Milwaukee, Wis. (Oct. 13)
In the midst of their bitterness over the anti-Semitic barbarism in Germany, Milwaukee Jews are being entertained by the spectacle of torrid controversies still going on over the suppression by the police of a radical demonstration against Hitlerism when Dr. Hans Luther, German ambassador, visited Milwaukee.
Newspapers have entered the fray with sharply conflicting editorials. Communists in both local and national propaganda have made the most of the fact that in “Socialist Milwaukee the police club the workers.” And Socialists find themselves pounded from both radical and conservative ranksâ€”from the former for being too lenient with the police, from the latter, for being too severe.
The newspaper angle of the conflict is particularly interesting. The Milwaukee Journal, leading evening newspaper, published a front page editorial, denouncing the city attorney’s office for refusing to prosecute the demonstrators arrested by police and beaten with nightsticks.
“The Socialists have a record of trying to interfere with the police department,” the Journal proclaimed, critically. “They would serve Milwaukee better to let the police alone.”
“It is a poor spectacle, also, from ### standpoint of the city attorney,” the Journal wrote. “Is he for riots, or against them?”
The Milwaukee Sentinel, a Paul Block paper, defended the police, too, but at the same time deplored Luther’s visit as unwise at a time when feeling against Germany was running so high.
From the Milwaukee Leader, the Socialist daily, came a ringing retort to the Journal’s stand.
“The Milwaukee Journal criticizes the demonstration. . . and the city attorney’s office as well. . . but it does not have one solitary word to say in criticism of those who brought Hans Luther here.”
Pointedly, the Leader argued that if a group of bankers, or football fans, or military marchers blocked traffic for a few minutes, as the local radicals did, neither the Journal would have criticized them, nor the police dispersed them.
Regretting that the police department is divorced from control by Socialist city officials, the Leader insisted it should have been the duty of the police to keep Luther from coming here because his presence was “calculated to be a menace to public order.” The paper described Luther as the “representative of an accursed regime.”
Meanwhile, the Socialists have a committee investigating the demonstration to determine whether the police smashed the radical assemblage without provocation. A widespread feeling exists among liberals that police toadied too readily to the German leaders who brought Luther here, and went out of their way to break up what was merely a soapbox assemblage of the Hyde Park variety.