Berlin (May. 9)
“Our victorious march has resulted in the exclusion of a number of former members of the Academy of Literature, a fact which can only be welcomed,” Chancellor Hitler’s paper, the Voelkischer Beobachter, writes. “Those who admire the ‘grand Bolshevist experiment’ like Thomas Mann, who designate the National Socialist Party the most degenerate scurviness of our time as Wassermann did, to whom the followers of Adolf Hitler are nothing more than malignant churls as they are to Franz Werfel, who would like us to be eliminated from German history like the disease out of the blood as Doeblin does, who was on November 9 in heaven (and during the War published a pacifist periodical in Switzerland) like Rene Schickele, who feels as much bound to Marxist ideas as Leonhard Frank, Alfons Paqeut and Fritz von Unruh, against whom all who are capable of judging have spoken so unanimously as they have against George Kaiser and his Insignificance, Ludwig Fulda, not forgetting the very much over-estimated Bernhard Kellermann, Alfred Mombert and Rudolf Pannwitz, have no place any longer in an Academy in the new epoch, quite apart from the fact that on racial grounds the exclusion of many members seemed essential.
“At any rate, it has shown that these people can be quite easily spared. At a moment’s notice we found writers of German spirit who are immeasurably above them, to form the foundation of a much nobler institution. We hope that Stefan George, the great master of language and artistic restraint, will be willing to co-operate. It is the desire of the Ministry of Education and of us all, and would enrich the Academy. The reconstruction of the Academy is not to be considered complete. It is only the first step to show the world what works the National Revolution finds in accord with specific German character, and there will be many more valued writers added to its ranks. In this connection, we may mention Otto Erler, Rudolf Paulsen, Richard Euringer, Gertrud von Lefort, von Melchow and Josef Magnus Wehner, all great names, writers who will do us honor, and will raise Germany’s prestige in the world. That is our cultural policy in the sense of Adolf Hitler.
“The fact that Gerhardt Hauptmann, Ina Seidel, Hermann Bahr, Schmidtbonn and Max Halbe have remained members of the Academy will only surprise those,” the Beobachter adds, “who took as gospel truth the fairy-tales invented by our opponents that we would have an Academy made up of every well-meaning dilettante who is on our side. On the contrary, we are much more keen on capacity, and will find it where others less discriminatingly searching would not succeed. We have not modified in the slightest, the very critical views which we have expressed in these columns about Gerhardt Hauptmann, his ideology is very remote from ours, but we recognize his power and sense of atmosphere.”