The Charlotte News
Saturday, July 13, 1940
This Sort of Hysteria Is Dangerous Now
The uproar about the German moving picture which Congressman Ross Collins of Mississippi showed to a gathering of his colleagues is significant of the prevalence of hysteria among us.
The picture shows the conquest of Poland by the Nazi mechanized army. It was originally made for the purpose of terrifying the small nations which surrounded Nazism. In was shown in Norway on the eve of the Nazi invasion, and undoubtedly had a good deal to do with paralyzing the resistance of that unhappy country. It had its effect in Belgium, Holland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey. For it depicts the Nazi Army as perfectly irresistible and ruthless.
Hence, some of his more jittery fellow Congressmen immediately began to see a Nazi nigger in the wood pile, to suspect him of deliberately playing the Nazi game and trying to terrify us also!
It was nonsense, of course. Congressman Collins has for years devoted himself almost entirely to trying to sell the idea that our army must be completely mechanized. He was using the German film to that purpose only. Probably it never occurred to him that it would throw anybody into despair. And indeed, if this country, with twice the man power, ten times the productive capacity of Germany, can be terrified into despair by the Nazis it deserves its fate.
Congressman Collins was merely trying to render his country a service by waking it up to what it has to deal with. And hysterical suspicion of him does not help.
What the French Change In Slogans Heralds
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, the old slogan of the French Revolution, is no longer the motto of France. Instead has been adopted the device, "Labor, The Family, The Fatherland."
It is fitting, for the work of the Revolution is now in process of being overturned throughout the earth, and the Rights of Man no longer exist in Europe.
What the meaning of the new slogan is we know from the totalitarian record. It means this:
Labor--The destruction of labor unions and the right of the laboring man to any voice in his destiny. The duty of Frenchmen to labor 70 hours a week, as Germans now labor. The loss by Frenchmen of the right to change their jobs as they like, to choose their jobs at all--their duty to work at what they are told to work at. All for the enrichment of a few fat cats, who themselves will be progressively despoiled by the politicians and so-called soldiers who control the State.
In return for which French workmen will get barely enough bread, mainly made of sawdust, to hold the body and soul together. That is, if it suits the purposes of the fat cats and their masters. And if they cry for more, they will be shot down mercilessly or beaten to death in concentration camps.
The Family--The full connotations of this will be apparent to anybody who knows the ideological history of Europe since the Revolution, are much too long to be set down here. But its immediate meaning is that French women must bear children as rapidly as possible so that France will have a great surplus of labor to work for the fat cats and politicians and tin-hats--so that the shooting down of laborers who rebel will not interfere with things.
The Fatherland--A stooge state of Nazi Germany's. France at length reduced to slavery. St. Joan weeping for the France she saved, sold out again by the same sort of traitors who sold it out in her time.
Our Decision on French Possessions Is Near
If there is any remaining doubt that the French government of Laval, with old Marshal Petain as the front, means to play the German game to the hilt, it disappears with the announcement that it will make Versailles its capital. For Versailles is deep in the territory occupied by the German Army, and the Laval Government will be directly under the influence of the army.
There are rumors, indeed, that France may line up as an active ally of the Axis and turn to using all her resources to aid the attack on England--including man power if the Nazis want it. And there is nothing incredible in this.
The men who control this Government are Laval and Flandin. One is the traitor who sold France out to Italy from 1931 until the Ethiopian catastrophe. The other is the traitor who sold France out to Germany and allowed the remilitarization and rearming of Germany, in order to line his own pockets. They know well that England must be destroyed and the Axis victory be made complete or France will eventually be made free again--and that a free France means that they will die under the guillotine. Hence they will move heaven and earth to see that the Axis purpose is achieved.
Under these circumstances, the problem of the French possessions becomes a pressing one. We cannot afford to allow them to be Nazified and made into military and propaganda bases for the spreading of Nazism. The only course left open to us seems to be to take them into protective custody, with the full understanding that when France is free again they will be handed back to her.
Senator Minton's Words Don't Jibe With the Facts
Senator Sherman Minton's political survival is largely dependent on the efficiency of the state Democratic organization in Indiana, nucleus of which is the same "Two Per Cent Club" that McNutt founded. Consequently, Senator Minton's disgust with the second Hatch Bill is entirely understandable and, in a way, excusable.
Nobody can expect a politician to take to his bosom a bill which was likely to prove its undoing.
But a Senator is always supposed to speak with a certain regard for the bare facts, and when Senator Minton suggested the Hatch Bill's $3,000,000 limit on the party expenditures won't affect the Democrats--because "they haven't got any money anyhow"--he deserves a few loud catcalls.
In the last Presidential election the Democrats showed what, for the party of the common people, was an amazing ability to fill up their campaign chest. The National Committee alone, exclusive of state committees, spent $5,651,188, which is nearly twice what the Hatch Bill will allow to be spent this year. And besides, they got a line of credit from John L. Lewis's United Mine Workers which made Republican fat-cats look like pikers.
Exiles From Germany Now in Great Danger
The appeal from Franz Boas, published in the letter columns on this page today, calls attention to a case that is at present worse than that of the French refugees, and as bad as that of the English children.
Adolf Hitler never relents in his passion for inflicting cruelty upon those who oppose him and his brutal regime. Article XIX of the armistice imposed upon the French provides that "The French Government is obliged to surrender upon demand all Germans named by the German Government in France as well as French possessions..."
That means that Germans who fought the Nazi regime and had to flee to France for safety are all now in imminent peril of concentration camps, torture, and execution. They include not only Heinrich Mann, novelist brother of Thomas Mann, and Friedrich Wolfe, the playwright, but also Lion Feuchtwanger, the novelist, Rudolf Leonhard, the poet, Anna Saghers, Kleist prize winner, Theodore Balk, authority on social medicine, Dr. Rudolf Neumann, celebrated pediatrician, and hundreds of other distinguished men.
Some of them are probably already past help, for the servile Laval regime has made no effort to protect them in any fashion. But it is probable that the United States can save some of them if it brings its full influence to bear. Certainly, it is the American tradition to serve as a haven for the oppressed, and exiles of this kind are a great gain, not a loss.
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