Gareth Jones

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Gareth Jones 'Famine' Diaries - Chicago 2008


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 Ten days ago I sat In a German train opposite a Storm Troop leader, and as we sped towards the south I asked him: “What of the future?” 

He drew himself up, pointed to his black, white and red swastika armband and shouted: 

“That swastika is going to be the symbol of Socialism as well as of nationalism.  The future lies with us people of the Left, and the day will come when we shall sweep away the accursed remnants of the capitalists who are still ruling Germany.  The revolution is not yet at an end.  The money-makers, the big bankers, the manufacturers who live by crushing the poor have to be mercilessly crushed.  And we shall do it!” 


This Storm Troop leader was typical of many hundreds of thousands of Nazis throughout the country who see that, although Germany has been immersed in a bath of the most thoroughgoing nationalism, the goal of Socialism is as distant as ever.  They note that Dr. Schacht is still President of the Reichsbank, that a Right Wing Nationalist- Dr. Schmidt-is still Economic Minister, and that the finances of the land are controlled by a representative of the old ruling class-Count Schwerin von Krosigk. 

They see that the large department stores of Berlin and the provincial cities, against which they directed their most savage attacks, are still open and underselling the little man in his little shop.  They grumble when they hear that their enemy, the aristocratic Prussian landowner, has not lost a single yard of territory and is as firmly entrenched in the Reichswehr as ever. 


Indignant at the capitalist domination in Germany, these Nazis of the Left Wing-or National Bolsheviks, as they are sometimes called-are revolting against the Right Wing.  Among them are many men who have about as little sympathy for National Socialism as a Berlin rabbi has; they are men who are purely Communist in their outlook and who have merely joined the Storm Troops for the sake of personal safety and advancement.  Rumour has it that many troops are mainly composed of Communists, and a recent joke tells of two former Red Front fighters who met in a street.  Each wore a brand new Nazi uniform. 

“How do you like it in your Storm Troop?” asked one.

“Fine,” replied the other. “All the men are just people after our heart.  There’s only one fellow I don’t like, and he’s the storm troop-leader.  As matter of fact, I believe he is a Nazi!” 


If there is discontent among the left wing Germans there is fear among the moderates.  This fear is mainly economic, and during my visit this month I was surprised at the frankness with which people expressed their forebodings of evil days to come. 

In Berlin I learned that numbers of people were now buying clothes and boots and other goods for two reasons.  The first was that they believed the mark would fall and prices soar; the second that Germany might be cut oft economically from the rest of the world, as a result of which it would be difficult to import wool and other raw materials. 

If this happened, the argument ran, the quality of German goods would decline and consumers would have to be content with the substitute wares of War days. 

The gravity of the export situation was realised by everybody.  How often did I hear in Hamburg the words: “This great port is dead!” 

Everywhere the drying up of foreign currency resources was accepted as the proof that a grave economic storm was threatening and might break very soon. 


The German crisis is grave, and popular disillusion is considerable. Nevertheless, Hitler has recognized many factors on his side.  It is recognized that he has restored order to public life and that he has put an end to the political murders which were a stain on German life.  He has in the view of millions of Germans – banished the spectre of Bolshevism.  He has, through the German Youth, the Labour Camps, and the storm troops contributed to the health, sturdiness, and discipline of the nation.  He has gained the respect of many by his person loyalty to friends.  He has abolished the petty differences between Saxons and Bavarians, Württembergers and Prussians. 

Moreover, even the discontented Germans realise that the only alternatives to Hitlerism are a dictatorship based upon the bayonets of Reichswehr or a civil war. 

Therefore, in the present German crisis the factors on Hitler’s side should not be under-estimated. 








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.


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