Gareth Jones

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Storm Over Europe

Will Hitler Save Germany?

[photo here of Hitler and  storm troopers] 

WILL the Germans be happy under Hitler?

Will they be prosperous under Hitler?

Will they be peaceful under Hitler? 

These are the questions which people all over the world are asking, and these are the questions which I shall try to answer in this article. 

I have seen Germany in the depths of poverty and in growing prosperity, under democracy and under dictatorship, in a time of national despair and in a time of national awakening.  Since 1923 I have spent part of every year in Germany. 

When I first went there ten years ago, so chaotic were conditions that I paid 1,750,000 marks for a railway journey of 350 miles - and these 1,750.000 marks cost me in English money exactly 1s.10d at that time the collapse of the mark was sweeping away fortunes, wrecking families and spreading untold misery everywhere. 

Then, gradually, I saw Germany recover.  And I saw her change in other ways as well. 

Nazi Brownshirts appeared in the streets.  The drums beat a little louder.  The military marches crashed out with greater violence.  The worship of German idealism became more fanatical. 

Revolution came.  On January 30th of this year a friend rushed up to my room in Leipzig.  “Hitler is Chancellor!“ he cried, and the Alsatian dog in the room barked loudly at his excitement. 

Some days later I shook hands with Hitler, the man who had led the revolution, and flew as his guest in his aeroplane on his, lightning election campaign, as a result of which the German People voted away their democracy. 

A fortnight ago I return from another visit to the land of the Nazi dictatorship, during which I spoke to workers and peasants, professors and businessmen, in the countryside and in the towns. 

“We Have Hope Again!” 

With that background of knowledge of Germany, I shall try to answer the three questions which are puzzling us in Britain today. 

Will the Germans be happy under Hitler?  Today millions of Germans are more than happy, they are ecstatic.  They feel that they have had a moral and spiritual awaking. 

Watch them as the Nazis match down the Berlin streets, with the military band playing a stirring march.  In the eyes of the Brownshirts and of the spectators there shines an almost religious joy. Note the excitement of the children as they see the bright banners and admire their brothers in arms.  See how the old folk smile, and say: “Germany is saved.  We have hope again.  Youth has been awakened.” 

Go to a Hitler meeting and you will see more than happiness.  You will feel the electric tenseness of a religious revival. You will see thousands of people swept by a primitive passion. 

I stood upon the platform, a few feet from Hither, as he addressed 25,000 people in Frankfurt-on-Main.  Never have I known such ecstasy, such emotion as pervaded that vast hall.  He seemed to hypnotise the crowd and they went mad with nationalism, mad with love of their leader, mad with hatred of all those who disagreed with him, mad with the beating of the drums and with the blaring of the trumpets. 

They fixed their eyes upon Hitler, and whenever he finished a sentence, they would roar for minutes without stopping.  When the speech came to an end, 25,000 people leapt to their feet, 25,000 hands were outstretched, and 25,000 voices shouted again and again: “Heil Hitler!” 

Crowds are notorious for being carried away by oratory.  What of private individuals?  The families with which I stay in Germany are all happy over the advent of Hitler.

But those who love Hitler are not all Germany.  There are millions of them, but what of the others? 

What of the Jews under Hitler?  They are being treated as inferior beings.  They are being boycotted.  Many of the most brilliant among them cannot earn a living.  The Jews are decidedly unhappy under Hitler! 

Painting the Black Forest White. 

Then there are still perhaps 8,000,000 Socialists left in Germany.  Many of them have lost their jobs, and thousands live in dread lest they should have to make way in office or factory for a less efficient Brownshirt.  There are also those Socialists who are digging trenches and chopping wood in concentration camps.  They are certainly not happy. 

Are liberal-minded men, internationalists, and pacifists happy under Hitler?  Deprived of a living, unable to express their views, their novels banned, they are treated by the Nazis as enemies of the nation. 

And are the Catholics happy under Hitler?  While numbers of them are Nazis, there are millions who fear an attack on their institutions.  There is, therefore, a large section of the German people which does not fall in with Hitler’s views.  Will the ecstasy of the others last?  When the tumult and the shouting die, will the Germans who support Hitler be disillusioned?  I think most of them will wait for an answer to the second question-Will the Germans be more prosperous under Hitler? 

A joke is now whispered in Germany.  A humorist asks: “Do you know how Hitler is going to put 3,000,000 unemployed to work?”  and then answers the question himself: “He will make the first million paint the Black Forest white.  The second million will build a one-way road to Jerusalem, and the third million will cover the Polish Corridor with linoleum.” 

Labour Camps for Youth. 

How Hitler is going to bring work to 6,000,000 workless people is a puzzle.  The unemployed are almost on the verge of starvation, for a young single man without work only receives 4s. 6d. per week while a married man with two children is lucky if he receives more than 15s. or 16s. a week.  Many families have not enough bread. They will judge Hitler, not by the flags or the drums or the uniforms, but by the simple method of seeing whether they have more bread. 

To bring work and bread to the German people is Hitler’s gigantic task.  Now is the time for him to show his strength.  We all know that he is a master at oratory, that he can crush parties and men, and that he can arrange circuses for the people.  But the greatest task of all is to come. 

Hitler has already proclaimed a Four Years’ Plan to rebuild Germany.  He promises to take 500,000 young men off the streets every year and put them in labour camps. They are to build roads.  They are to drain marshland.  They are to make moors bring forth vegetables and grain.  They are to plant trees.  Then they are to be settled on the land and lead the busy, healthy country life rather than waste their time in idleness in the towns. 

This plan of Hitler’s is exactly what Mr. Lloyd George has advocated in Britain and what Mussolini is doing in Italy.  “Back to the land!” is Hitler’s cry, just as it is Mr. Lloyd George’s slogan.  It is a courageous, far-looking policy, but there is one question which is worrying even torturing, the Nazi leaders. 

Where is the money to come from?  Germany is poor, for her wealth has been swept away. 

Hitler is going to meet difficulties galore in finding bread for his people.  He wishes to make Germany live to herself alone as far as possible.  He wants Germans to produce everything for themselves.  He believes in high tariffs to shut out foreign goods and foreign foodstuffs.  He is the apostle of economic nationalism. 

Will not is own policy bring poverty to Germany?  Germany cannot live to herself alone.  One German out of three depends on exporting for his living.  Hitler’s policy strangles exports.  Bremen and Hamburg owe their livelihood to shipping.  Hitler’s policy hits shipping. 

Beating the War-Drum. 

Higher tariffs in Germany are already leading to higher prices.  Butter and margarine. have already leapt upwards and there is much grumbling among the workers.  The German housewife will be less enthusiastic about Hitler if prices mount still higher. 

Prosperity depends also upon the final question, which is: “Will the Germans be peaceful under Hitler?” 

If you listen to the wireless in Germany, you will hear in the interval four notes repeated, which are the main notes of the song “People to Arms!”  If you go to a cinema you will probably see a film glorifying war or depicting Frederick the Great of Prussia triumphing over the countries of Europe. 

In the main street of Berlin you will probably visit a War Exhibition and see youngsters excited by the steel helmets and guns, the model trenches and dug-outs.  You will then realise that the worship of the soldier has returned to Germany. 

The boys of Germany are longing for a military career, and the books they are given make them thirst for the excitement of war.  Books which show the horrors of war, such as “All Quiet on the Western Front,” are banned. 

Danger to Peace of Europe. 

Turn to the grown-ups and listen to what they say about the future.  “Towards the East!” that is the policy they advocate.  The Nazis believe that Germany must expand into Poland and settle Eastern Europe with Germans.  For this they are intent on building up a strong army, a strong air force, and a powerful Baltic fleet. 

This policy is dangerous to the peace of Europe.  Hitler wants peace now and most Germans want peace, but the worship of the soldier and the desire to expand to the East may, in years to come, lead to grave happenings. 

Will Germany be happy, prosperous, and peaceful under Hitler?  Many may be happy and peaceful for sometime to come.  The Nazi ruling class may prosper for years.  But I do not believe that any nation can long be happy, prosperous, or peaceful under a dictatorship which denies freedom, lauds militarism, and seeks to cut itself off from the rest of the world.  








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.


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