THE WESTERN MAIL
& SOUTH WALES NEWS, June 5th 1933
Hitler - First Article)
GERMANY UNDER THE RULE OF HITLER
DEATH BLOW TO DEMOCRACY
By GARETH JONES
REVOLUTION WHICH SPRANG FROM POVERTY
The Brown Shirts
are now masters of Germany. Every day in Berlin they march through streets
bedecked with red, black, and white Nazi flags to the sound of those military
marches which are rousing young Germany to a passionate militant love of their
Fatherland. Eager crowds line the streets for each parade and, stretching
out their right hands, call with ecstatic enthusiasm, “Heil, Hitler!”
The leader of the
National-Sosialists (to give the full name for Nazi), Adolf Hitler, who flies
one day to inspect the fleet at Kiel and next day to speak, perhaps, at Munich,
commands among millions of people a feeling which can only be described as that
of religious worship.
I have for my
leader;” said one leading Nazi to me, “a love which is as deep as my love
for my country, and I have in him a faith than which no faith, even faith in
religion, could be deeper. Hitler can never be wrong, and his orders I
shall carry out to the death.”
Imbued with such
devotion to Hitler, the Nazi Brown Shirts have, under his command, carried out a
revolution which can be ranked with the Bolshevik and the Fascist Revolutions.
National Revolution, although possessing a far narrower economic and
philosophical foundation than that brought about by Lenin, has certainly been
more rapid than its Russian counterpart. The Brown Shirts in three months
have been able to gain power and dig themselves well in without the ravages of a
civil war and without the delay of several years, which elapsed in Italy before
Mussolini took over full power. The lightning pace of the
National-Socialist triumph makes the French Revolution appear almost like
prolonged slow motion.
DEATH-BLOW TO DEMOCRACY
What have the
Brown Shirts done since Hitler became Chancellor on January 30?
They have dealt a
deathblow to democracy in Germany, and have made Parliament into a despised
relic of the past.
They have put one
party, and one party only, into control, and that is the National-Socialist
party, which has become as all-powerful as the Communists in Russia and the
Fascists in Italy. The Nazis (pronounced Natsi-s) have put themselves into
the position of leaders in the universities, in all committees, in factories, on
boards of directors, in schools, in public offices. Most positions of
trust are now held by members of the party.
They have started
a ruthless campaign against the Jews, whom they have deprived of rights, whom
they have persecuted both economically and morally, and whom they have treated
as if they were “inferior men,” as they call them. Distinguished scholars
and great men, whom we in Britain would be honoured to consider as our citizens,
are not allowed to enrich German scholarship or law courts or hospitals.
abolished two powerful parties, the Social Democrats, who numbered about
8,000,000 voters and the Communists, who numbered almost 6,000,000, and have
seized their funds, the private property of those parties.
imprisoned many tens of thousands of men and women for their political views,
and hold them now captive in prisons and concentration camps.
They have swept
away the liberty of the press, and they come down with a heavy hand upon any
editor who dares criticise the leader or his policy.
They have created
a secret police, which will make still more nebulous any freedom of expression
which may remain.
A DREAM COMES TRUE
In the space of a
few weeks they have made the old Bavarian, the old Saxony, and all the various
States which formed Germany a thing of the past, and the scattered, straggling
Germany of yesterday has now become a centralised, unified nation. The
dream of generations- namely, a united Germany, where men would not be Saxons or
Bavarians or Wurttembergers, but real Germans has in a flash come true.
attempted a moral cleansing of life in the big towns and have courageously
attacked social evils.
revealed and condemned much corruption in public life and have placed before
public servants a high ideal of service for the nation’s sake and not for
They have re-organised
education on lines of narrow nationalism and intolerance. They have had
midnight bonfires of some of Germany’s most valuable Socialistic books.
Such have been
the main lines of the national revolution. The Nazis’ actions combine a
powerful idealism with a mediæval intolerance and unselfish devotion to an aim
and a leader with a brutal disregard of justice and fairplay to the individual.
Liberal-minded people have been shocked by the similarity which Nazi decrees
have with former reactionary measures, and the treatment of the Jews has caused
a revulsion of feeling which is shared by millions of Germans within the borders
CAUSE OF THE REVOLUTION
Why has Germany
suddenly become so ruthless, so nationalistic, and so thorough in sweeping away
the democratic Republic formed after her defeat in 1918?
is, firstly, the revolt of young Germany against years of unemployment, against
the boredom of walking the streets without work, against a meagre unemployment
benefit, which is, as one man put it, “enough to breathe on, but not enough to
live on.” Young Germans learned to hate capitalism and to long for a new
system where things would be different. A young worker who only received
4s. 6d. per week was not likely to be fond of the system under which
existed, and he longed for any programme which offered hope. Most young workers
streamed into the Communist camp, while the unemployed who had middle-class
connections usually became Nazi storm troops.
Even when Germany
enjoyed a period of sham prosperity on borrowed money, from 1925 to 1929, there
were a steady million or two out of work, but when the cloud of depression broke
over the world the figure sprang upwards with a speed which terrified politician
and workman alike, and reached six millions. Many families had not enough
bread, and the fathers and mothers blamed the system under which their children
went hungry. Revolutionaries grew in number until most of Germany became
revolutionary. At one time the future seemed like a race. Which
would win-Bolshevism or Fascism?
SAVINGS MELT AWAY
Not only the
working class, but the middle class was impoverished. In 1923 the savings of the
whole country melted away in a few months, when the mark became of infinitesimal
value. In 1923 one could buy for a £, millions of marks and later even
billions. I remember travelling in that year from Saxony to South Poland,
a distance of 350 miles. For 1,750,000 marks, which was equivalent to 1s.
10½d., I obtained a first-class ticket, and I paid the equivalent of
fivepence for a five course meal on the train. This inflation a meant the
disappearance of the savings of millions of families, and the, ruin of the
middle class has been the most fertile breeding ground of the national
On the surface in
Germany the streets still look prosperous. Men and women look well
dressed, for the Germans have a pride of appearance and a regard for cleanliness
which fill one with admiration. But beneath a spotless suit of clothes and
a white collar there is often abject poverty crying out for retribution.
This poverty is
one of the forces which has made Hitler the dictator of Germany.