THE WESTERN MAIL
& SOUTH WALES NEWS, July 15th,1933
Storm Over Europe
Will Hitler Save Germany?
By GARETH JONES
[photo here of Hitler and storm troopers]
WILL the Germans be happy under
Will they be prosperous under
Will they be peaceful under
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.
gradually, I saw Germany recover. And I saw her change in other ways as
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.
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!”
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
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
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!”
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
But those who
love Hitler are not all Germany. There are millions of them, but what of
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.
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.
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
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
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
depends also upon the final question, which is: “Will the Germans be peaceful
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
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.