(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld. Only letters under 400 words can be printed because of space limitations.)
To the Editor of the Crimson:
Yesterday's paper contains a short but important criticism of the University's stand regarding the refugee problem. It represents without doubt a large and sincere body of opinion that can't be dismissed by merely calling names. There seems to me to be two fallacious sources for this attack, both a sort of refuge whereby one runs away from the problem at hand with the attitude "What do I care"? In the one case, recognition of the facts can debase the argument. As for the other, it must be verified by each individual for himself.
The first argument runs... "What the Germans do to their minorities is their business and not ours." The answer to this is simply that what does happen in this world seriously affects all of us.... What the Germans do affects our lives regardless of our will, with ever increasing immediacy. My contention is that isolationism is an avoidance of the issue and a retreat from correlated facts.
The second fallacy represents a short-sighted view of man's genuine make-up, for whether or not we are immediately affected, "We do care." What we consider the noblest of mankind, even outside of Sunday church, have always devoted themselves to that which went beyond their immediate interests, whether it be the unknown in knowledge or the betterment of mankind for its own sake.... Man is a social animal, and thus a moral animal. What has happened in Germany shocked us because it attacks our faith in this nobler nature of man. It attacks not merely our Christian heritage but also our belief in the dignity of man here on this earth. The United States was founded by those who were persecuted abroad. It has grown, ever entrenching these beliefs in the individual worth of each character and the right of equal treatment and opportunity. It is an ideal.... But we have fought and died for it, and the greater the oppression the deeper goes the faith....
Harvard University defends its basic beliefs by aiding the persecuted in its small way.... Its funds are for the defence of its underlying principles. It is not so much the moral indignation, but the renewing of its own true strength. It states our reason for living. Walter Muther '40.