Gareth Jones

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The Fear of Hunger

Heavy Hand of Tyranny 


ALL Germany is asking the question, “Can Hitler Last?” writes Mr. Gareth Jones, the special “Western Mail and South Wales News” correspondent, from Berlin.

“Some of the most ancient and powerful forces in the world” are menacing Hitler, including the Fear of hunger; Revolt against tyranny; Opposition of the Roman Catholic Church; Communist and Socialist underground propaganda

On Hitler’s side is the Army.  This is his trump card, but he can play it only so long as the real power rests with the Army - that is, General von Blomberg, the Minister of Defence.

The appointment of Herr von Papen as German Minister to Austria was agreed to at an Austrian Cabinet meeting last night, the Cabinet having received satisfactory assurances from Hitler.


BERLIN, Tuesday.

The beating of the drums and the strains of the funeral band around Hindenburg’s grave have died away.  Millions of Germans will to day look at their pictures of Hitler, with his fanatical eyes and that strange unbalanced glance, and ask, “Can he last?” 

The same question will be asked throughout the world by diplomats and politicians, many of whom have recently, in Paris or London, been prophesying Hitler’s downfall before October.

Can Hitler last? When he stands as the Leader of Germany, with more power than any other ruler in the world, will the storm-winds which are now howling in Europe send him crashing to the ground or will those forces which are on his side maintain him on his throne of omnipotence? 

Enemy No. 1 

Against him there are fighting some of the most ancient and most powerful forces in the world.  His first enemy is the enemy which has damaged so gravely bread. 

When I looked out of the train on the journey through Prussia I noticed how sparse the crops were.  Students of agriculture estimate that Germany’s harvest of grain this year is nearly 25 per cent. less than last year.  The potato fields have yielded little, and potatoes are the staple food of masses of the population.  Hence the fear that rationing cards will soon be introduced. 

Prices are soaring, and housewives return from the market with less food in their baskets and no change from the little housekeeping money their husbands can give them 

Adverse food conditions, therefore, will be Hitler’s first enemy. 

Spiritual Forces 

But he has against him, also, forces which derive from the spirit.  The intellectuals are voicing their criticisms of the régime’s tyranny.  They are in agreement with Von Papen’s plea for liberty of thought and of expression in his Marburg speech.  They are ashamed of the excesses of the Nazi régime and of the shame of Germany before the world.   But, alas!  the German cultured citizens have not the courage and the independence of their counterparts in Britain, and their voices will not carry far. 

More powerful will be the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church, to which belongs more than one-third of the German population. Revolted by the murder of leading Catholics and priests, and by the betrayal by Hitler of his agreement with Rome, the Catholics will be a force of more than passive resistance against Hitler. 

The Protestants

The Protestants are as antagonised as the Catholics.  Their voices are hushed, for no newspaper is allowed to publish the views of the Protestant opposition, but beneath the surface they are fighting for their rights.

What of the working class?  Among its ranks are the most embittered enemies of Hitler, and the Communists and Socialists are carrying on a courageous underground battle against the régime.

In spite of the vigilence of the secret police, many Communist and Socialist newspapers are published or smuggled in across the frontier and passed quietly from hand to hand. 

When Hitler looks out beyond his own frontier he sees the catastrophic effects of his foreign policy-the hatred of Italy, the murder of Dollfuss, the strengthening of Soviet Russia’s diplomatic position, and the alienation of the sympathies of all civilised peoples because of the barbarities of National-Socialism. 

Discipline and Unity

Such are the forces fighting against Hitler.  Powerful as they are, I do not think them strong enough to lead in the near future to Hitler’s downfall.  They are scattered, unorganised forces.  They are unarmed and nave not the discipline or the spirit of revolution nor the unity to make war on Hitler.  All the discipline and the unity and the ruthlessness are on Hitler’s” side, and it is these three characteristics which count in Germany to-day.  

The Army is now Hitler’s trump card and the oath of a German soldier of the Regular Army is not to be lightly esteemed.  General von Blomberg, the real master of his country, finds it in his interest to maintain Hitler as a symbol of unity, and I see no reason why the Army should throw Hitler overboard, for Hitler is now carrying out precisely the Right-Wing policy favoured by the soldiers, the industrialists, and the landowners. 

As long as Hitler carries out this conservative policy, General von Blomberg will, I believe, do all he can to keep the Army on Hitler’s side.  If Hitler tries revolutionary experiments, however, a sharp word of warning that the Army is against him wilt soon make him realise the Army, rather than the real leader of Germany. 

The Firebrand

But revolutionary elements are certain to raise their heads again among the Storm Troopers, and Goebbels, the firebrand, may fight for an extreme policy.  In such a case I believe that Hitler will purge the Nazi party ruthlessly of Left-Wing elements, and that perhaps will bring about Goebbels’s downfall. 

A repetition of the June 30 massacre is quite possible if the revolutionaries of the Storm Troopers regard Hitler as a traitor to the Socialistic side of the party programme. 

With the Army behind him Hitler seems politically strong.  Even his economic difficulties have been exaggerated.  The coming winter will be terrible, it is true, but reports that the shortage of foreign currency and the inability to import raw materials will bring about an economic collapse are, it seems, false.  Germany has imported such large amounts of raw materials this year that she has stocks which can last for many months.  “Even if I do not import a single pound’s worth of raw materials my factory can go on working for a long time with the supplies I have stored up,” said one industrialist to me. 

What, then, of the future?  It seems that the forces fighting for Hitler are more powerful, more united, and better armed than the forces against Hitler.  

Unless he falls a victim to the mediæval wave of political assassinations which has swept across Europe, he will probably be the figurehead of a military dictatorship. 

“In six months’ time,” said a German to me, “Hitler may only have 10 per cent.of the power and Blomberg may be the real dictator behind the scenes.  But it will be Hitler who will remain as a symbol of nationalism.” 

That German may be right. 








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.


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