One of Hungary’s leading essayists, Paul Ignotus, has just published a summons, “War on the Iron Cross,” to all civilized men to combat Hitlerism in its intellectual, as well as its material, form. The thesis of “War on the Iron Cross” is that the intellectual intolerance of the ideal Hitlerite will force into the background, if not completely exterminate, anyone whose spiritual needs go further than the music of military marches, the spectacle of Brown-shirt parades and the communion of a “corpulent better half.” Such a “perfidious and decadent non-conformist” would have to surrender his love of contemplation before the conquering force of a brutal and bloody “race-ism.”
It is possible, says the Hungarian essayist, that all the forces now marshalled against this epidemic of darkness, will prove insufficient. Sometimes, medical science succumbs in the struggle against the cholera bacilli; but we do not for that reason salute in the cholera bacilli the expression of racial heroism and the bearers of a new future. It is possible that the earth slip from under the feet of men who are trying to conduct themselves like civilized beings; that all our society be invaded by brown barbarism and that we be conquered by a new feudalism which will have no Christ, only Crusaders, no truly lordly leaders, only tyrants, no art, only motorcycles.