GARETH REPORTING ON HITLER
THE WESTERN MAIL AND SOUTH WALES NEWS, March 1st, 1933.
A WELSHMAN LOOKS AT EUROPE (xi)
BEGINNING OF GERMAN FASCISM
By GARETH JONES
HOTEL BASLER HOF,
Germany is going full speed towards a Fascist Dictatorship. Now that Hitler
has gained power he will cling to it. No considerations of constitutionalism
will make him waver in his purpose. He will even throw aside Hindenburg
rather than loosen the grip which he is gaining on Germany.
is surrounded by men of unflinching will, unfettered by traditions, burning
with hatred of Bolshevism and passionate in their cry of Germany,
are these men? The cream of his followers are here now in this hotel,
preparing for the vast meeting which is to stir the population of Frankfurt.
When I draw the curtain and look down into the street I see some of them
guarding the hotel. There is a police cordon drawn around and, except
for the members of the bodyguard in their black and silver uniform, there
is no one in the street outside. The members of the bodyguard are the
picked few of the hundreds of thousands of storm troops whom Hitler has
led to power.
Hitler has behind him a vast army of determined young men, excellently
trained. Those who are in brown are the S.A. men, or the Storm Department
men. They are the rank-and-file. Those who are in black with silver trimmings
are the S.S. men, the special defence troops, the elite. I have just had
a long conversation with one of the leading S.S. men, who was pointed
out to me as a hero, for he had killed a Communist.
What happened? I asked the powerfully built young man, whose
smile was so disarming that I found it difficult to realise that I was
talking to one who had killed a man, although he had on his helmet a skull
and crossbones. He told his story eagerly.
that was a rare fight. We Nazis have a meeting-place here, and one night
a number of Communist thugs rushed in to raid us. We set to. One of them
came at me and I just took him up and crashed his skull against the piano.
He was done for. Nine Communists got wounded in that fight and I got a
dagger wound in my hand. Look at it.
managed to escape, but later I was amnestied. The amnesty came on my birthday.
to their enemies is no characteristic of Hitlers hundreds of thousands
of followers. The storm troops are backed by fourteen million German citizens,
and Hitler finds himself in a strong position. He is digging himself in
rapidly, thanks to one man, Goering, who now controls Prussia, and Prussia
is two-thirds of Germany.
is perhaps the most determined of Hitlers followers. He has already
dismissed hundreds of non-Nazi police, presidents, officials, and Civil
Servant in Prussia and replaced them with keen Nazis. Many war heroes
are now in control of the police. Goerings actions have amounted
to a coup détat without violence.
the Tool of a Party
In a few weeks the Nazis have won the key positions, and they are not
the kind of men to give them up. Goering has written a letter to the police
which practically absolves them from any blame or responsibility if they
shoot a Communist or a Socialist. The police are to support the Nazi troops
in crushing non-nationalistic elements and the Nazi storm men are to become
auxiliary police. Law is thus rapidly becoming the tool of a party.
dictatorial has been the attitude towards the press. Responsible news
papers have been banned for criticisms In this respect Germany is beginning
to tread the path of Russia and Italy.
dictator of public opinion is to be appointed-if opinion can be dictated
to- and he is going to be the vivacious little man who sat behind Hitler
in the aeroplane, and whose dark, narrow head an sharp brown eyes looked
like those of a Glamorgan miner- Dr. Goebbels. With the Herr Doktor,
as he is called, I have spent several hours.
at the microphone at the Frankfurt Rally
He has a remarkably appealing personality, with a sense of humour and
a keen brain. One feels at home with him immediately, for he is amusing
is strange to think that this little man who looks so Iberian, is a leader
of the Nazi movement, which has as its basic the supremacy of the big,
blonde Nordic race. Before long he is going to have control of the press,
of the wireless, of art, as head of a new Ministry, and he is determined
to educate the whole of public opinion in Germany along National Socialist
time has come, however, to leave for the mass meeting. The hall, which
holds 25,000, has been packed since twelve oclock, although Hitler
is not to speak until 8.15. The Leader is upstairs getting
ready. Dr. Goebbels tells me that the Nazis never prepare their speeches
fully. They all speak out openly. Goebbels and Hitler jot a few slogans
on two or three pieces of paper or outline a short plan and are usually
carried away by the revivalist spirit.
is now coming down the staircase in his brown uniform. We must go. Before
long I am destined to witness one of the most overwhelming outbursts of
national emotion which history records and the beginning of German Fascism.
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