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GERMANY: Ad Nauseam!

6 minute read

How 62 prosperous German Jews were forced to run a bloody gantlet at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was reported last week in the Liberal News Chronicle of London. Two long ranks of Adolf Hitler’s personal Schutzstaffel formed the gantlet, down which the 62 Jews were forced to run. “As they approached between the ranks, a hail of blows fell on them,” said the News Chronicle. “As they fell, the Jews were beaten further. The orgy lasted half an hour. . . . Twelve of the 62 were dead, with skulls smashed. All the others were unconscious, some with eyes out and faces flattened in. … Police, unable to bear the cries, turned their backs.”

Before the Bar. This nauseating atrocity, whether or not the honest News Chronicle was correctly informed as to exactly what happened, is undoubtedly the truth in the sense that such atrocities do occur today in many parts of Germany, especially the countryside.

The case for antiSemitism, as it appears to strong-stomached Nazis, was taken last week before the bar of German public opinion. It is to be kept there for many weeks, with more than 1,500 major anti-Semitic mass meetings, scheduled throughout Germany, plus countless anti-Semitic lectures—all under the showmanship of Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels.

Dr. Goebbels is sometimes described in print as a barking, brawling, screaming propaganda maniac. Actually the Minister for Propaganda & Public Enlightenment is one of the great political orators of this century. He opens suavely, is restrained most of the time, mellifluent, knows how to whip a point over with the sting of humor, a trifle crude at times—or very crude if Dr. Goebbels is radiorating to the masses.

The importance in Dr. Goebbels’ mind of the “educative campaign” he was starting last week caused him to summon 2,000 of his picked Nazi stooge-orators to meet him in the Kroll Opera House.

“I have never made anti-Semitic propaganda in the outside world,” said Orator Goebbels softly. “The dear Jews have done that for themselves. . . . Anti-Semitism is latent among all peoples. The Jews awaken it. … All we have done is to eliminate Jews from public life in Germany. Let the English say what they will, what we do is our business! . . . After five-and-one-half years of National Socialism, the Jews still have in Germany proportionately four-and-one-half times as much wealth as the Aryans!”

From this Dr. Goebbels proceeded to an economic attack on the Jewish Question. According to him, if the average German owned as much as the average German Jew still owns today, the national wealth of the Reich would be not as at present some 200 billion marks but over 900 billion marks.

Without the Mask. As though for a Liberty Loan Drive, the Ministry for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment rushed to German “educative meetings” Dr. Goebbels’ brand new “educational film” prepared weeks ago—Jewry Without The Mask.

This was not all, by any means. With typical German thoroughness, Dr. Goebbels forced the Jewish Theatre of Berlin, which wished to remain closed, to re-open last week and ordered a Jewish director Fritz Wisten brought directly from a concentration camp to put on a comedy, The Wind And The Rain—or else.

A policeman then noted in his little book and reported back to his Nazi superiors what was also noted by the Associated Press correspondent: The bedraggled Jewish audience “occasionally applauded” this comedy which they were obliged to sit through by Dr. Goebbels so that his 2,000 orators can “truthfully” tell the German people such things as this: “There is right now a Jewish theatre going full blast in Berlin and playing comedies at which the rich Jews laugh and applaud while poor Jews are starving!”

Streamlined. Such despotic acts of State are the most effective form of 1938 streamlined propaganda, but Orator Goebbels of course uses many first-rate German orators—as well as his 2,000 regimented speakers.

First-rate Orator Dr. Robert Ley, führer of the Labor front of 20 million German workers (who have to take him as their trade union boss whether they like him or not), declared last week: “The resurgence of the German people had three stages: first, unification under a Führer; second, the bursting of the Versailles bonds; third, exposure of the Jewish enemy and the battle with him.”*

The Pope is Wrong. Dr. Ley did not forget that he was addressing, among other German workers, many more or less devout Catholics, all of whom know that Pope Pius XI has taken the strongest stand against anti-Semitism and inferentially against Naziism (TIME, Aug. 14). Attacking His Holiness directly, Labor Front Ley blasphemed: “The Pope is wrong because he recognizes only one Catholic race. But Almighty God was not so papal as the Pope. He made differences among races! There are positive and negative elements in the human race and the negative can exist only as parasites—as witness the Jews!”

Fire and Sword. Herren Hitler, Goebbels, Ley et al. are the remorseless leaders and directors of the Nazi program to liquidate the Jews. But the merciless hand of 185,000 who eagerly carry out their orders to the hilt and then some are the 185,000 bullyboys of the Reich—the Schutzstaffel, the vicious elite of the Nazi storm troops. Their organ, and that of the Gestapo (secret police) is Das Schwarze Korps. This Party paper recently stated it as a fact that international Jewry had declared war on Germany.

Last week Das Schwarze Korps, descended from appalling generalities to particulars. It proposed this program to destroy Germany’s Jews as follows: first impoverish them; this will end in the Jews’ having no other means of livelihood than to descend to criminality; “at this stage of development we should therefore face the hard necessity of exterminating the Jewish underworld in the same fashion in which … we exterminate criminals generally—by fire and sword.

“Because it is necessary, because we no longer hear the world’s screeching and because, after all, no power on earth can hinder us, we will now bring the Jewish question to its totalitarian solution,” declared Das Schwarze Korps. “The program is clear.

“The Jews must be quartered in streets and housing blocks where they will be among themselves and come into touch with Germans as little as possible.”

No one of the ghettos which would be Stage 1 of the Schtitzstaffel’s plan had yet been set up in Germany last week. But the laws to put Jews outside Germany’s social and economic life were being promulgated daily. No German Jew may enter any non-Jewish place of entertainment or education. No Jew may conduct any commercial business or service. The professions had not been entirely closed to them. That would come later. Meantime, blustering Reich Master of the Hunt Hermann Göring withdrew all Jewish hunting licenses.

*Newshawks who few weeks ago reported that Germany’s famed folk song, Heinrich Heine’s Lorelei, had been banned because its author was a Jew, discovered that Dr. Ley had nonetheless named his newborn daughter Lore Ley.

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