“The situation of the Jews in Germany is just ghastly, helpless. Not only are the reports about the atrocities against the Jews in Germany unexaggerated but, on the contrary, they are underrated,” declared Dorothy Thompson, noted American correspondent arriving in New York on the S. S. Rex yesterday after having completed a personal survey of the present situation in Germany for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
“The difficulty for a foreign newspaper correspondent in the present Germany is not as much the getting of facts, as in reporting them,” Miss Thompson declared. “Although we know all the details of certain performed atrocities we cannot make them public, for it entangles danger, perhaps death, for the people involved. We must therefore generalize the events while reporting them. This, of course, gives the Hitler government an easy opportunity to come out with denials, since they know that we cannot contradict them by pointing out the people to whom the atrocities have occurred and so endanger their lives.”
Miss Thompson, who in private life is Mrs. Sinclair Lewis, branded as a lie the assertion of the Hitlerites that the present anti-Jewish restrictions are a retaliation against the so-called “atrocity propaganda” abroad. “Why, for thirteen years the Nazi party has propagated anti-Semitism and up-rooting of the Jewish race. It has been printed as planks in their program, and what they are doing now is only living up to their party program,” she declared.
“How was it possible that practically over-night such a large proportion of the German people should, seemingly, have turned to such a ruthless anti-Jewish movement?” Miss Thompson was asked.
“Well, anti-Semitism has always been rooted in the German people but it was kept in a civilized form. The Hitler movement brought out this longing of the German people into the open and intensified it manifold. Hitler did it by appealing to the lowest sentiments of the declassed and despairing people. The present ruler of Germany is the greatest demagogue I ever knew. He is the apotheosis of the little man. Hitler himself is a typical little man. I thought of him so a year and a half ago while I spoke to him, and I still think so of him when he is the dictator of Germany,” she emphasized.
TRIBUTE TO PRESS
The noted correspondent laid special stress in denying the common report that anti-Jewish persecutions in Germany are, to a great extent, due to the fact that most of the German Jews are communistically inclined. “I wish to make this clear,” Miss Thompson said, “the percentage of German Jews who are communists is much smaller than the percentage of non-Jewish Germans who belong to the communist party. All the allegations of the Hitler regime that the present fate of the German Jews is a result of their communistic inclinations are therefore inventions.” Miss Thompson praised the Association of Foreign Newspaper Correspondents in Germany, especially its head, Edgar Ansell Mowrer, author of “Germany Turns the Clock Back,” for the courageous newspaper service they are giving the world.