THE WESTERN MAIL
& SOUTH WALES NEWS, June 10th 1933
Hitler - Sixth Article)
METHODS OF NAZIS, FASCISTS AND BOLSHEVIKS
Striking Similarities of Three Movements
By GARETH JONES
had not been many hours in Germany at the end of May before I felt that much of
what I saw and heard was strangely familiar. Where had I experienced before a similar atmosphere of idealism combined
with fear, of unbounded hope on one side and of whispered despair on the other?
I realised that it was in Soviet Russia and in Fascist Italy that the same
atmosphere had encircled me. When I
added up in my mind the points of similarity between Berlin, Moscow and Rome I
was astounded, for they clearly showed that the methods of the Nazis and of the
Fascists are the same as those of the Bolsheviks, however much their aims may
first point of contact was the idealism of many of the leaders.
Hitlerites expect a new heaven on earth, just as the Bolsheviks are convinced
that they will build up in Russia a paradise. This idealism has led to an admirable feeling of self-sacrifice, courage,
and selflessness, and the Brown Shirt who ‘in Germany is willing to lay down
his life for his leader has his counterpart in the Russian Young Communist who
will work twenty hours voluntarily for the sake of the Five Year Plan.
The Dark Side
the idealism of the Nazis and of the Bolsheviks has its dark side of
intolerance and their faith is that of the fanatic who, driven by deep emotion,
keeps his mind completely closed to another point of view.
You cannot argue
with a Nazi, nor with a Bolshevik, any more than you could convince a
fundamentalist believer in the Bible of the validity of Darwin’s theories.
“Germany” ‘has become a religion for the followers of Hitler, in the same
way as Communism has ‘become a religion for Bolsheviks.
The ‘Nazi Party
has almost as complete control” of the State in Germany as the Bolsheviks have
in Russia or the Fascists in Italy; and their ‘method of keeping power is very
similar to that of the Bolsheviks and the Fascists. They have captured the
whole life of the country; they have put Nazis in control of offices, of
factories, of newspapers, of debating clubs, of boards of directors, of every
little organisation. Nazis have
been made, Commissars of Bavaria, of Saxony, of Wurttemberg. They have been put in the key positions in the police force. Thus, within a ‘few months, the Nazis have entrenched themselves in so
skilful a manner that only a civil war could drive them out.
Army of Secret Police
dig themselves still further in power the Nazis have formed a secret police of
many thousand members, with rights of search which almost make them counterpart
of the Soviet O.G.P.U. As in Russia
and Italy, letters are opened and there are house searchings for counter
revolutionary propaganda and for weapons. To
British people this intrusion into the sanctity of the home seems preposterous
but it must be remembered that for two or three years Germany has almost been on
the verge of civil war and that Bolshevism was seriously feared.
only the police but the law courts have come strongly under Nazi influence and
justice can be said to have become- as in Soviet Russia-a weapon of
incident in a South German town a few days ago illustrates this well. A bank clerk did not hold out his hand for the Hitler salute as a crowd
was singing the Nazi anthem, and for this he was seized by the police and put
into gaol for seven days. When he
appealed against this imprisonment the court of justice condemned him for
“serious misbehaviour” to another two days imprisonment and ordered him to
pay the costs of the trial. When a
court of justice condemns a man to imprisonment for not giving the Hitler salute
it can certainly be called a weapon of politics.
The Arts Conscripted
is not, however the only weapon to be seized by the Nazis, for they have
conquered almost every branch of national life.
in Soviet Russia and in Fascist Italy, art is to become a tool of the
Government. The theatre has been
put under the guidance of Nazis, who are turning it into a propaganda machine
for the Nazification of Germany. The cinema is to be a weapon of the Government to make
Germany into a Nazi paradise, and the result of this policy can already be seen
in the nationalistic and military films which are now the vogue.
and painting are to be judged-as in Soviet Russia-on a political criterion, and
already one notices a serious decline in the quality of literary criticism, for
critics now review a play not according to its intrinsic value, but according to
its Hitlerite orthodoxy.
in Soviet Russia and in Fascist Italy, the press is Government controlled and
independent newspapers have been muzzled. Still
appearing under their old titles, these newspapers are but a ghost of their
former selves and scarcely venture to breathe a word of’ criticism. Liberty of expression has also vanished and the careful
guarded way in which Germans now talk makes one think of Moscow or of Rome.
fear of criticising the régime has led in Germany to the same result as in
Russia, namely a host of bitter, humorous anecdotes which are a form
of veiled criticism. Jews, for example, say: “A Jew can only become a solicitor
nowadays, provided he fought and killed in the war.
Nazis have learned much from the Bolsheviks in their propaganda methods. I had on this question a long conversation with Dr. Goebbels, the
Propaganda Minister, who has the reputation of being the cleverest man in the
Government, and he spoke with pride of Germany’s achievements in publicity. The Germans, whose propaganda during the war had been so
clumsy, had, in Dr Goebbels’ view, become the cleverest publicity men in the
world and had out Americanised America in this respect.
use of the cinema, of the stage, the staging, of vast demonstrations to arouse
public enthusiasm, the booming of Nazi speeches through loud-speakers as one
goes through the streets, the thousands of ‘gay’ flags - all these methods
are similar to the’ propaganda methods of the Soviet Union.
the worship of Hitler makes one think of the worship of Lenin in Russia and of
Mussolini in Italy. In each office his photo hangs, just as Lenin’s and
Stalin’s adorn the Bolshevik office. The
cult of the leader is the feature of every dictatorship.
Youth in the Saddle
in Fascist Italy and Soviet Russia, youth is in the saddle in Germany today, and
that is one of the similarities which strike one who has been both to Russia and
are ‘young men everywhere in responsible positions. A young man whom I met and whom I thought had, on account of his youth,
quite a minor position turned out to be the President of one of Germany’s most
use of force is another feature which Germany has in common with the Soviet
Union, and this leads to the disregard of the individual and to the worship of
the State. The State is to the
Nazis and the Bolsheviks the God before whom all must bow and to whom
individuals must offer up ‘their most sacred rights.
Difference In Aims
much the methods of the Nazis and the Bolsheviks may be similar, they differ
profoundly in aims, for the Nazis believe in maintaining private property,
whereas the Bolsheviks hold, private property to be the root cause of human
ills. Moreover, whereas the
Bolsheviks were a minute minority in 1917, Hitler obtained more than 40. per
cent. of the votes of the German people, and can say that he has the support of
large masses of the population.
final impression on leaving Germany is that Hitler has achieved his dictatorship
without civil war and with comparatively little bloodshed, and that the country
is now remarkably calm.
visitors can go to Germany without any fears, and will be struck by the
cleanliness, the: kindliness, and the hospitality of a great people, who, in
spite of their nationalistic views, give a warm and pleasant welcome to British
above article concludes a series of six by Mr. Gareth Jones.