Boris Johnson and a warning from history | Letters

I pray for our PM and hope that I am needlessly crying wolf, writes Canon Dr Paul Oestreicher, who fled the Nazis as a child. Plus letters from Professor Bob Brecher and Pat Kennedy

I was born in 1931 in the small German town of Meiningen, famous for its theatre, much like Stratford-upon-Avon. Its mainly middle-class citizens were deeply disillusioned, tired of the infighting of the political parties. Germany seemed to be in a state of social and moral disintegration, crying out for healing and reconciliation. People were drawn to a charismatic, unconventional power-hungry leader who read their minds and promised what they wanted to hear. I know history never quite repeats itself, but the analogies are frightening.

The single issue was the exceptionalism (Opinion, 29 July), the superiority of the German race. The good, mainly churchgoing citizens easily voted his Brown Shirts onto the regional council (think the Brexit party). Two years later they voted nationally in sufficient numbers to enable Hitler to seize total power. It was all perfectly legal, too late to effectively protest. Dissent was now treason (think the Daily Mail). My father’s parents were Jews. Outcasts now (think our non-Brits), a few years later we had no choice but to flee and my grandmother to take poison. I pray for our PM and hope that I am needlessly crying wolf.
Canon Dr Paul Oestreicher

• The unelected PM’s decision to abort the inquiry into Britain’s complicity in both torture and its outsourcing to “our allies” (Editorial, 29 July) is testament both to the hypocrisy of the British ruling class and to its shameless brutality.
Professor Bob Brecher
University of Brighton

• Why is Boris Johnson so against the backstop? It is only going to be in place until “other methods” are implemented to ensure a “frictionless border” on the island of Ireland. If Johnson is so sure, as he keeps saying, that such methods exist and are implementable, then what is his problem? Put the measures in place and the backstop falls automatically. Unless, of course, he’s telling porkies.
Pat Kennedy
Cork, Ireland

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