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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 7 July 26, 1944


Recent months have seen a serious deterioration in the morale of the prisoners, a regression of their intellectual activity, a weakening of their physical and nervous resistance. This unfavourable development is not due primarily to bad treatment or to the worsening of living conditions. World Student Relief Secretaries who are able to visit the "universities of captivity" write of instances where their courses have been interrupted altogether, in others they have been very much reduced, and the number of students taking part in them has dropped radically. We must pay a tribute to the professors and lecturers, who in the camp universities go on fighting for the maintenance of intellectual activity as an essential factor in keeping up the morale of the young men for whom they feel responsible. For they know that those who give up attending lectures become an easy prey to neurasthenia. They sink into idleness, into endless dreams, they spend hours playing bridge, or reading detective novels and then, one day, even this is over, they just lie down on their beds, having lost contact with their fellow-prisoners and lost the courage to undertake anything at all; they lose hope—they are away. You can prevent this malady by giving them something to do with their minds and hands, some interest in life, and some feeling that you, their fellow-students, still remember them, still care about them.