Hitler’s Test of Power is Near, Washington Observers Believe

Officialdom in the Capitol of the United States is watching with keen interest the developments in Germany under the Hitler regime Ambassador William E. Dodd’s return from Germany on his first visit here since he was named Ambassador to that country last summer has caused considerable speculation in Washington as to just what is happening under the Reich government. During the same time of Ambassador Dodd’s visit here, German Ambassador Hans Luther has had several conferences at the State Department.

From authentic reports, Germany is in the midst of an economic crisis. For more than a year she has been in a social straight-jacket under the Nazi doctrine of persecution of Jews and others who could not qualify under Chancellor Hitler’s standards. Germany has tried to develop an intense nationalistic feeling. This she has done with considerable success only in the direction of social consciousness. The other side of the story is that the policy of nationalism, particularly the feature of persecution, is forcing Germany into a state of economic paralysis.

Observers in Washington who have recently had the opportunity of first-hand observation of what is going on in Germany are of the opinion that Hitler’s test of power is yet to come.

HITLER FINDS OPPOSITION

In the first place, they say, Hitler’s cabinet is not entirely in sympathy with the idea of persecuting Jews and on at least one occasion a cabinet member threatened to resign, but was persuaded to remain. Hitler is still the man of power in Germany and with Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, the two men are a strong team with general popular support. Chancellor Hitler and the Minister of Propaganda are strong advocates of the principle of religious, racial and political persecution.

Surprising as it may seem, one prominent Washington official who knows the German situation said that he expected “to see Hitler surrender his powers.” This gentleman did not say how soon this was to happen, but he did say that Hitler’s government was in a critical period and many of the high officials were not in accord with major policies.

Germany needs more export trade, and is casting longing eyes to the United States. She has sustained heavy losses in export trade to this country because of the boycott on German-made goods by Americans who use this one means of expressing disapproval of persecution.

TRADE PACT CONSIDERED

It was stated by an official that a trade agreement between the United States and Germany is under consideration, and in the event one should be negotiated, Germany would have to be given a favorable balance of trade.

This official stated that a favorable balance of trade for Germany would necessitate the stopping of the boycott in this country on German goods. This could not happen unless Germany herself abandoned the theory of persecutions.

It was admitted that Germany may be forced to do this through her own economic condition. It probably would be the only act that would make it possible for her to build up trade in this country and dispose of large quantities of goods.

In the meantime, persecutions continue in Germany, but with somewhat less fervor than originally, it was stated. Economic ills are forcing a relaxation of edicts. But the German government will not admit any relaxation on its drive against Jews and certain classes of non-Jews. Pride stands in the way.

JEWISH PROBLEM ACUTE

The Jewish problem in Germany is quite acute, it was reported. The work that James G. McDonald, High Commissioner for German Refugees, is doing, is accomplishing much to alleviate the condition. But, it was pointed out, the problem is one that will cover a long period of time–perhaps ten years.

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