AMOVING picture on “Hitler’s Reign of Terror” was banned in Chicago after its first showing at the Majestic Theatre. It is believed that the German diplomatic representatives in this country objected to the showing of this film. It is reported that Dr. Jaeger, the German Consul in Chicago, told the Mayor of Chicago that this film should be stopped on the ground that it would stir up antagonism between two friendly nations, adding that “the picture is a fake, that most of it was made in New York and not in Germany.”
This is the same film which is announced to have its premiere in New York at the Mayfair Theatre, on April 30. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., and Edwin C. Hill, newspapermen, collaborated in the preparation of the picture.
Several days ago this picture was shown to representatives of the Jewish press. The producers as well as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., and Edwin C. Hill undoubtedly had the best of intention. They attempted to expose Hitlerism and its reign of terror. But the film is so poorly constructed, the case against Hitler is so clumsily presented and the photography in most instances is so inferior, that the picture is likely to do more harm than good.
That which is effective in the film is no longer new, and that which is new in it is ineffective. It is an unfortunate piece of clumsy propaganda that will only cause irritation. It fails to present the awful tragedy that is being enacted in Germany under the Hitler reign of terror.
In my editorial entitled “Caution!”, on April 11, I referred to the Nazi meetings in Queens and the attempts on the part of well-intentioned but misguided Jews to break up these meetings by force, and pointed out that the violence of the Nazis should not be met with counter-violence, that the violators of American law and order and offenders against public decency should be properly dealt with by the American authorities.
When the Nazis and their sympathizers in this country hold public meetings at which they launch campaigns to “boycott the boycotters of German goods,” they are inciting one element of the American population against another. When Americans urge a boycott of German goods because of the atrocities that are committed under the Hitler regime, they are not urging any boycott against German Americans, unless such German Americans are identifying themselves with the Nazi propaganda and with Nazi activities. The Nazified German Americans, who wear Nazi uniforms, sing Nazi songs of hate, and conduct Nazi agitation here, are really not Americans. Their slogan, “Boycott the Boycotters,” is made in Germany.
But if Nazi rowdyism is to be denounced, we must denounce anti-Nazi rowdyism even more strongly. The so-called “Blue Shirts” who staged the funeral procession of Hitler in front of a Nazi meeting celebrating Hitler’s birthday acted in an irresponsible manner that could lead only to clashes and violence.
The cause of those who are combating Hitlerism as a world menace is harmed by such tactics.
The Herald Tribune, in an editorial entitled “An Un-American Nuisance,” summed up the case against all these wearers of “uniform shirts” effectively as follows:
“The imported European mania for wearing uniform shirts–whether red, black, khaki, brown, blue, silver or white–as an advertisement of a political cult or obsession, for which the wearer is prepared to challenge the law and disturb the peace, is getting to be a lamentable nuisance. It is lamentable because it reveals a wholly un-American passion for regimented thinking and canned ideology that marks him as a weak link in our distinctive social order. It is a nuisance because wherever a flock of these human sheep turn out under their little local duces or Fuehrers they have to be instructed by the police in the American proprieties at the taxpayer’s expense.”
We caution once more the well-meaning but deluded Jewish “patriots” against resorting to the methods of provocation and violence that are employed by the Nazis and their dupes in this country