Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 9. 1962.
Gentlemen,—As a member of the Wellington public, and a comparative stranger in New Zealand, may I say I am in complete agreement with the spirited protest Salient has made against the hanging of Herr Eichmann. Why? Because your protest is in accord with the basic teaching and demonstration of Jesus Christ.
The world in general, and Christendom in particular, dies because it has rejected the teaching of the Son of God. There have been a few, notably Tolstoy and Rappa-port. who have stood fast for the principles of human behaviour advocated and demonstrated by Christ; but the majority warp and twist the words of the great Master and in so doing they deny themselves the spiritual benefits of His Kingdom.
When Christ suffered judicial murder His final prayer was typical of the Man. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Why did they know not? Because the carnal mind makes no distinction between ideas and people. In hanging Herr Eichmann, the Jews believe they have nullified the ideas for which He stood. Their forefathers murdered Christ for exactly similar reasons. Yet history shows that ideas live on—apart from man; history shows that ideas exist to elevate or destroy—depending on the dictates of the individual free will.
You, Gentlemen, do a great service to humanity in bringing into focus the gross stupidity of taking life in the name of justice or political expediency. Few know that the Law of Cause and Effect will extract the last farthing from those whose actions are conditioned by thoughts of revenge. There are sound psychological reasons for this of which you are no doubt aware.
But let us not leave the matter by merely stating our agreement with the Sixth Commandment. We must be prepared to go further and investigate the background to individual and collective crime; to me to grips with reality; to equate cause with effect; to know that there is a way out of the world's present dilemma. Man got himself into his present unhappy mess by harbouring negative thoughts and emotions. He can easily return to sanity by reading and acting on the advice contained in such famous writings as "The Greatest Thing in the World" by Henry Drummond.—Yours, etc.,
D. M. Woodford.
Sir,—I protest. I protest the hysterical emotionalism of M.J.W. in Comment, June 18. I protest the immorality of his shallow thought and the illogicality thereof.
I protest that "We", in our official paper, should be splurged after the style of a more notorious newsheet, over the front page. I protest M.J.W's assumption that I and fellow students necessarily subscribe wholesale to his soul-searing elegy.
I protest his complete failure to consider the Eichmann case from Israel's point of view; to consider that 6 million Jews might have meant a great deal to their sons and daughters. I protest blithe answers of self set questions. He may point out, but does this mean that "we must point out" the truth of his conclusions.
His conclusions are based on popular thought and ideals to which we ourselves pay little more than lip service?
A rotten apple can ruin the lot. Eichmann paid for rottenness which no surgery could check. His death added to the fertility of the very race he tried to destroy. Is there not in this a hint of at least justice?—Yours, etc.,
S. E. Chadwick.
Five others are of similar opinion to Mr Chadwick.—Editor.