Gareth Jones

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Emotion of National Eisteddfod at Political Meeting


For eight hours the biggest hall in Germany has been packed with 25,000 people for whom Hitler is the saviour of his nation. 

They are waiting, tense with national fervour.  Five cars are now rushing towards the hall.  In the first sits Hitler; in the next two open cars are the stalwart bemedalled bodyguards; then comes our car with Hitler’s secretary.  The hall is surrounded by Brown Shirts.  Wherever we go the shout resounds, “Heil, Hitler!” and hundreds of outstretched bands greet us.  We dash up the steps after Hitler and enter the ante-chamber.   

Frankfurt Nazi Rally February 1933

From within we hear roar upon roar of applause and the thumping and the blare of a military band and the thud of marching, feet.  The door leading to the platform opens and two of us step on to the platform.  I have never seen such a mass of people; such a display of flags, up to the top of the high roof; such deafening roars. It is primitive, mass worship. 

Through the broad gangway Nazi troops are marching with banners, and as each-new banner comes there is another round of shouting.  Steel Helmets now march in with the old Imperial and regimental flags, symbolic of the rebirth of militarism. 


Then Hitler comes.  Pandemonium!  Twenty-five thousand people jump to their feet.  Twenty-five thousand hands are outstretched.  The. “Heil, Hitler,” shout is overwhelming.  The people are drunk with nationalism.  It is hysteria.  Hitler steps forward.  Two adjutants take off his Brown coat.  There is a hush. 

Hitler begins in a calm, deep voice, which gets louder and louder, higher and higher.  He loses his calmness and trembles in his excitement.  In the beginning of his speech his arms are folded and he seems hunched up, but when he is carried away he stretches out his arms and he seems to grow in stature. 

He attacks the rulers of Germany in the past fourteen years.  The applause is tremendous.  He accuses them of corruption.  Another round of enthusiasm.  He whips the Socialists for having vilified German culture.  He appeals for the union of Nationalism with Socialism.  He calls for the end of class warfare.  When he shouts, “The future belongs to the young Germany which has arisen,” the 25,000 hearers leap to their feet, stretch out their right hands and roar: “Heil, Hitler! 

A Comparison With Lloyd George. 

It is the emotion of the National Eisteddfod exaggerated multifold.  Imagine the Welsh national feeling responding to Mr. Lloyd George and add to bitterness of defeat, the depth of humiliation which, Germany has gone through; the painful poverty of the middle class, the sufferings through inflation, the rankling injustice of the War Guilt Clause and savage political hatred, and a picture of the Hitler crowd is there. 

Imagine a speech of Mr. Lloyd George.  Take away the wit, take away the intellectual play, the gift of colour, the literary and Biblical allusions of the Welsh statesman.  Add a louder voice, less varied in tone, a more unbroken stretch of emotional appeal, more demagogy, and you have Hitler.  Hitler has less light and shade than Mr. Lloyd George.  He has less variety of gesture.  Hitler’s main motion is to point out his right hand, which trembles.  He is without the smile and the sharp glance of Mr. Lloyd George without his hush and sudden drop of the voice. 

Mr. Lloyd George is more of an artist and knows that life is not all emotion or All tragedy.  He lightens a grave speech with humour, as Shakespeare brings in the comedy of life in the porters’ scene in “Macbeth”.  Hitler is pure tragedy or heightened melodrama, and reminds one of Schiller’s “Robbers”.  His only comic relief is bitter irony.  Mr. Lloyd George has a wider scale and as in a Beethoven symphony, makes lighter mood follow or precede a tragic part.  Hitler is the Wagner of oratory, a master in repeating the leitmotiv in many varied forms, and the leitmotiv is “The Republican régime in Germany has betrayed you.  Our day of retribution has come.”  His use of the brass instruments of oratory is Wagnerian, and he thunders out his resounding blows against Bolshevism and against democracy. 

“We Shall Do Our Duty” 

Whereas Mr. Lloyd George is more complex and more subtle and a speech of his is kaleidoscopic, changing in tone and colour from one moment to another, Hitler is more uniform, and his oratory is in colour; one blazing red which makes the people mad. 

But both orators know their audiences, and Hitler’s speech is the speech for Nationalist Germans.  He has now ended with the words: “I shall complete the work which I began fourteen years ago as an unknown soldier, for which I have struggled as leader of the party and for which I stand to-day as Chancellor of Germany.  We shall do our duty.”  Again the hall resounds.  He marches out and we follow into the ante-chamber.  He is wet with perspiration.  From the hall we hear 25,000 voices singing “Deutschland uber Alles.” 

We rush to the car.  As we step out of the hall we see thousands of blazing torches, and we drive through an avenue of Brown Storm Troops, each man of which holds his torch in the left hand and stretches out his right hand in adoration to the leader, Adolf Hitler. 

Such was the manifestation of Fascism in Germany.  With the shouts of “Heil; Hitler,” resounding in my ears I prepare to leave Germany, the land where dictatorship has just begun, and to go to the land of the dictatorship of the working class.  From the country of Fascism I now go to the home of Bolshevism. In a few days’ time I shall be on my way Berlin across the Polish Corridor, East Prussia, Lithuania, Latvia, until I enter the territory of Soviet Russia. 

The Europe of 1933 has seen the birth the Hitler dictatorship in Germany.  

What will it see in the Soviet Union?








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.






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