Menu JTA Search


Download PDF for this date

“Not Hitlerism, but what follows Hitlerism, will determine the future of German culture and the Germanic race.”

It is on this note and on this conclusion that Suzanne La Follette closes her brilliant analysis of Nazi Germany in the current issue of Scribner’s, under the title of “Goetterdaemmerung,” which, as we all know, signifies the Death of the Gods.

After stating, and supporting, her thesis that the rise of the Hitler movement is simply the latest manifestation of the tendency to cushion the crumbling power of capitalism with the authority of government, Miss La Follette points out the extent to which the Hitlerian Jew-baiting is, even from the Hitler point of view, a tactical error, as well as a gross piece of injustice:

“But the indirect consequences of their encouragement of the primitive impulse to make a minority race the scapegoat for all ills, may be as disastrous as those which followed upon the invasion of Belgium. This policy has destroyed at a blow, to the ineffable satisfaction of French chauvinists, the good will which the senseless German phobia of those same French chauvinists had created for Germany among its former enemies….

“Thus its anti-Semitism may prove the Achilles-heel of German Fascism. Domestically it has little to fear; but in its foreign relations it will have need of a wariness and diplomatic finesse which have never distinguished German foreign policy. Internally, discriminations against Jews may produce no disastrous results. If 600,000 unemployed “Nordics” displace 600,000 starving Jews, the economic situation will remain pretty much in statu quo. Externally the results may be ruinous. Therefore the Nazis’ Jew-baiting is not only barbarous but surprisingly stupid; and the stupidity is the more striking because they could have achieved the same end by cloaking their anti-Semitism.

Miss La Follette points out that the real direction of the Hitler movement may be detected in the sources of its strength; that, while the program of the Nazis may breathe revolutionary fire, its financial support came from the German industrialists, who will have to be served, and that with the rise to power of the Nazis the revolutionary platforms, such as the one calling for the nationalization of large-scale industry, are being dropped. But the writer realizes also that in the explosive hates which are unloosed by a movement like that of the Nazis “lies the danger of fascism to the very capitalists who have forged it as a final weapon against the workers.” Today, she writes, the Nazis are putting into effect only the planks relating to the Jews, but tomorrow “they may turn against the system whose financial support has brought them to power.”


If we are to believe the Princess Catherine Radziwill and T. Von Ziekursch, who contribute to the July Pictorial Review a joint article entitled “The Three Women Behind the Demagogue,” then the Hitler movement received its greatest push from the desire of two women for the restoration of the titles they had lost when the ex-Kaiser fled to Doorn, and of the third to win a title she had never had but felt she deserved.

The writers resolve the Hitler movement into a palace intrigue having about it more than a faint odor of the boudoir. They do their obvious best to feed the average American woman’s desire for a romantic motivation of a national revolution. They of course do not ignore the possibility that the Hitler movement may not proceed exactly along the lines laid down by the desire of three women for a monarchial system with titles.

The three women are the Crown Princess Cecilie, the Princess Marie Adelaide of Lippe-Detmold (she of the three divorces), Frau Wagner, who wants a title and, for a possible fourth, the Princess Hermine, wife of the ex-Kaiser. There are probably other women in Germany who would like titles either for themselves or for their husbands, or sons, as these do, but they are the ones—say the Princess Radziwill and T. Von Ziekursch—who took up Hitler when he was a ridiculous little fellow who had been let out of jail—this was after his term in Munich for the abortive Putsch—and gave him large sums of money, headquarters, influence and prestige.

And of course there’s the element of mystery. We read:

“Perhaps some day a story will be told about Hitler disappearing from his usual haunts for three days, and of a fast motor trip in Hermine’s car to Doorn, where he spent two hours with the Kaiser”—the fallen megalomaniac conversing with the rising tyrant.

The one big man behind the Hitler front is, believe it or not, von Papen, the Vice-Chancellor, one of the men on whose back Hitler is supposed to have risen, and then kicked. But however it may seem to the world at large, and even to Germany, von Papen is still the power behind the throne, the louder Goebbels and Goering to the contrary notwithstanding. But the Princess and the Von who write the Pictorial Review piece admit, however, the remote possibility that something may happen even to Von Papen:

“Scarcely anybody outside the monarchist inner circles suspects Von Papen of having deep-laid plans, of being the man of the future, of having the clearest mind in German officialdom. Yet such is the case and he is the only German leader who fully understands the United States and England. At present he is delighted at the opportunity of working and having his own way behind Hitler’s noisy figure. At present also Hitler listens to him, but how long that will last is pure guesswork.

“Some day little Adolf will very likely run true to type and try to soar alone. When that happens he will crash, and the crash may wel# have far more disastrous results for him than was the case in 1923.”


The June issue of The Young Judaean points with {SPAN}quali###{/SPAN} pride to the fact that the organization of which it is the spokesman, Young Judaea, is to hold its twenty-fifth annual convention at Chicago.

“We rejoice that the Zionist hopes and dreams of twenty-five years ago are rapidly being translated into virile reality in Palestine. While the rate of progress in Eretz Israel may not be altogether in accord with our wishes, it is nevertheless gratifying that in a world that is being tossed about on greatly disturbed seas of economic and political difficulties, Jewish Palestine is moving irresistibly forward.

“We take great pride in the knowledge that out of the ranks o# Young Judaea have grown young men and women who have and are accepting the responsibilities o# leadership in the parent bodies o# American Zionism as well as in al# Jewish endeavors; and that one o# the early Young Judaeans is serving with distinction as a member of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund