World War ll London Blitz: 4-9-1945 to 4-30-1945 How much longer must we wait for the last utter final collapse?


April 9, 1945

The news. In Italy our troops are within thirty kilometers of Spezia. In Austria, the Russians have taken five of the city districts of Vienna, including the center of the city. Stalin has tonight announced the capture of Konigsberg, and the taking of twenty seven thousand prisoners there. The best news of all, the American Ninth Army has taken Krupp’s, at Essen. The works were handed over to the Americans by a mere employee, who told the American officer to whom he surrendered the place, that not a wheel had turned in the works since March 1, when the R.A.F. bombed them. He also said the Krupp’s-Essen Railway was also destroyed by the R.A.F. Further; the Germans are flocking into Denmark as refugee. One Hundred and Ninety Thousand German refugees are in Copenhagen alone. How much longer must we wait for the last utter final collapse?

April 13, 1945

I was deeply shocked on the first news to hear of the sudden death of President Roosevelt. He died at Warm Springs, Georgia at ten-thirty last night, of a cerebral hemorrhage, very suddenly.

April 17, 1945

I listened this morning to a Memorial Service for Roosevelt, broadcast from St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was beautiful; also it made me know again where my spiritual home is. When I hear the beautiful words of the English service, I know I belong in the English Church. Roosevelt belonged to the Protestant Episcopalian Church of America, the church I was married in. When the congregation began to sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic I began to weep; and when the last post was sounded I felt my heart would break.

Early this morning Reta telephoned to tell me that in this morning’s Daily Telegraph, the number of Cuthie’s camp, number three hundred fifty-seven, was given as one of the prisoners camps liberated yesterday by our armies. I have not seen the Times yet, nor has it been mentioned on the wireless, but I expect it’s true. Thank God.

I got letters from Charlie and Marjorie this morning, for my birthday, also a card from Chic.

April 18, 1945

It is my sixty first birthday. I feel anything but gay and happy; in fact I awoke in one of my moods of sadness and depression.

April 19, 1945

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?

This is a problem. I can’t understand it. It is insoluble. The only way I can come near a solution is to reject the idea of a Personal God.

Ted says it isn’t a problem, and he can easily understand it. There has always been suffering in the world, and this is only a part of it. It is the Law of Suffering, brought about by the sin of Adam. I am appalled at this silly talk. “But you don’t suffer this.” I said. “No,” he said; “but that’s only accidental.” Suffering, yes, some physical and perhaps good even, indicating where the body must cure itself of disease; a great deal of it our own seeking; a great deal of it avoidable; some of it even deliberately sought, inverted pleasure. This deliberate infliction of cruel suffering upon masses of human beings by other human beings, for it’s own sake, and for delight, no, there is nothing good in that suffering. Why did God permit it?

So that the inherent goodness of other better men can show itself in deeds of heroic rescue? What of those who died before rescue? What of the suffering endured which will still remain as having happened? No, that is no answer.

There is no answer. Ted’s theological farrago is simple nonsense. The Christian argument answers nothing. Christianity is a dead horse. By the way I notice Roosevelt spoke always of “God”, and Churchill and Montgomery speak of God but never of Jesus, any of them. Jesus is inadequate for our days. But what of God? Well, God is the sum of goodness, I think. That’s all I can think today.

April 20, 1945

Ted is spieling about “Free Will”, the regular argybargy. I agree the Germans used their free will to work wickedness, but this still doesn’t account for the sufferings of their victims, who did not enter the Labor and Concentration Camps of their own free will, nor accept their sufferings willingly. Ted is hopelessly sunk in his orthodox explanations, which actually explain nothing. It is a waste of time to listen to him. He has the completely closed Catholic mind, and it is worthless.

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.”

April 23, 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.

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.

April 27, 1945

This evening the B.B.C. read an announcement, just given out from 10 Downing Street, to this effect:

General Eisenhower reports that firm contact has been established between his ground forces and those of our Soviet Allies. The commanders of a United States division and of a Russian Guards division met at Torgan on April 26, at four p.m.

So the Russians and the Americans have linked at last, on the Elbe, and Germany has been cut in two. Torgan, unheard of until tonight, is, we are told, northeast of Leipzig.

Moscow announces that Russian forces fighting for the conquest of Berlin have captured Potsdam, Spandau, and Rathenow. Farther west, Regensburg (old time Ratisbon) has fallen to the Americans, the Third Army, today, the Twenty-Seventh of April. Bremen is now virtually in British possession. General Dittmar, radio commentator of the German High Command, has given himself up to us in Magdeburg. He has declared that it is true Hitler is in Berlin, and his own opinion that Hitler would die there. Also he expressed his own belief that the war would be over in a few days. Goring has asked Hitler to allow him to resign from the Command of the Luftwaffe, for reasons of health! He is supposed to be suffering from a bad heart. Maybe is his, but more likely Himmler chose to demote him.

April 30, 1945

Mussolini is dead. The story is he was caught in Como yesterday whilst trying to escape, and was hanged there, with his mistress also, and that today the dead bodies were brought to Milan and exposed there. Hitler is reported dying. He has suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in Berlin. I suppose, in one of his rages, he has literally burst a blood vessel.

Himmler, through Count Bernadette, has offered unconditional surrender, but to the British and Americans only. This news comes via San Francisco. Our governments decline to accept such an offer; they maintain that unconditional surrender must be made to all the allies, particularly inclusive of Russia. Of course.

It is now eleven p.m. and the German radio, at ten-twenty p.m., announced the death of Hitler, “fallen at the head of his army, in the depths of his Capitol.” Admiral Donitz made the announcement, and added that he was now the Fuehrer, by designation of Hitler. Who knows? Why didn’t Goebbels do the announcing?

No comments:

Post a Comment