It is often asked how long Hitlerism–the system of the modern Haman–can last. Many people believe that Hitlerism is destined to remain in power for a very long time and to spread also to other lands.
I do not share this view. I know how unwise it is to indulge in prophecies. But I am convinced that Hitlerism cannot last long, for the following reasons:
1. Hitlerism came into power as a result of the agitation of demagogues who promised the defeated German people the restoration of a powerful Germany.
2. Hitlerism promised to wipe out the humiliation of the German guilt in the World War.
3. Hitlerism promised the defeated German people a new place in the sun, as an equal among the great European nations.
4. Hitlerism promised the hungry German people work and bread.
5. Hitlerism promised the nullification of the peace treaties of Versailles, which reduced Germany to the status of a second rate power, which deprived it of its colonies and which compelled it to disarm.
6. Hitlerism preached to the disillusioned and humiliated German youth the doctrines of a new unity, of regeneration through the Prussian martial spirit and through faith in their own superiority. To convince the German people of their superiority as a race, the Hitler demagogues and their adherents among the Teuton pseudo-scientists have elaborated the absurd and false “Aryan” race theory, a theory which had been rejected by the very German “scientists” who now support Hitler and do his bidding.
7. Hitler promised the disillusioned, humiliated and hungry German people that when he is in the saddle he will deal with the Jews of Germany as the cause of all Germany’s troubles during and after the war. He exaggerated in the wildest manner the power of the Jews in the German press, in the universities, in commerce, and in the radical movement. He blamed them both for the war and for the peace. He borrowed all the cruel and stupid myths about the Jews from the forged “Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion”–a fabrication of long standing, which originated in Germany and which was amplified by the Russian Black Hundreds responsible for the pogroms during the regime of the last Tsar of Russia.
Let us see what Hitlerism has thus far accomplished for Germany, for the German people.
It is true that Germany has become united for the present in the delirium and illusion of her restored grandeur. The German people have been whipped into a state of martial frenzy. They are being imbued with vengeance against their neighbors. They are being trained to goosestep to the tune of military music. They are led to believe now that Germany is already the most powerful nation.
But in the night of Hitler’s conduct in international affairs, the world is not ready to forget and forgive Germany’s role in the events that precipitated the World War. The German war guilt has not yet been wiped out. All that the martyred Walter Rathenau and the late Stresemann had done to win the world’s sympathy for Germany has been vitiated by Hitler. Hitler has succeeded in making Germany more isolated than ever before. Germany today is regarded with suspicion by her former friends and with alarm by her former enemies. Little by little Germany was taking her place as an equal among the nations, because of the monumental efforts of Rathenau and Stresemann and other constructive statesmen, and now at one stroke Hitler placed the whole German people in a concentration camp that is known as the Third Reich. He pleads for equality, but he means rearmament, for Hitler believes that only by force of arms can Germany find a new place in the sun. He believes that only by violence can he change the Treaty of Versailles, regain the lost colonies, and impose his will upon his neighbors.
Imitator and disciple of Mussolini, Hitler rose to power with the aid of Fascism, but within a short time he succeeded in alienating the friendship and support of Mussolini, by playing a lone hand, by endeavoring to force Austria into the Nazi camp. That marked the parting of the way between Mussolini and Hitler. While Mussolini at first felt flattered by the imitation of Fascism in Germany, he will not permit Hitler to extend Germany to the Italian frontiers by way of Austria. Thus Hitler has lost his most powerful ally. Hitler signed the Four Power Pact chiefly because Mussolini wanted him to sign it. Now the Four Power Pact chiefly is but another scrap of paper.
The German people were told by Hitler that they must never be reconciled to the Polish corridor which severed Prussia from Germany. Now Hitler has concluded a non-aggression pact with Poland, tacitly recognizing the present status of the Polish corridor. What Hitler’s real motives were in concluding this pact are not definitely known. But it is believed that he merely wanted a breathing-spell during which to go on with his military preparations for a new war.
If any one of the constructive German statesmen had concluded such a pact with Poland, he would have been repudiated by the German people and would in all likelihood have been assassinated by Hitlerite fanatics even as Rathenau was assassinated.
Hitler’s efforts to seize control of Austria either by force or by boring from within have called forth a warning from Great Britain, France and Italy to keep his hands off.
Thus it is clearly seen that Hitler’s foreign policy has proved a complete fiasco. He has not only failed to secure for the German people the advantages he had promised them, he has added to their humiliation. Not only ## Germany today not regarded as an equal among the European nations, but Hitler has succeeded in irritating those who desired to help Germany to acquire a status of equality.
And what has Hitler accomplished for Germany internally. He has promised the people work and bread. The unemployment situation in Germany is still acute. German exports have decreased substantially, despite the tricky manipulations with blocked marks. Many German factories are idle. German shipping, built up by Jews, is crippled. German industries are no longer flourishing.
The only promise that Hitler has kept is his ruthless persecution of the Jews. That was the easiest part of his program. By oppressing and hounding one per cent of the population, by depriving this one per cent of its livelihood, he led the German people to believe that he would thereby solve the problem of the other ninety-nine per cent of the population. Jewish intellectuals were driven from the universities, Jewish publishers, newspaper owners, authors, workers and merchants were forced out of their positions. Jewish children were persecuted and humiliated.
But realizing that by persecuting the Jews alone he could not save himself and retain his power over the masses, he made the further blunder of persecuting also Catholics and Protestants who declined to follow him slavishly. He also waged ruthless war against liberals and radicals, against organized labor union, against Socialist, and especially against pacifists. He filled the concentration camps within the huge concentration camp with these German people who had really been building up a strong, democratic Germany.
Germany is pleading poverty when it comes to the payment of her debts, but Hitler seems to have vast sums to spend on propaganda abroad–here and in other lands. Hitler’s agents are working in various countries to carry his message of hate and bigotry, to spread dissension and unrest, to undermine democratic institutions.
At the present time the German people do not know all this, for the simple reason that the Nazified press is, completely muzzled. The truth is suppressed. But it cannot remain that way much longer. The six million communists–Germans, not Jews,–are still in Germany. The millions of unemployed are still unemployed. German exports are continuing to fall, not merely because of the Jewish boycott, but also because of the boycott in various countries where Hitler’s arrogance and ruthlessness and interference with the internal affairs of other nations are viewed with alarm as menacing the peace of the world.
It is because I believe in the soundness and sanity of the German people that I believe Hitlerism cannot last long. When the eyes of the German people are opened, and they will see that instead of bread and happiness, they are given cruel, savage diversions of bigotry and hate, the Nazi adventure will be ended. When they will realize that Germany under Hitler has lost her friends abroad, and that her internal situation is growing ever more desperate, they will turn against their real enemy, and Hitlerism will be stamped out.
Meanwhile Hitlerism is destroying itself. It is fighting on too many fronts. If Hitler precipitates a new war, the end of Hitlerism will come sooner. If despite his efforts, the war is delayed, Hitlerism may carry on a little longer.
But I can hardly believe that within two years the German people will not be aroused against their present leaders who are reducing them to ruin and degradation. Then Hitlerism will be crushed by the Germans themselves.