"No democracy has been nearer the fire and survived than was Britain in that long winter [of 1940]. And one reason for survival was that the nation did not betray the things in which it believed. After Italy entered the war, one of the few murder cases to reach the Law Lords on appeal was decided. An Italian citizen, long resident in Britain, had been convicted by the lower courts of killing a British seaman in Soho. The high court reversed the verdict, set the Italian free, and in the pubs, and in Parliament, on the buses, and in newspaper offices this was regarded as the normal functioning of British justice.
At a time when German bombers were coming through in the daylight over London, when the Germans were expected on the beaches the first foggy morning, the House of Commons, which might have been destroyed with all its members by one well-placed enemy bomb, devoted two days to discussing the conditions under which enemy aliens were being held on the Isle of Man. For the House of Commons was determined that, though the Island fell, there would be nothing resembling concentration camps in Britain, and the rights under law of enemy aliens would not be abused. That is what the British collectively believed," - Edward R. Murrow, in the foreword to the second edition of "This I Believe," published in 1952. -- AS.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.