The British Ambassador at Berlin, so the story goes, once called upon Premier Goering to urge the latter to release from his concentration camps certain persons whose offense the State lay in their being intellectually superior to the ruling party’s philosophy.
“What would His Britannic Majesty say,” parried Goering after the envoy had diplomatically declined to accept several unsatisfactory reasons why this could not be done? “if I were to ask him to release the criminals in New gate prison?”
To which the Britisher, his patience somewhat frayed, replied: “My king would not refuse you if you demanded these men back as your brothers.”
Chancellor Hitler, it is reported in Berlin, no longer attends the movies. It is said he became irked at the repeated query of overly solicitous ushers–“Herr Chancellor, have you a program?”
Recent dispatches from Germany report the suspension of the Vossische Zeitung, one of the oldest newspapers in the world. Its decline from its recent position of leadership in the world of journalism is coincident with the accession to power of the Hitler regime–a development which has caused the ruin of most of the older, best-regarded newspapers in the Reich.
Reading habits have changed in Germany in the past year. Official figures reveal a decrease of nearly a million readers of German newspapers in 1933 as compared to the previous year. The older papers have suffered most, of course, but the new Nazi papers, such as the Voelkischer Beobachter, owned by Hitler, Der Angriff, owned by Goebbels, and others have failed to reveal startling gains such as would be expected. Only the picture papers have held their own in the matter of circulation.
With the press of the country coordinated to the limit, and with no paper daring to print anything which might be considered offensive to its Nazi rulers, it seems that the citizens of the Reich, obedient as they may be, decline to take their fill of predigested news and political propaganda dished out in the newspapers and turn to the picture sheets hoping for one or two interesting photos sandwiched in between shots of Herr Hitler kissing babies or reviewing troops.
The Vossische Zeitung commenced publication in 1704 with a certain Herr Voss (low German for “Fox”) as its publisher. It was not the first German newspaper, having been preceded by the Augsberger Post – Zeitung, which came into being a decade or two earlier as an outgrowth of the famous Fugger news letters.
It first reported court news and general news dispatches. For nearly two hundred years it was used by the German aristocracy for the announcement of births, deaths and marriages.
In its editorial offices hung–until recently at any rate–a neatly framed clipping announcing the birth of a son to Major Robert and Frau Louise von Hindenburg on October 2, 1847. The son was Paul von Hindenburg, later Field Marshal of the Kaiser’s armies, Grand Old Man of the German Republic and now president and figurehead of the Third Reich.
Dr. Georg Bernhard was the last editor-in-chief of the Vossische Zeitung before that institution bowed to factors beyond its control. He occupied the post for twenty years, resigning on Hitler’s ascendance to supreme power.
Now editor of the Pariser Tageblatt, a newspaper in exile published in Paris, the new home of German culture and civilization, Dr. Bernhard recently blamed the publishers, the Ullsteins, for the downfall of the “Voss,” and remarked that they are now paying for their past sins. Because they were the real grave-diggers of the cherished freedom of the press, they with others in similar positions, made the way clear for Hitler barbarism.