked, and he had a mason jar in his hand with some musty dried prunes in it. There he began to eat, but then Johnnie pounced on him, and they fought for the prunes. They were for supper tonight, Johnnie said, That’s all we’ve got to eat.

They had to catch a train, and off they went, down Sunset Lane, in the rain teeming down on them, and their bodies shining with the wet. I was counting their ribs. Then I wakened, crying and crying, and some moments before I could realize it was only a dream. Then I went back to sleep, and lo, I was right back again in the same dream. I was trying desperately to find something for them to eat. The Rosa brothers came by and gave me a basket of earthy old roots, and a peach basket with a layer of dry wormy strawberries. Nothing was any good, but I scrubbed off some of the vegetables and put them on to brew a soup. Then the Rosa brothers began to pick over the strawberries, and they ate the best of them. Of course, they said, we only gave them to you because they are no good. You can’t have the good ones. Naturally we shall take those back again.

Then I was trying to clean the house, but there were no tools, neither was there any furniture. Some curtains were still hanging at the windows, so I took them down, and they choked me with dust. I saw I could make them into pajamas, and I began to cut them out, and to hurry and hurry, so that I could have them made by the time the boys returned, so that I could have something to cover their nakedness. So, crying into my sewing, the dream faded away and then it was morning.

See how a soul holds its grief’s. It is now more then thirteen years since Ted broke up the family and we left Tenafly. The boys are all married men with families of their own; they have succeeded in life and they do not need a mother. I am a mother who needs them. I am a mother who was destroyed in her maternity. When Ted broke his family he broke me, and I suppose that deep down in my subconscious self I have never forgiven him nor ever shall be able to. There are some wounds that never heal. Nature is violated, what could you do about that?

Well, the boys hold no resentment. I don’t think I do either, not anymore. So much time has passed. The boys don’t need me, can’t ever possibly need me now and they weren’t permanently harmed (or were they?) They never did hold resentment. That was plain even in my dream. Johnnie didn’t show any resentment at the awful nakedness, cold, wet, hunger and poverty in which he stood. I was the one distressed, not Johnnie, nor any of the boys. They were the men who were accepting things as they were, and blaming nobody. Yes, Ted has done what he wanted to do. He has always done what he wanted to do. He has realized his dreams. At what cost to me, to his children! It wasn’t good for them to leave them the way they were left. No, it was damnable. So, this morning I am tired. The dream exhausted me.
One o’clock news was good news. At two o’clock this morning the young King Peter threw over the traitor Yugoslav Government and assumed control of his country. The army and all his people back him. Prince Paul, the former Regent, has fled, whereabouts not yet known. The two Cabinet ministers who went to Vienna to sign adherence to the axis have been arrested. General Sinovitch has been charged by the young King with the formation of a new cabinet. There are efforts of popular rejoicings everywhere throughout the country. Churchill has answered this as, Great news. The Yugoslav Nation, says Churchill, has found its soul.

The Nine o’clock news was further good news. Keran, the Italian stronghold in Eritrea has fallen, and Harar, the second city of Abyssinia is also in our hands. So both Hitler and Mussolini have received severe setbacks today.

March 29, 1941

For months now I have been listening each week day morning to the, Lift up your Hearts and Kitchen Front talks from the B.B.C. and I want to say what rubbish they are. It is absolute rubbish and also impertinence.

To take, The Kitchen Front series first. More often than not a man gives the talks. He will be either facetious or condescending. When women give the talks they are simply silly. Oh these are substitute dishes! They are so simply nauseating. Who does the B.B.C. suppose pays the slightest serous attention to them? The public knows jolly well what rations are; but it also knows what can and can’t be done in cookery. It jolly well knows you can’t feed the family a dessert of turnip pie, or milk your tea with oatmeal water.

There are straightforward and standard ways of cooking all known foods, why foozle them? Make an omelet for three people, says the B.B.C. with one egg, two tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and two tablespoons of milk and water. Well, that is not an omelet, nor will one egg make a breakfast for three people. What kind of fools do they take the public for? The food problem in Britain is damned serious all right, but we don’t fool ourselves we are all fed when we are not. We will eat what ever is available, but we won’t fool ourselves that it is appetizing or satisfactory. We certainly won’t spoil what is available by trying to make it masquerade as what it isn’t.

As for the religious talks, they too are fooling. This is another sort of fake. Speakers, some of them parsons, some non-conformist ministers, give puerile up lift anecdotes, religious pep talks. It is just awful. It seems to me instead of handing out their pious platitudes, they would be totally impersonal, not inflict themselves upon us, but would quietly rend from the scriptures, or from the Book of Common Prayer, say, the morning prayer and the Collect for the Day, they would be a thousand times more effective; they would then have sincerity and dignity, and true Englishness and old beauty and abiding Christian feeling; instead of which the religion they try to put over is just as silly, pretentious, impossible, ridiculous and fake, and nauseating, as, The Kitchen Front Cookery.

March 30, 1941

It was on the News this evening that there has been a great naval battle in the Eastern Mediterranean. Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham is in command. Three Italian cruisers and two Italian destroyers have been sunk, without a loss of one boat, or even one man, of our own! The whole battle carried on in darkness. There will be Fuller details to follow later. Also there is a news item that the Vatican today broadcast, in French, to unoccupied France. The subject of the talk was of the growing paganism of the world and particularly in Germany, where Hitler desires that all baptisms may be deferred until the age of twenty, so that only state will be allowed to instruct the young. Very nice!! Why doesn’t the Vatican broadcast to Italy about the, growing paganism of the world? Why doesn’t the Pope speak out to his Italians, and denounce their own lies, treacheries and aggressions? Why doesn’t the Pope say, not merely to his Italians, but to the world, that war is devilish, and that the Nazi’s and fascists who engineered this war upon Europe, are criminals? Why doesn’t he tell his people to overthrow their fool Mussolini, whose actions are destroying them? No, the Pope says nothing!

March 31, 1941

The Times this morning carries a note from a correspondent in Belgrade. He writes: Belgrade March 30th

During the crisis, which has shaken the Yugoslav nation the part played by the Patriarch of the Serb Orthodox Church, Gavril, recalls that of the Bishops of Medieval England, when the church directed the King’s policy and kept his conscience. Although the full story of his activity during these fateful weeks is not known, the Yugoslav people feel instinctively that if he had not resisted the Regent’s Cabinet and mobilized all the forces of the Orthodox Church to that end, Yugoslav today would be another of Hitler’s serf states. Hence the Patriarch’s intervention is stirring the public imagination today. Not only did the Patriarch head the Orthodox Church openly in the fight to oppose the Three-Power-Pact as it affects Yugoslavia, but in the critical days just before the minis-
ters left for Vienna, when German diplomatic pressure was at its height, the mind of Prince Paul undecided, and the issue still doubtful, he gathered all the influence and the authority of the church into opposition against the policy of capitulation.
Good! Here at last is one great primate who has dared to stand up for the right, and to defy tyrants to their faces. I wonder if such forthrightness can cause the Pope to feel ashamed of himself. I wonder. Here in England, last year, the Protestants were saying, Well the Pope will soon stop the war. He has only to speak to his Catholics, and they’ll soon put and end to the axis. Oh yeah! As the boys say. The old Pope, Pius XI might have spoken out only might. Certainly this Pope has said nothing; he minds his place. Posh! 

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