The Charlotte News
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1939
A Fanatic Menaces Civilization
Site ed. note: On the day of the official beginning of World War II, with the Nazi invasion of Poland, Cash wrote this editorial, a prime example of his virulently lashing out at Hitler's aggression. It becomes prophetic in the last paragraph; the prophecy was eerily precise.
(This article was re-printed in W.J. Cash: Southern Prophet.)
The myth built up by many people that Adolf Hitler was essentially a shrewd bluffer, who, with clairvoyant power, knew instinctively just how far he could safely go, and who had no intention of going a whit further--that myth is blown to pieces. We know now, what should have been apparent from the very tone of "Mein Kampf"--that the man is a fanatical hysteric who identifies himself with God, who believes that he is resistless, and who meant all along to have all his way even though it involved a world war and the deaths of millions on millions.
Gone, too, is the myth that, however hysterical Hitler himself was, the German people at large remained sane and reasonable. Where are those generals who, as it was said, were going, when it was clear that war impended, to step in and control him as they once controlled the Kaiser? And where are those common people who did not want war and who were going to rise up and make it plain to Hitler that they would not have war?
Those generals are this morning directing the rape of Poland--the systematic murder of women and children in Warsaw--the systematic killing off of Polish soldiers. And those common people are shrieking in the streets "Heil Hitler!" and "Sieg Hell!"and "We want to see our Fuehrer!"
The Western World faces now what it should have realized long ago--that Naziism is no civilized philosophy made a little grotesque by a few wild aberrations, but a system invented by a gang of criminals for the deliberate purpose of taking a whole nation back into barbarism, and using it as an instrument to carry barbarism over the whole earth. Germany now is as strictly a barbarian horde as was that which Genghis and his sons and grandsons fetched out of the Great Gobi and over all Asia and far into Europe. Its purpose is naked and ruthless conquest by the sword--conquest which spares neither woman nor child. And, for brutality, the man who heads it makes Genghis, Tamerlane, Attila, Genseric, Theodoric--any of the old barbarian conquerors--look pale by comparison. To gratify his ambition, they say, Tamerlane at Bagdad raised a pyramid of a hundred thousand skulls. To gratify his, Adolf Hitler proposes to raise one of many millions of skulls.
But the good man made an honest effort for peace with his sixteen points, and was turned down? There will not be many people left to believe anything so foolish. Plebiscite? There were to be plebiscites in Czechoslovakia. An international commission to have charge of the plebiscites? There was an international commission which was to have charge of the plebiscites in Czechoslovakia. What a plebiscite means in his language we know well, from the cases of the Saar, Austria, Czechland. They mean the importation of the Gestapo and thousands of thugs in brown shirts--the systematic terrorization of the population into staying away from the polls or voting for Hitlerism
But still he did have a just claim when he demanded "self-determination for Danzig, with its German population? Did he, with his legions fording it over Czechland and Slovakia? Did he, when in the same breath he demanded the Corridor, which is predominantly inhabited by Poles? Did he, when Danzig controls two-thirds of Poland's Baltic trade, and to give it to him meant that Poland became his economic and so his political prisoner?
In point of fact, Danzig and the Corridor have little to do with the real question at issue here. Hitler wanted these merely by way of strangling Poland to death and establishing his tyranny--the worst that man has known since the Dark Ages--as he has established it over Austria and Czechoslovakia. And he wanted that merely to the end of preparing himself eventually to establish it over all Europe and the Western world, as you may read in his own "Mein Kampf" and in Mr. Rauschning's "The Revolution of Nihilism."
In the last war, there was a lot of talk about civilization being at stake. Much of it, at least, was hooey. But at length the slogan has come true. The thing that is at issue now is precisely whether or not we shall all be Nazified, whether we shall return into barbarism, or whether civilization shall survive--whether men shall retain some dignity as men or revert to blood-drinking beasts. Perhaps it was the mistakes of the Treaty of Versailles which set the thing off. Perhaps it is something inherent in the German philosophy which has been taken and magnified by the Nazi criminals. It makes no difference. Even though John Jones himself inoculated his dog with the virus of hydrophobia, the dog is still mad and must be dealt with as mad dogs are dealt with.
Adolf Hitler yesterday told the Reichstag that he had donned his uniform never to take it off save in victory or in death. It may safely be said that that was rhetoric. The record shows that the man is a coward and is not likely to risk his precious hide before bullets. None the less, he spoke perfect correctness. He will either win or he and all his gang will hang or beat the hangman to the draw by blasting out their own brains. More, his people have donned their uniforms for the same fatal test. Either they will win or Germany will vanish from the company of the nations. For the Western World is passing into uniform, and none of them will ever be doffed until either Nazism is dead or civilization is done for.
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.