• U.S.

Letters, Dec. 12, 1938

10 minute read

Man of the Year


Your Man of the Year designation is good; but why not double it with Saint of the Year, in the sense in which you sometimes use that word ?

The Man of the Year is he who does most to the human race during the year; the Saint of the Year is he who does most for it.

Your Saint of the Year might appear on the cover of your issue coming out nearest Christmas, leaving the year-end cover for the Man of the Year. There would be dramatic irony in the contrast.

Unquestionably Adolf Hitler is the Man of the Year.

I nominate for Saint of the Year Thomas Mann, expatriated German patriot and humane genius; or better still, Eduard Benes, who fought with gallantry and tenacity the fight of his own people and, in the long run, of all the peoples of the world.



For Man of the Year, I nominate Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

The preservation of peace in the World Crisis of 1938 is very largely the work of Neville Chamberlain, who pursued a policy of peace by negotiation, amid the outraged howls of vigorous opposition. This peace insures at least a few months’ reprieve for the lives of millions of people in Europe & elsewhere.

Czechoslovakia went down the river. English diplomatic prestige took a beating. But Neville Chamberlain stopped a World War.

Peace, it’s wonderful. Amen.


Newburgh, N. Y.


I nominate for Man of the Year the twins, Judas Iscariot and Neville Chamberlain. L. LEE LAYTON JR. Dover, Dela.


With disgust and even shame on the part of most of the Western world, it must be admitted that there is only one Man of the Year: Adolf Hitler.


Sioux Sanatorium Rapid City, S. Dak.

Sirs: I nominate for Man of the Year Felix Frankfurter—the pre-eminent scholar of recent U. S. Supreme Court history—one of the most controversial figures on the contemporary scene. . . .


New York City


. . . Adolf Hitler.

Not because he is probably the most despisable man in the world, nor the crudest, nor the most ruthless . . . but simply because … he has awakened in the world’s democracies the knowledge that they can no longer rest on their laurels. . . .

MYRL E. BECK Beaumont, Calif.


For Man of the Year: Dr. Eduard Benes. At all times he acted like a gentleman; never screamed, never lost his dignity. . . .



While I hate his guts, Herr Hitler hits the high for 1938 Man of the Year honors.



For Man of the Year I nominate the one and only Corrigan. . . .


Sirs: Adolf Hitler. We hate him for his aims, his ways, his friends and for himself alone, but he does what he says he’ll do, and 1938’s been his year.

Another thing: 1936 was Wally’s, and 1937 was the Chiangs’—and look at them now! Let Adolf have 1938!

W. D. HUMPHREY Sherbrooke, Que.


For Man of the Year I wholeheartedly nominate the Honorable Martin Dies. (MRS.) ELIZABETH M. THWEATT

Austin, Tex.

Sirs: … If TIME has no rule against gangster pictures,* I offer as candidate for your front cover the greatest gangster of our times— the only mobster to hijack a great nation, the only racketeer to shake down an entire race of mankind—Adolf Hitler.



Man of the Year?

You can have all your Hulls, Welles, Chamberlains, Hitlers, Mussolinis et al., you want—as for me give me: Pope Pius XI. . . .

CARLOS LEVY Oxnard, Calif.


You are in a tough spot this time with the Man of the Year, because it is plain that he can’t be anybody else but Hitler. On the other hand, it is just as plain that you will not have the courage and daring to publish his picture on the front page of TIME, risking thereby a number of subscriptions and facing the howl of the rabble. It will therefore be amusing to watch you trying to wiggle out of that perplexity.



TIME’S readers who urge the name of Adolf Hitler for Man of the Year surely do not realize the implications of their suggestion. If they did they would not make it! …

This man Hitler has made himself a world symbol of unspeakable cruelty; he has made virtues of brute force, mass gangsterism, intolerance and hatred. He is not merely anti-Jew and antiChrist; he is anti-everything that we have come to believe is best and worthwhile in civilization.

If no other man (or woman) stands out sufficiently in the year 1938 to be honored with TIME’S selection, leave the front cover blank but don’t use Hitler!

To have Hitler’s fanatical face staring at us from the New Year’s first issue of TIME, so soon after a season associated with the spirit of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men,” would be a shock to the sensibilities of all decent-hearted people and an insult to the democracy that is our country’s most glorious tradition. . . .

O. W. ROSS Brooklyn, N. Y.


I have a candidate for you. TIME should, as the American people do, love a Man Who Comes Back. . . . Not because he came back. In every true sense he never went away. Because he has (and the last election proves it) brought the American People back, I give you—Herbert Hoover.


San Francisco, Calif.

. . . Let’s not clutter up TIME’S pages with futile nominations. I move the nominations be closed. The publisher may cast the ballot for all the delegates.

If you must go on, I’ll nominate Hitler. But it’s sorta silly, really.

RANDOLPH FORT Assistant Professor of Journalism University of Alabama University, Ala.

>>Nominations are herewith closed. —ED.

Patron’s Pride


I was keenly interested in a recent addendum to your editorial masthead. Eustace Tilley was the firstborn of poor but honest peasant folk who domiciled on our landed estates in the neighborhood of Flushing, L. I. At an early age I recognized in him the guiding genius and spark which has, I am sure, contributed in no small way to his promotion to the editorial staff of your succinct and pithy publication.

Though my family contributed in no small way to putting him through Hotchkiss and Yale, and though I myself have only the most profound affection for Eustace, nevertheless, I feel it my duty to point out a few of his very minute eccentricities. This is not meant to be derogatory in any sense of the word— I merely want you, the editors—to completely understand my protégé.

Eustace, despite his peasant stock, has, I feel, a little of the aristocrat in him. On Thursday of every week there comes to him an irresistible urge to don whig and monocle.

Sometimes, too, but usually only once or twice a year he sports a top hat. At the same time he assumes that air of complete assurance and smug satisfaction that is the true mark of ancestry. He even turns to reading The New Yorker—I can vouch for this, as I have often caught him perusing Talk of the Town with austere and haughty mien. In short, I’m extremely gratified to see that Eustace is doing so well. . . .

In passing, I might add that too much credit cannot be given his mother, Mrs. Sofanisbuh Tilley, known to her associates as Old Lady Tilley. From her teens on she’s had great literary aspirations—a great one for the Rabelaisian story—fond of Balzac in particular. As she says, “Balzac, he’s a great guy for this romantic stuff.”


>TIME thanks Reader Merriss for his tribute to one of the younger members of its staff.—ED.



As an employe of the Soil Conservation service I was very much interested in the artist’s conception of American ”fields spreading like patchwork quilts” (p. 33, TIME, Nov. 14, an advertisement of United Air Lines). It is we must admit typical for our nation’s fields, being cultivated up and down the slopes. In contrast is a picture, snapped by Natori (p. 15, Nov. 14), with the fields fitting snugly around the hills. We of those who have seen soil erosion in our home land admire the soil-conserving Chinese and wish that our farmers would likewise all cultivate their fields on the contour. Incidentally, we would like to say that pictures of our countrysides in the future shown in your magazine be of those practicing proper land use. RICHARD C. HENDERSON Soil Conservation Service, Durango, Col.


Sirs: There must be thousands of Americans whose free blood boils at the recent German atrocities, who wish they might make their voices heard.

Would these voices not be raised to a clamor hard to ignore if each one wrote his or her protest to Germany? I have today written my protest to Dr. Goebbels, a copy of which is attached if you wish to print it.

Why should not the people set a new precedent and protest directly to a Government? It is our business—it’s the duty of anyone who has an ounce of humanity left.


London, England


Did I read correctly an article in TIME, Nov. 21, p. 18, caption: Germany, in which our Racket Busting Dewey refers to action by mobs, a gang of cowardly ruffians, helpless men being beaten? And this happened in Germany ? Germany really has a long way to go to catch up with the great American public in mob technique. Hitler had better send some of his Nazis south to take lessons, then he could do a good job. So far the Germans are not resorting to burning, torturing, and removing parts of the anatomy for souvenirs!

My sympathy is with the Jews, but why all this hypocritical ballyhoo about atrocities in Germany? That sort of treatment to human beings in America is traditional. In fact it is an outdoor sport, especially in the cultural section of the country, the good old South! . ” .

LOWELL A. HENRY Scranton, Pa.


Much as we may sympathize with the Jews in Germany and deplore the fate that has befallen them, why isn’t minding our own business the best thing we can do under the circumstances?

Our own record of treatment of the American Indian is none too sweet. . . .

C. K. KlMBALL Los Angeles, Calif.


. . . Although more than bad when this atrocity is perpetrated in Germany, infinitely worse is the miasma of defaming lies about Jewry that spread from that pestilential land like poison gas over neighboring countries and, I fear, may reach our blessed shores. . . .

J. B. DELEE, M. D. Chicago Lying-in Hospital Chicago, Ill.



James I who was King of England from 1603 to 1625 had his troubles with the Courts and with Parliament, just as has President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The “yes men” of James I were called “undertakers” because they “undertook” to carry out the King’s will. This good old Anglo-Saxon word appears to be very appropriate and I suggest its use in place of the foreign term “Janizary.” The other undertakers call themselves morticians now so they wouldn’t object.


>TIME will stick to “Janizary.” — ED.

* On March 24, 1930 Al Capone occupied TIME’S front cover, but not as Man of the Year.—ED.

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