I read with interest Derek Santer’s letter (WSCT 11.06.15)regarding his model Spitfire and how it helped to raise funds for a RAF Spitfire - the iconic fighter of World War 2. A patriotic gesture on the part of a young Horsham schoolboy.
Like Mr Santer, I was obliged to undergo National Service during the years 1952-54 and my posting was to Berlin - at that time divided into zones - US, British, Soviet and French - long before the much hated Berlin Wall was erected. On the whole, we got on very well with the Berliners who had suffered blanket bombing by the RAF and USAAF but also some atrocious acts of multiple rape and other brutal violence by Soviet troops advancing from the East. Some would say, ‘Who could blame them’ following the appalling War Crimes committed by the Nazi regime in Poland and the Soviet Union - apart from some six million Jews and other dissidents murdered in the concentration camps - as the Nazi’s ‘final solution’.
But that dreadful War ended seventy years ago and today Germany is a model of democracy and sound government with a thriving economy - the envy of other European countries. Their economic success is due to their hard work, inventiveness and sound education. Although young Germans are deeply ashamed of their Nazi past, they live in the modern world. A lesson we would do well to follow.
I’m sure it was never intended but for Derek Santer to relate the leadership of Angela Merkel to that of Adolph Hitler - even in jest - demonstrates that his ‘Little Britain’ mind-set has not altered since 1945. It’s surely time to move on!
Robert B Worley
Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham
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