Page 5


STATEWIDE RALLY sponsored by Young . Texans for Cox SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2:30 P.M. MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, AUSTIN Skits Entertainment Campaign Songs Everyone Invited. No’ Admission Charge! JACK COX, THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF TEXAS, WILL EXPLAIN HIS CON-SERVATIVE’ PHILOSOPHY AND HOW ITS APPLICATION WILL PROTECT YOUR INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, BOTH AS A TEXAN AND AS AN AMERICAN. *Ed Bernet and his Dixieland Band from the Levee, Dallas *Olympic Track Star Bobby Morrow of A.C.C. *Adrian Burk, Baylor AllAmerican, Philadelphia Eagles *Linda Woods, “magic marimba,” Fred Waring Orchestra *Les Mills and his Popular Organ *And other personalities TEXAS MAJOR, AUSTRIAN INTELLECTUAL The Eatherly Case: A Strange Disharmony Robert Jungk, ed., Off limits fur das Gewissen : Der Briefwechsel zwischen dent Hiroshirna-Piloten Claude Eatherly and Gunther Anders; Rohwolt Verlag : Hamburg, 1961; 150 pgs. AUSTIN For a century or so wars have no longer been meetings on the battle ground between professional soldiers in or out of uniform. They now involve entire national establishments, and the non-fighting citizens are considered just as worthy of getting killed by the enemy as soldiers at the front. Our wars are total wars. So citizens entirely familiar with the rules of fair play and human decency may get called upon to learn to kill some enemy. Those who return often seem to be able to establish a parenthesis in their minds, which allows them to return to normality and the broken rules. Others are stamped for life. They have difficulties reconciling the rules of decency they were raised under with the fact that the very political society that promoted the rules suddenly suspends them for the sake of a great cause. TO BE SURE, modern warfare does increasingly have a perverse kindness about it which allows you to sit in a plane or a submarine where the touching of some button allows you to kill thousands without requiring any confrontation with the gory havoc you have caused. However, even remote-control killing seems to affect some people who have participated in it. When they are released and returned to normality, they cannot quite find the ground again. They function, but in an irregular manner. The real point to be made is that some of them do not function at all any more. They are overwhelmed by what they have participated in. They become victims of their experiences and their actions. _ Such a victim is Claude Eatherly, who insists on being guilty, though society, here in the United States, would rather proclaim him a hero ,. The rough outlines of the “Eatherly case” have been stated many times already. It is the story of the young major from Texas who gave the goahead signal to the bomber that dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, and who since that time has had a great deal of difficulty living with this act on his conscience. \(“Today it is important that my name is much better known than those of the men who actually dropped the bomb. My ‘go ahead’ signal must be the instrument which shows my To the moral aspect has been added a medical as well as a legal one, and as a result the case easily seems unclear. All of Eatherly’s attempts to find a place in society after the war failed. Hiroshima haunted him, so apparently to atone for his guilt he deliberately indulged in criminal acts to attain vicarious punishment. For years he was under the care of medical authorities who failed to rid him of his guilt. Until early 1961 all of his visits to clinics and hospitals were supposedly voluntary ; his status was changed January 12th of that year when he was committed, by jury trial, in Waco for an indefinite period of time. Charges have been made, not only by Eatherly, that pressure was brought upon the medical authorities by the military to keep Eatherly from being at large where he might turn out to be a public embarrassment for his country, since he also became an ardent pacifist and opponent of nuclear armament. DURING THE SUMMER of 1959 an Austrian intellectual, Gunther Anders, who had already taken vigorous part in discussions about the nuclear danger, started a correspondence, in English, with Eatherly, and it is this exchange, together with a number of letters to and from other people, which is here presented in German translation. It has already been much discussed and published in several other countries, and very recently in the United States. Gunther Anders is a person to be taken seriously. In his book Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen promoted the thesis that man, even in his imagination, has fallen behind the realities of his own accomplishments, inventions, and contrivances; that he is indeed antiquated. He is unreliable where his machines are not, the distance between himself and his actions is ever increasing. In this world he now has The Bomb: From now on mankind will live, in all eternity, under the dark shadow of the monster. The apocalyptic danger cannot be abolished once and for all, by one act, but only by acts repeated every day. That means: We have to understand and this insight shows us completely how ominous our situation isthat our struggle against the physical existence of the instruments and their construction, testing them, stocking them, simply remains inadequate. For the goal which we have to attain cannot consist of not having the “thing”; but only of never using the “thing,” although we cannot do anything against the fact that we do have it ; never using it, although there will never be a day when we could not use it. Eatherly, on the other hand, wants nothing less than world reform, and to this he refers much more frequently than to the nuclear danger. His argument \(” . . my whole position based on the three words : love, trust and pacifism, and not an articulate one \(“why should we fight? War is wild. and inhuman. War should not be the business of us who are the head of all creatures. . . I hope that people can build a better world together “guarantee all people of all races, whether red, white, black, or yellow, a life full of happiness, without fear, without poverty, without ignorance and without slavery. . . .” There is no doubt that the affection between the two correspondents is real; there is no doubt either, when you read their letters, that their epistolary communion, which now is public, displays a strange disharmony in their concerns. The wild suggestions about world reform are in the Eatherly letters ; the articulate concern about our common situation is in the Anders letters. It is striking how often the correspondents seem to write past one another. Where Eatherly is attention-hungry and emotional, Anders is restrained and even fatherly. The sentimentalities which abound in Eatherly’s letters are nowhere to be found in those of his fellow correspondent. THE LEGAL SIDE of the case is disquieting. It is being charged in the letters that Eatherly has been improperly detained in Waco in order not to embarrass the government by possibly joining the marchers and singers who fight for peace with athlete’s foot and bloated prose \(“General Twining had nothing in mind except to prevent further pubAnother charge is that the military exerted pressure upon the medical authorities in Waco to testify in such a manner that Eatherly could be found legally insane without really qualifying. If these charges are true, we must protest, of course. Whether they are true or not, the authorities and persons they are leveled at should answer. At the present time this correspondence is being read and translated around the world and has caused more people than perhaps ever before to have their eyes upon Texas. It is indeed hard to believe that the Eatherly letters, floundering and helpless though they be, should have been written by an insane person. There are, as we all should know, a good many people around us who have been burdened with the same difficulty that Eatherly has to cope with and who might exclaim with him: “The truth is that society simply cannot accept the fact of my guilt without at the same time recognizing its own far deeper guilt.” Guilt feelings about indiscriminate mass killing were here before Hiroshima. The sheer staggering quantity of people you have killed in one sitting does hardly privilege you for exclusive attention. The bombers of Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Coventry, are often still alive and some of them have been afflicted with Eatherly’s difficulty, though it did not take participation in the Hiroshima bombing to cause them their equally authentic guilt feelings, and though they did not get blessed by so much publicity. Hospitals and clinics around the world contain many an “Eatherly.” Why are they not equally interesting copy for the press? This book, I suggest, touches upon significant issues; but it only touches them. The letters have no common focus. We should have wished a correspondence about the role of all the Eatherlys in the monstrous corporate war machines that impersonally selected them to learn mass killing and absolved them of responsibility. FATHERLY has now fled, according to a recent article by Gunther Anders, and is at large somewhere. Even if he did not have to be in hiding, it is difficult to see how he could play a significant role in the struggle against nuclear warfare, except as a symbol. His thinking is vague and ST. JAMES EPISCOPAL CHURCH 3129 SouthmoreHouston In the Texas Southern University of Houston community. Holy Communion Sundays 8, 11 A.M. Wednesday 7, 10 A.M. muddled; his writing expressions are constipated. We have recently seen Bertrand Russell sitting in frail magnificence on a London sidewalk and going to jail for it ; he is also holder of the Order of Merit, the highest distinc tion his country offers. We have also seen Linus Pauling picketing outside the White House in the daytime and being a welcome guest inside in the evening. There is something oddly comforting and civilized about such occurrences, and we could not have too many of them. This is a far cry from Claude Eatherly’s vain blast : When I get out there will be only one single concern for me: to use all my influence, my popularity, even sensationally produced advertising, regardless of its lack of dignity and the loss of pride to me. in order to turn to the whole world, to the masses of mankind; not to the politicians, the military, and the like; for they are only robots who only do what they are told and who react as they are dictated. IF WE ARE NOT to turn to the politicians to whom power has been delegated, where are we to turn ? Only few people would insist that the Russells and the Paulings have lost dignity by their protests against the deadly game and against those who do not want us to be concerned. Or . as the ditty, I don’t know by whom, has it : Don’tcha worry, honey chile, Don’tcha cry no more, It’s jest a li’l ole atom bomb In a li’l old lim’ted war. It’s jest a bitsy warhead, chile, On a li’l old tactical shell, And all it’ll do is blow us all To a li’l old lim’ted hell. ANDERS SA USTRUP MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686