Jewish and Gentile alumni of Harvard University may protest against the invitation extended to Ernst Hanfstaengel, one of Adolf Hitler’s most intimate friends, who has just sent word that he won’t come here anyway. He may be an undesirable Nazi to others, but to Doug Brinkley, an American journalist who spent fourteen of the past twenty-four months in Germany, the Chancellor’s bosom pal is “the best diplomat in the service” and a gifted pianist who often slips into Adolf’s apartment long after midnight to soothe his tired chief with music.
Brinkley made his admiration for Hanfstaengl and even more so for Hitler unmistakable when he lectured Wednesday evening at Town Hall to an audience of 1,500 who punctuated the speaker’s remarks with shouts of “Heil, Hitler!” and the upraised arm Nazi salute.
Convinced that the American public has been getting a “grossly one-sided” picture of Nazi doings, Brinkley promised an objective lowdown to his hearers and announced at the outset, “I have not received one cent from the Hitler government.” He was also anxious to make clear that “I am not an educator, economist, and above everything else, not a propagandist.”
Most of the audience, which included a fair proportion of women, conversed in German. Not a few were wearing swastika buttons in their lapels and elsewhere. Brinkley’s complimentary description of Germany under Hitler struck a responsive chord and the lecture, delivered in a monotone, was often interrupted with applause and cheers for the Nazi leader. Once or twice a few scattered objections were shouted but were drowned in Nazi cheers. Once a woman shrieked “It’s a lie.”
At the end some of the Americans went to the box office to demand their money back. A couple of them got it. The Deutsche Zeitung was sold at the entrance as well as the Silver Ranger and Liberation.
Laughter followed Brinkley’s occasional reference to French fears of Germany’s militaristic ambitions which were entirely discounted by the speaker, who painted the Reich as the land interested intensely in promoting universal peace. As for the tanks and guns observed at German army maneuvres, and said to be violating treaty provisions, Brinkley said they were only dummy tanks and the guns were of wood.
Every time “the National Socialist revolution of 1933″ was mentioned wild cheering broke out. It was accomplished, according to Brinkley, without bloodshed, “bringing peace and plenty.”
Time will come when the whole of Europe will be grateful to Hitler, “the only leader in Europe with courage to save the world from the menace of Communism,” Brinkley predicted.
“Adolf Hitler is a leader in action such as the world has never seen. In less than ten years the world will be praising him as they are now praising Mussolini who in the beginning was also criticized,” Brinkley maintained.
GERMANY ALWAYS ANTI-SEMITIC
Among the principal beneficiaries of Nazism, he maintained, was German Iabor, for the funds of trade unions were not confiscated but “used to develop the rights of German workers.”
Heads were shaken sadly when Brinkley began to recite how Jews had monopolized the professions and other occupations. He said that even to this day Jewish lawyers are admitted to the bar in Berlin, that Jews are unhindered in business, and numerous Jewish night clubs, coffee shops and department stores are in evidence and patronized.
“The Jews come to Germany from other countries, stay there until their material condition is improved, then move to America and elsewhere,” Brinkley charged.
Germany has always been anti-Semitic, he admitted, and today it is “being reforged for the Germans.” Germany’s side could never be properly presented in the foreign press which is “under Jewish control,” Brinkley explained.
“I inquired with both Jews and Gentiles, and I neither saw nor heard of a case of cruelty or brutality,” he concluded the discussion of the Jewish problem, and launched into denying the accusations of the “Brown Book of Hitler Terror.” In concentration camps he discovered no Jews, the prisoners being all Communists who are excellently treated and provided with modern sanitary arrangements.
As for Nazi labor camps, “they are very similar to our own Civil Conservation Corps. They help men and women, boys and girls to readjust themselves.” The camps are not militaristic, they are merely “redeeming thousands from destitution,” Brinkley said. They might well be imitated in any country, he felt.
“I don’t believe there was a single starving soul in Germany this winter,” he went on.
HITLER LIVES ON WRITINGS
“Happy, contented faces” greeted Brinkley in Germany on all sides. There were no more evidences of inferiority complex. All major industries are solidly behind Hitler. Hitler and his lieutenants are “doing all within their power to retain the high standards of womanhood,” he averred.
Among Brinkley’s other observations were these:
“The German Christian movement is by no means all bad.”
“Sports are encouraged. It is a splendid sight–men and women seeking escape from economic conditions in lakes and rivers.”
“Hitler has been almost infallible. In will and spirit he is one of the strongest in the world.”
“Church attendance is higher in Germany than ever before.”
“Hitlerism means an era of justice and work.”
“Success of the German experiment will be profoundly felt in America.”
“Hitler can look the German people in the eye.”
“Hitler has raised the German people from the dead. He has a warm heart, is loyal, courageous, religious. His salary he turns over to the unfortunates, and lives entirely on the money from his writings.”
“National Socialism is the foundation of peace.”
Brinkley intends to tour the country and lecture on his observations in Germany.
RABBI LALING’S SERMON
“Is Nothing Left to us?” will be the sermon subject of Rabbi Max Laling of the German-Jewish Congregation at the holy service tonight in the Central Synagogue, Lexington avenue at Fifty-fifth street.