That Germany is preparing to break down the Versailles Treaty by an outward show of mild pacifism is the subject of Leon Trotsky’s article, “What Hitler Wants’, in the September issue of Harper’s. “However,” says Trotsky, “behind the diplomatic fencing are concealed much deeper factors and plans. It would be just as false to take Hitler’s pacifism at its word as it would be to dismiss the declaration of a demagogue’.
“Hitler’s program,” he continues, “is the program of German capitalism, aggressive but bound hand and foot by Versailles and the results of the World War. This combination of potential strength and actual weakness accounts for the exceedingly explosive character of the aims of National-Socialism and explains the extreme prudence of the most immediate steps towards the attainment of these aims.
“Any revision of the treaties, especially of the system of armaments, would signify a change in the present relationship of forces: Germany would have to grow stronger, France weaker. Outside of this, the very question of revision has no meaning for Germany.”
What Hitler is most eager to achieve is an agreement with England through the medium of Italy and by doing that he hopes to “radically change the relationship of forces in favor of Germany and to lay the bases for the European and the world offensive of German imperialism.”
“The goal of German policy,” writes Trotsky, “is the re-establishment of the military sovereignty of the state. Everything else is only a means thereto…. Under no circumstances must Germany present itself to the world with a re-armament program of its own, even less so to this Disarmament Conference….”
Germany, however, is now engaged upon a scheme whereby she can secure the co-operation of both England and Italy by maintaining that the greatest foe to the welfare of the Continent is Soviet Russia. France, nevertheless, is not convinced to that effect at present and it is doubtful if she would ever meet Germany half-way on the issue. Also in the case of both Italy and England, Germany is stressing the effect of the Soviet policy on colonization in the East.
Meanwhile, Hitler, according to Trotsky, “is prepared for the next ten years not to undertake any military actions against either France or Poland.” Although that is the plan in theory, Trotsky feels that Hitler may be forced into action by external events and then woe betide the world if it comes under Fascist rule.
THE NATION ON ANSCHLUSS
“That the Hitler government intends to arm Germany as rapidly as possible permits of no doubt. The whole Nazi teaching is based upon the principle of an armed Germany for whose military forces the women are being urged and financially aided to bear as many children as possible,” states the editorial “What to Do With Germany”, in The Nation of August 23. The attitude of both France and England towards Germany’s attempt to unite with Austria is far from being friendly. Germany, on the other hand, resents their intrusion. The plot is complete and the fireworks may go off at any time now.
“Were Hitler to succeed in adding Austria to Germany,” the editorial states, “he would be emboldened to attempt other aggressions; he would be able to assure his deluded people that he had bluffed the Allies into yielding on the political union of Austria with Berlin or its control from there, whereas onlyâ€”a few years ago England, France and I had forbidden the economic union the two countries.”
Recognizing these facts the edito##al maintains that “the nations are justified in going far to enforce the disarmament clauses of the Peace Treaty in an effort to stave off the final catastrophe which another world war would spell.”