Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

[Letters related to the case of George Von Zedlitz]


page break


Victoria University College, Wellington, N.Z,

Dear Mr Bell,

I have to thank you for your very kindly worded letter of yesterday's date.

When war was declared, I conceived it my duty to go to Germany and volunteer for some non-combatant work. The German Consul here showed me the material impossibility of doing that. Besides, I have long ceased to be a German subject, and the German authorities would probably have refused me admittance as an alien enemy.

An elementary sense of decency should prevent me from abusing the generous protection and hospitality of this country. All my colleagues; the Chairman and other members of the College Council, and many others have gone out of their way to show me kindness and sympathy. I give you the assurance you require willingly both as to the future and the past, and I enclose a state went couched in the words of your letter to me. I presume it is not intended to include speaking to students who are German about their work, or to my children's nursery governess who is a German.

As regards the position which I owe entirely to you, the governorship of the Institute terminates in a year's time anyhow, so that I thought it would be unnecessary and indiscreet to resign now. The translation of foreign correspondence your Department can terminate without formality when it wants to do so.

Finally, though I am grateful to you for your letter and for many other things, please understand that I do not welcome anything in the nature of preferential treatment. I have done nothing which is in any way objectionable, from the point of view of a patriotic Briton. But I would prefer confinement on page break Soames' Island or elsewhere to being treated differently to other New Zealanders of German origin.

sincerely yours,

(Signed) G.W. von Zedlitz.

Hon H.D.Bell K.C.,