FICTION

Concerto for clarinet

MARION GREENE November 15 1941
FICTION

Concerto for clarinet

MARION GREENE November 15 1941

This Our Enemy

An American who has seen National Socialism at work tells his countrymen how Germany threatens their way of life

DOUGLAS MILLER

WHEN United WE States think we of are Hitler’s usually menace thinking to the of the Germany Army and Navy, but I am going to discuss the revolutionary ideas of German National Socialism and their impact upon our society. National Socialism is an authentic world revolution. It has its roots in the Communist revolution of Lenin, but it is a much improved variety. National Socialism does not make the mistake of labelling all its followers as economic failures. It does not make the mistake of destroying the capitalistic class and seizing their property outright. Hitler has learned from Russian experience that this only-places responsibilities upon the Central Government which are too great'for it to bear. The National Socialist Revolution has retained the appearance, the facade of private property while destroying the reality.

Our North American civilization is based upon three fundamentals: the ethics derived from Christianity and Greek philosophy; the principle of democratic government and freedom of the individual; and the right to hold private property and conduct a free economic society.

The first attack of the Nazis is upon the ethical basis which underlies our whole modern civilization. Sometimes we forget that it was only after the Christian Church proclaimed that every man had soul that the politicians discovered that every

man had, or should have, a vote. Modern business is based upon the idea of mutual good faith, of honor, of tolerance and of an ordered society. We cannot abandon the conceptions of truth, of justice, and of mercy and still maintain a civilized society. I he Nazis assert that there is no such thing as truth. Truth to them is whatever will serve their cause, and changes from day to day. The Nazis assert that justice is only to be given out to one’s own race or nation, that there is no obligation to treat outsiders with justice . . .

Hitler dislikes the Christian religion, in particular, because it has a universal message to all mankind.

He wishes to set up a new state religion for his own people of which he shall be the leading prophet. German women have already been instructed to set aside one corner of their best room for this new religion.

They are told to ornament it with a picture or bust of the Fuehrer and to place

fresh flowers or lighted candles there every day.

A friend of mine who lived many years in Berlin was well acquainted with two German boys from their very birth. Late one night they came to see her in great distress of mind. They had just been initiated into the highest class of the Hitler youth and were told the final secrets of the organization. It included a promise to never enter a church, never to be married with a religious ceremony, nor allow their future children to be baptized. They were told that the chief purpose of the Hitler Youth was to drive out decadent Christianity from the German nation. This sort of doctrine is not revealed to the rank and file of Storm Troopers. They are regarded as old fellows who will soon pass out of the picture anyway. But the children are being trained as young pagans. The Hitler girls at their picnics and camp fires dance around their food spread on the ground, and recite in chorus a series of curses upon the enemies of National Socialism within and without Germany. This means little girls from about twelve years upward. Both the boys and girls march through the streets singing a song which contains the phrase: “Hang the Catholic priests,

stand the Jews up against the walls and shoot them.” Hundreds of times I have heard the children singing, “When Jewish blood spurts from the knife, things will go twice as well.” Or “Today we own Germany, tomorrow the whole world.”

National Hypocrisy

THE SECOND attack of the Nazis is upon the liberty of the individual. Hitler asserts the leadership principle. He believes that it is utterly wrong for people to make their own decisions about their own lives. Even if they should happen to decide correctly, they should not be allowed to decide at all. For this reason there is no voting in a German trade union. The leader decides policy. There is no voting of stockholders in a company annual meeting. Policy is decided by the executives. The only elections Hitler has ever held were in the nature of national affirmations for acts that had already been completed. In those elections there was only one way to vote, there was no possibility of voting against the Government, except to mutilate the ballot. Although the closed polling booths were retained, a large sign in front of them stated: “All patriotic Germans are proud to show how they vote.” Accordingly, ballots are marked at an open table with secret police looking on. No wonder that the affirmative vote is almost one hundred per cent, and sometimes more “yes” votes are recorded than there are voters registered.

This control of the individual makes opposition go underground. The average German must become two-faced. He has one opinion in public and another when talking to his close personal friends. I have often talked with good old Germans who told me how bitterly they Continued on page 51 This Our Enemy

Douglas Miller, author of “You Can’t Do Business With Hitler” a book which has made a profound impression in the United States, addressed the annual convention of the American Bankers’ Association, in Chicago. What he told his fellow countrymen about the enace of Nazi social policies is of such importance to all democracies tat Maclean’s publishes most of the text of his address.

For twenty years Mr. Miller has had relations with German enterprise, both public and private. For fifteen years he lived in Germany. A Denver University man and a Rhodes scholar, he entered the service of the United States Department of Commerce. In 1924 he was sent to the U. S. Embassy in Berlin as Trade Commissioner, later being appointed commercial attache. He remained in Germany until 1939, when he returned to take a chair at Denver University. He is at present on leave from that institution, conducting research on national social economy for the Rockefeller Foundation.

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resented Hitler domination and then met them later in a public place only to be greeted with “Heil, Hitler !” and an uplifted arm. This sort of behavior takes away a nation’s selfrespect. It makes cowards and hypocrites out of all. I have even had confidential talks with members of Hitler’s cabinet, in which they prophesied a terrible end for the whole Nazi experiment, but said there was nothing else for them to do but move with the current.

Finally, the Nazi system is completely antagonistic to a free economic society and to the institution of private property. We all know that the Nazis and the Fascists did not confiscate all property when they assumed power. They are doing it gradually, but just as effectively as the Communists did. Their chief weapon is the abolition of basic written law. In Germany the courts are instructed to decide cases on the basis of healthy public opinion, which means the judges’ opinion. In this way no private individual has any rights which the Government must respect. A property owner may lose his property at any moment; if he has violated no law, some new one may be invented to fit the occasion.

Corporations still operate in Germany. They are apparently privately owned, but the Government always has a representative sitting in the offices of the executives and a quiet suggestion from him has the force of law. If he thinks that the company might well subscribe a large sum of money for party purposes, this has to be done. Usually such companies have found that if they make a subscription they are expected to continue it in subsequent years. Individuals are also expected to give constantly. A friend of mine, a government employee in Berlin, told me that he had thirty-two regular party contributions to make every month over and above his taxes. This covered the man himself, his wife and five children. They were all forced to belong to a multitude of party organizations, each one carrying regular dues.

Most German families in the city live in apartments. On their door is a regular place for pasting stickers which show that party contributions have been duly made . . . Every block has a party leader who supervises all persons in the block. The leader even inspects the garbage cans to see whether any food has been wasted. Bones must not be thrown away. Every school child is supposed to bring to school one pound of raw bones per month. These are used for glue. In the autumn school is dismissed for several days so that the children may gather horse chestnuts, which are pressed for oil and the refuse fermented for alcohol. The party leader examines the libraries of all persons in his block and confiscates undesired books. He checks whether all families subscribed to the National Socialist dailies and weeklies. In addition party representatives pay frequent visits selling pictures of Hitler, lives of Hitler and the other Nazi bigwigs, and other articles

which may bring in money. Tag days are frequent. I have even seen one Sunday when six different tags were on sale. A good Nazi was supposed to be decorated with all six. There is no getting away from this all powerful supervision. There are seven different kinds of police, four of them secret. There is a common saying in Germany that a good Nazi family is so busy attending committees, soliciting contributions and marching in parades that the family never gets together except once a year at the annual Party Congress . . .

A few years ago my office made a census of all the fine houses on one of the better streets in Berlin. More than one hundred had changed hands since the Nazis came to power. In almost every case the new owners were Nazi officials. Property is slowly passing into the hands of the Government or the Nazi racketeers.

“We Must Mend Our Ways’’

MANY people have asked me what kind of a man Hitler really is. In talking to him I noticed that he seems strong and vigorous. His handclasp is firm. His figure is heavy and compact. The Fuehrer is not a sick man physically, but mentally I believe he is abnormal. He never looks you in the eye, but glares to one side or at the ceiling. His features are usually stiff and unresponsive. He either talks very briefly in guttural monosyllables, or when excited he bursts out into a torrent of speech. I think his glands are probably not in order. Goering, on the contrary, is a more normal man. I have eaten with him, or rather watched him do most of the eating. He is powerful and strong-willed, but not a man of great intelligence. One day he explained to me National Socialist principles. When he got through I had the feeling that he was not quite certain what they were, but thought they were good since they at least meant building a strong army. Dr. Goebbels is quite a different sort of man. In talking to him I soon forgot his club foot and his small stature. He sparkles with intelligence, is quick and witty, but gives me the impression of insincerity. In Germany there are thousands of streets named after Hitler and Goering but nothing was ever named after Goebbels except his own children. The rest of the Nazis distrust him and suspect his real loyalty . . .

Even seven years ago Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s deputy, was trying to mitigate the faults of his Party friend. He got in touch with me in an attempt to clear up an old difference between the United States and Germany. He wished to have Germany acknowledge its responsibility for the Black Tom explosion and other acts of sabotage in this country, and pay several million dollars for damages. A preliminary agreement was made, but never finally ratified. I believe Hess was a more honest Nazi, that he was fanatical on the subject of a pure race and wished to eliminate all Slavs, Jews and other foreign elements in Germany. He wished to draw a sharp boundary line between the Germans and the rest of Europe, but he did not wish his country to embark on a scheme of world conquest. I think that he has become more and more disillusioned as the war progressed and for this reason broke with Hitler and ran away to England. Other big Nazis have done the same. Many more, no doubt, would be glad to get away if they could . . .

After watching the Nazis in operation for many years, Í have the feeling that they are only dangerous to us if we fail to mend the flaws in our own society. Hitler was right when he attacked some of the clauses in the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler was right when he wanted a united German nation. Hitler was right when he attacked the economic system that forced seven million persons on the dole. We have got to mend our ways if we wish to retain our Christian, Democratic and Free Society in the face of this attack, but Hitler is wrong when he believes that the Germans are a master race destined to rule over the whole world.

He is wrong when he believes that the message that Christ brought to this world 2,000 years ago is out of date. The trouble has been that we have never lived up to it. He is wrong when he asserts that we must reverse the democratic trend of the last 200 years, when he forces the French to give up their motto:

I “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” In I the same way he would like to force us to repudiate the words “All men are created free and equal,” and “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Hitler is wrong when he believes that he can set himself up as a new world leader, a modern god. I cannot believe that any Germans when they come to die will find much comfort in believing in their lord, Adolf Hitler. No, this is a false philosophy, a psuedo science, a sham economics, a perversion of history. It will not last . . .

Battle of America

IN THESE days of 1941, our thoughts wander continually across the Atlantic toward the great war which is devastating the Old World . . . But over in Europe people’s thoughts keep wandering toward the United States. They are thinking about us. They are wondering what final decision the people of America are going to take—for the ultimate decision lies in our hands. The “Battle of America”—the battle of public opinion in the United States — is the greatest and the most decisive battle of the war. .

In forming our considered opinion, in charting America’s course, there are some things we must keep in mind. First of all, Hitler and the Nazis are our enemies. They have been our enemies for a long time. The Nazis have explained that there are two opposite poles in the world — Germany, the pole of order, discipline, and scientific progress; and the United States, the pole of democratic anarchy, decadent Christianity, and the disorganization that always must accompany the system of free, private enterprise. I have often heard the Nazis say that they ! have a bill to present to this country ! when this war is over—an itemized bill. This includes an item for damages on account of our entry into the last war; a bill for greater damages for our attempt to introduce democratic principles into Europe and for helping to finance the German Republic; and finally a bill for damages we are inflicting on them by supplying the British in the present war. The Nazis don’t like us. While we remain outside their political and economic system, they dare not relax their vigilance for fear of what we might do.

The Nazis now control a tremendous war machine, supplied and equipped by Fluropean industry. They have a steel production of about 43,000,000 tons as compared with 14,000,000 tons in the British Isles and about 4,000,000 tons in Japan. If the United States was left out of consideration, Hitler has a stronger war potential in industry than all the rest of the world put together.

A British victory based on British resources alone is simply not in the realm of possibility. The British have 600 iron and steel companies— all of them together turn out less steel than our second-largest firm . . . In the United States we have now a steel production of 85,000,000 tons, which is more than all the rest of the world put together. Our industrial war potential is enormous, but our resources are so great that we could expand it to any necessary figure. At the present time, we are producing machinery and equipment at a rate about two and a half times as fast as Hitler can. If this country really makes up its mind about the war, we will finally and definitely decide the issue. Nobody else can be sure about the victory until the American people have spoken.

It is extremely difficult to tell normal, sane, healthy Americans about Hitler, because if we tell the truth they will not believe it. For years the world has consistently underestimated Hitler’s possibilities for evil, because we all refused to think he could be as bad as he was.

Hitler is a more fantastic figure than King Kong or anything else figured out in Hollywood. Go back now and read the stories of international spy rings and see how these stories are weak as dishwater when compared with the violence of National Socialist World Revolution. It is a terrible thing for us to face these facts. We are menaced. Our liberty, our property, even our lives are coming increasingly within range of Hitler’s weapons.

The very worst fact of all is that the improvement of the long-range 10,000-mile bombing plane which can fly the Atlantic, lay its eggs and return, together with other rapid developments in total war, has made it impossible for the defense to stand up against a superior offense. It is no longer possible for any country which is second best in armaments to be safe. This war is eventually turning into a contest for the military domination of the entire globe. If Hitler is as strong in Europe as he wants to be, we can never be safe. If we become as strong in North America as we intend, Hitler will not be safe either; and he knows it. Possession by Hitler of such strategic

Atlantic bases as the Azores, the Cape Verde Islands, or Iceland would endanger our safety. In the same way, if we possess them, we endanger Hitler’s safety. This time it is really world power or downfall . . .

Ocean No Barrier

LET THOSE people who believe À America can isolate itself from the rest of the world go back over recent history. In April, 1927, the Berlin stock market started the terrific decline which led Germany to the depression. In America we kept on zooming up for two and a half years after the rest of the world had turned down, but we finally were unable to continue our prosperity in a poverty-stricken world. In the same way, totalitarianism can jump the Atlantic and will do so inevitably if it succeeds in beating down the British opposition in Europe.

The oceans are not barriers—they are an open road leading from every port in the Old World to every shore in the New . . .Organized massproduction industry which helps feed, clothe, and house us, which has given us our present standard of living, must function on a worldwide scale. If Hitler wins, he may not confiscate the property and rights of all U.S. firms operating under his control. He can apply pressure upon such property which will be relayed to the United States. He can force our business interests here to make compliances and adjustments, small concessions of policy, which may later prove a source of weakness in our national defense. He is doing it now.

This country has been hampered in its production of aluminum for defense purposes by German control of patents. We have been unable to get modern light-metal industries based on magnesium started in this country because Plitler won’t allow it. We have never been able to utilize the alloy, beryllium, for hardening steel because the Germans won’t let us . . .

It is unthinkable that we could have free private trade with the totalitarian Europe or Africa or Asia. The Nazis have said that they desire only to make barter deals between Governments. In order to fit into Hitler’s world scheme, we should have to adopt a considerable amount of state socialism. I have seen how Government control of foreign trade leads to a control of domestic trade and finally to a control of production and jobs . . .

If we must have such Government control, it is better to be bossed by bureaucrats here than by bureaucrats from Berlin. But even a homemade, well-intentioned variety of state socialism would probably degenerate into a tyranny. Every Socialist Government so far has turned militaristic and started out to enslave its peoples. It is not necessary if Hitler wins for him to send over a single German soldier in order to destroy our liberties. We will have to destroy them ourselves in order to live at all.

All totalitarian states must be permanent states of war. There will be no world peace and no world prosperity again until totalitarianism is destroyed.