ter at hand, I have not read the VolkischerBeobachter,nbut I assume that Mr.nMason has. My own views on the warnwere drawn fi:om Gerhard Ritter, CJOIOnMann, and William Langer, all bona fidenanti-nazis.nUndoubtedly German submarinesnoften failed, before attacking, to alertnvessels from neutral countries that carriednsupplies to their enemies. But there wasnno way that German submarines couldnrespect international law without betrayingntheir position in a sea dominated bynEngland. Germany’s controversial maritimenstrategy, which was passionately debatednin the Reichstag before beingnadopted as a desperate measure, wasnaimed at relieving a destructive Englishnblockade. The relief of that blockade wasna life-and-death matter to the Germannpeople, as well as to their government,nalthough, as Mr. Mason observes, thenproblem could have been easily solved bynsending German soldiers back to hungryncities at the small price of surrendering tonthe enemy. By the way, the English, withnfewer mitigating circumstances, torpedoed,nwithout warning, those ships thatnentered the Dardanelles to trade withnTurkey.nI am sorry that Mr. Mason misunderstandsnmy comments about Edith Cavell.nShe was an English patriot who, naturally,ngave the Germans grounds for suspicion.nNonetheless, her execution, an expressionnof wartime hysteria, stands outnas a deplorable act. It was in fact almost asnlamentable as some of the practices thennembraced by the French government,nwhich protected the assassin of JeannJaure, an insufficiently Teutonophobicnsocialist deputy, and jailed cabinet officialsnwho were alleged to favor annegotiated peace. Nor does the Americannrecord on civil liberties look any betternfor this period. Even before America’snentry into the war, the Wilson governmentnfiltered international newsnthrough a Department of Informationnand fomented anti-German hysteria thatnresulted in both physical violence andnthe destruction of property.nThe German invasion of Belgiumnseems an issue in search of a historicalncontext. German armies entered Belgiumnin August 1914 to fight a warnagainst France. Confi:onted by what theynconsidered a state of wartime crisis at thenend of July and the necessity to fight onntwo fronts, the Germans tried to overwhelmnFrance, partly by moving armiesnthrough Belgium, before Russia couldnoverrun Germany from the east. Thenpoint at issue here is not the soundness ofnthe German strategy: the Germans, bynjumping the gun, put themselves in annawkward legal situation while implementingna military plan that was probablynunworkable in 1914. The questionnis whether the Belgians—in view of Germany’snannounced intention at the outsetnof the stmggle—should have resistednat all. Being in no position to repulsen(‘()KKI..SI'()M)I;N( F;nLetter from Paris: Mitterrand’s Francenby Thomas MolnarnSince I have never traveled behind thenIron Curtain, I can only compare Mitterrand’snFrance with socialist Burma,nwhere Dictator-General Ne Win’s heavynhand lies heavily even on tourists. Francenis not yet a Soviet-style state, but a fewnverbal snapshots can provide a picture ofndevelopments in summer 1982, afterntwelve months of the present regime.nThe setting is in a new building, thenoffice of a leftist-Catholic professoreditor.nHe has just finished writing hisnthird semiclandestine (samizdat?) “letternto friends,” calling on them to resistnthe ideologues who are demolishing thencountry economically and culturally. “Innthis office,” he remarks with a wry smile,n”we may still speak openly; as far as Inknow, the walls have no microphones.”nProfessor Molnar teaches at BrooklynnCollege.nnnthe Germans who, unlike the French,nshowed no prewar annexationist interestnin their land, the Belgians might havendone best to let the German armies pass.nTheir decision to fight the Germans, innany case, had disastrous consequences.nBy helping to thwart German militarynplanning in the west and by engaging innguerrilla operations against Germanntroops, the Belgians exposed themselvesnto understandable German anger andnfiiistration. That they chose this role maynindicate how they viewed their nationalnhonor. That Germans saw the matterndifferently may be explained withoutnpointing to incipient Hiderism. As fornthe Belgian graves marked “fusille’parnlesAllemands,” I assume that Mr. Masonnhas researched the matter at least as wellnasMrs.Tuchman. DnAt France’s border with Switzerlandnmany travelers are stripped and searchednin order to stop their fleeing francs fromnreaching the safe-deposit boxes of Swissnbanks. Address books are photocopiednby customs officials, later checked fornnames of friends whose monies you maynbe helping escape. A matchbox bearingnthe name of a Zurich bank can make onena suspect. Not only are the smaller fortunesnfleeing (the big ones escape morenofficially as “transfers” or “investments”),nbut new investments—bynArabs, Japanese, Germans— are notnforthcoming. One year’s socialist-communistnmanagement has sufficed tonmake France’s economic future bleak. Intalked with young, enterprising businessmen,nlawyers, scientists, all of whomncontemplate emigration and spend theirndays devising ways and means to do so.nPerhaps Mitterrand believed Pol Potnwhen he claimed that people are expendablenand that one million hard commu-n^^^^45nNovember 1982n