I FOUND the headline as well as the first part of the article by Brad Marshall in last week’s Bury Times (Page 4, June 28) on the subject of internment in Britain during World War 2, to be nothing more than an attempt at sensationalism.

He describes the atmosphere of the nation during early stages of WWII in almost hysterical terms as he pronounces Britain, “as a paranoid xenophobia permeated the nation”.

I presume that he wrote the piece recently; safe in the rather more pleasant, peaceful times we now enjoy.

Due in no small part to the sacrifices that those “xenophobes” made in those ‘paranoid’ times when some of the planes in the sky above had a swastika on the side and had come with an intention to bomb, maim and kill, anyone — military or civilian — it considered to be their enemy.

Any planes above him now in these peaceful times don’t have that intention so it’s perhaps understandable if he gets carried away with rhetoric about actions taken by a nation fighting for its very existence to preserve our freedom from tyranny.

In those days, Britain was fighting a total war against an extremely ruthless, pitiless enemy in order to preserve the liberty Brad Marshall now enjoys.

Disappointingly, he uses the freedom won for him (and all of us) by the sacrifices and decisions they had to take in the interest of a nation at war.

At that time, some of our planes were being shot out of the sky, our warships and merchant ships were attacked and sunk, London and our large cities bombed.

Coventry, let us not forget, was the first British city to be bombed, purely as an attempt to cower the population.

The early stage of WWII is a grim period in our history. It was a time when “Loose Lips, sinks ships” and “Keep calm and carry on” and other slogans used to bolster British morale.

It wasn’t a time for sitting back and relaxing.

Things had to be done to protect the nation and quickly. We can have no comprehension of those terrible times when bombs rained out of the sky and countries just across the channel, fell under the Nazi Jackboot.

As for the headline “Horror, brutality and injustice ..” I did not know whether to laugh or cry at it is total disrespect of the facts of what happened during that war.

It is well known that treatment of conquered people by the Axis powers or who had been interned or former combatants in POW camps in countries of the world occupied by Axis forces was inhumane and merciless.

I would accept that some of our POWs were occasionally better treated.

But, I surely, have no need to go into any detail of those “establishments” or as to the appalling treatments carried out by the forces allied to Hitler, Mussolini and others we were fighting during WWII.

We in Britain have nothing to be ashamed of or about.

Neither can our treatment of interned German and other foreign nationals from countries engaged in brutal war against Britain.

The people interned were people whose allegiance might not be to Britain, but to her enemies.

Yes, there individuals who found themselves in Britain at the wars start. And as such were interned by our Government, as a security provision. That initiative can’t be referred to as “horror, brutality and injustice”.

And as for Warth Mill being rat infested. Well I can say it still was in the early 1970s when I worked there!

I found the statement that the conditions in Dachau were better than at the POW camp at Warth a little hard to take. A person who had been in both places seems to be a stretch of the imagination and misfortune.

It’s a pity that some of our people these days can’t be more aware and understanding of the conditions and sacrifices earlier generations of this great country made and fought for, so that we now have every advantage in our peaceful and pleasant country.

Other than that, it was a well written piece, although it was judgemental, couched in current mores and not as things were in the 1940s.

That’s why I profoundly disagreed with its sentiment. Mainly it was out of perspective of a time when a World War was being fought to the death and the winners were the forces of decency and democracy.

Andrew Pomfret.

Hillside Crescent