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 THE FINANCIAL NEWS, Wednesday 1st March 1933   


Hitler moving towards Dictatorship

By Gareth Jones 

No 1 

SINCE January 30, when Herr Hitler became Chancellor of the Reich, Germany has made rapid strides towards a Fascist Dictatorship.  The National Socialists have lost no time in digging themselves in, and they are determined to cling to power, whatever obstacles may be put in their way.  Hitler is in an exceedingly strong position.  He has a personality which can arouse vast audiences to a frenzy of nationalist passion and the support of thirteen to fourteen million voters. 

More important still than the votes of far more than one-third of Germany is the force of Defence Troops (S.S. men) and of the Storm Troops (S.A. men) numbering many hundreds of thousands of men, well trained in street fighting and moved by a profound devotion to their leader and to the national cause.  Bound by no legalistic scruples and scorning constitutionalism, these men will form a strong barrier to any opposition movement from the Left. 

Such is the basis of the National-Socialist power.  It has been broadened and deepened by the grip which Herr Goering, as Reichs Commissar for Prussia, has gained over this State, which forms two-thirds of the Reich.  A thorough cleansing-the word itself is reminiscent of another land ruled by a Dictatorship-has removed from the police ranks those police presidents whose views smacked of Marxism, and their place has been taken by men whose devotion to country and to Party is greater than their respect for the minutiae of the law.  The police force, which was once considered a stronghold of Social Democracy, has thus be come a powerful National-Socialist weapon, which Herr Hitler will not relinquish easily. 

Crushing Communism 

Herr Goering has not taken long to impress upon the Prussian police that they are to crush any Communist opposition with ruthlessness.  The consequences for any action which leads to bloodshed he takes upon himself, and he exhorts the police to give support to the National forces such as the Storm Troops.  To whatever injustices it may lead, such a step strengthens the power of the National-Socialist Party. 

Herr Goering’s latest decree, which will make the Nazi Storm Troops into an auxiliary police force, will also lead to the dominance of the Nazis.  The reorganisation of the political police which is now in progress seems to point to the establishing of a régime similar to the G.P.U.  However repugnant such a body and such political control of the police may be to liberal people, there is no doubt that it places the country under firm control. 

The powerful lever of political propaganda is rapidly becoming a preserve of the Nazis.  Already such a moderate and balanced paper as the “Germania” was banned for a short period.  Even “Tempo,” a paper of the yellow press, disappeared temporarily from the streets of Berlin for having published the economic report that shares were depressed. 

The National-Socialist propaganda has been masterful in its simple emotional appeal.  Shortly it will have a new mouthpiece, for a Ministry is to be formed under the brilliant Dr. Goebbels, which is to control the Press, the wireless and the films.  Control over these organs means, with a docile people like the Germans, who are accustomed to obey authority, control over a great portion of public life. 

What Can They Do? 

In face of odds like these, what can the Social Democrats and the Communists do?  Revolts would be instantly crushed by the Reichswehr and the police.  A General Strike is out of the question, for there are enough Nazi unemployed to fill the vacant places.  The Trade Unions have not extensive funds and are suffering from loss of membership.  Moreover, the Left Parties do not possess a. single great personality like Hitler who can galvanise their members. 

It is probable that after the Elections the Communist Party will be made illegal.  That many of the workers now in the Nazis will be disillusioned is probable, but both the Russian and the Italian dictatorships have shown that once a powerful and ruthless party has, got into office, it can remain long, in spite of disillusion. 

There remains the problem of the relations between the Nationalists and Hitler.  It is probable that the struggle between the two wings in the Cabinet will begin shortly after the Elections and that the Chancellor will demand at least six places in the Cabinet.  Even an alliance with the Centre is possible.  But before March 5th it is difficult to prophesy, and one can but repeat the statement made frequently in Berlin business circles that the National-Socialists would rather throw aside President Hindenburg than loosen their control. 

What of their policy?  So far, it consists of one main point, which is, as one Nazi told me, that of “giving Germany a bath.”  It is largely internal and aims at rooting out Marxism.  What their economic policy will be one has no inkling, except that an attempt will be made to introduce compulsory labour service, a move which will be hampered by financial difficulties.  The economic utterances of members of the party in the past point to an enthusiasm for ‘autarchy.”  It is a principle of national-Socialist economics that each nation shall produce upon its own soil or in an area over which it rules everything which it needs for its economic existence. 

Nazi writers state that military and naval policy, foreign policy and trade must be conceived as one unity.  Exports, in their view, must play a secondary part, and it was, they maintain, a grave mistake for Germany to enter upon the field of world economy.  The highest aim of businessmen should be a closed national area and not a world economic system. 

Following the line of this thought, Nazi economists claim that Germany must expand to the East, must follow the policy of colonising Eastern Europe, which was the German policy of 900 A.D. to 1500 AD.  While not relinquishing the right to colonies, they lay the greatest stress upon settlement along the Baltic Coast and in the territory now belonging to Poland.  The Nazis state that it will be in Britain’s interest to allow Germany to expand to the East. 

Strong Fleet and Powerful Army 

These views, it must be remembered, are not those officially held by the present Government, but are the general views of the National-Socialist economists.  presumed, wi1l be built up as rapidly as possible.  In the meantime, the foreign policy of the Government remains the same and will no doubt continue along the same lines.  The National-Socialist hatred of Marxism need not extend to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and while relations with Italy will grow warmer, there is no reason to suppose that there will be any new foreign political constellation. 

However dangerous the autarchic and Eastern policies of the Nazi writers may be, they will be modified by pressure of events.  Chancellor Hitler is recognised by businessmen as a man who can rapidly grasp a situation and who will be strong enough to throw aside dogmas and theories when confronted with reality.  In business circles there is little fear that the Nationalist-Socialists will attempt any unbalanced economic measures, and there is hope that they will succeed in restoring order and political quiet. 

Herr Hitler is looked upon as reasonable in economic matters, and it is recognised that his main task will be internal and will be the setting up of a firm and stable Government.  There is confidence among bankers and industrialists that in spite of his complete lack of an economic programme, he will put an end to the continuous chopping and changing from which Germany has suffered in recent years.  There is, nevertheless, a grave danger that the narrow agrarian tariff measures which Herr Hugenberg, the Economic minister, has adopted will be difficult to undo and will have serious reactions upon industry and upon exports. 








Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.


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