In a brilliant, stinging article in the June issue of Panorama, a magazine published in Boston, the George Sylvester Viereck who has figured so prominently in the Congressional investigation of Nazi intrigue in this country and who has travelled around the United States mouthing admiration for Hitler in one breath and complete freedom from anti-Semitism in the next, is artistically exposed and thoroughly deflated as “a cringing soul,” a “trickster” and a “man with three masks.”
The author of the article is Paul Eldridge, erstwhile collaborator of Viereck in literary ventures. Eldridge, a Jew, will never again collaborate with Viereck, judging from the vitriolic nature of his attack on the Hitler swastika swinger.
The article, captioned “George Swastilra Viereck,” is in the form of a direct “answer to a speech delivered in Madison Square Garden (at the DAWA rally on May 17, wherein the monarchist-re-publican-fascist chameleon and foe of liberty proclaimed his hymn of hate.”
EXCERPTS FROM ARTICLE
Excerpts from the article follow:
“When I read quotations from your speech in the various newspapers, I thought: The young Narcissus grew drunken as he saw his image in the ripples of the fountain; the middle-aged one is drunken as he watches his name shimmer on the front page, and my indignation turned to disdain.
“Today, however, you sent me a typewritten copy of your entire speech delivered at the Madison Square Garden. It was an audacious, a brazen challenge. I must take up my cudgels once more.
“You have lived for a half century, George Sylvester Viereck. He who does not grow turns into a repellent dwarf. There is no grace after maturity, no ‘virtu’ save truth and courage. You lack lamentably both.
‘A CRINGING SOUL’
“You claim you believe in the New Germany, but you dare not become a member of the League of the Friends of New Germany, you dare not become a member of the United German Societies; you dare not enlist in DAWA. Your opening paragraph shows you a cringing soul. You say, ‘I was the friend of Germany under the Republic and I am today a friend of Hitler’s Germany.’
“How easy it is for you to turn your coat, to learn new shibboleths!
“George Sylvester Viereck â€” your speech is a mass of lies, sprinkled with particles of truth, like strong condiments to hide the foulness of the meat. You have made of truth a wooden handle with which you may lift the boiling cauldron of falsehood without blistering your fingers.
“I am not and will never be an anti-Semite.
“What a grotesque and incongruous refrain in a cacophonous litany of hate! You declaim against the Jews as malefactors who have brought about a reign of terror in America … as a racketeer of race hatred … as Communist agitators, as German baiters, and you marvel at the equanimity with which Germany and her friends in the United States have borne this provocation of insult and abuse, and you end with.
We don’t want to fight
But by jingo! if we do
We’ve got the brains, we’ve got the votes,
We’ve got the courage too!
I am not and never will be an anti-Semite!
“George Sylvester Viereckâ€”the Jews refuse your love, your admiration, your justice! They prefer men like Goebbels, and Goering and Hitlerâ€”for at least they are not hypocrites! Hate if you must hate, but do not like Pilate wash your face with perfume that you must not feel the stench of your emotion. Come forward as a warrior with the jester’s bells! Then your words would have more force, more dignity, and would at least convince your followers. For now I am certain they look upon you askanceâ€”the man with three masks: the pleader for the Jews, the upholder of the Kaiser and monarchy, the trumpeter of Hitler…
“With what ease you glide over the most dastardly injustice perpetrated upon an innocent and patriotic people since the Dark Ages! ‘An unhappy result of this necessity (the racial solidarity), was the over-emphasis placed upon the Jewish question in Germany. In the United States the prejudice against the Jews is largely social. In Germany it became political.”
“A mere overstress, eh? And furthermore, something which is universalâ€”even in the United States, the Land of the Free! Ergo! why the fuss?
“Once upon a time, long, long ago, you were a poet, George Sylvester Viereck! Is not a poet he who is sensitized to the pains and sorrows of othersâ€”who feels the tragedy of the plucked flower; and the tragedy of the slaughtered sheep, and the tragedy of the hungry beast of the forest,â€”and goes forth to free the slave? The poet, even if Quixotic, is the admiration of Mankind! The demagogue, the prophet of hate, is the scourge for which the tongue of man has not yet found a name vile enough! The tree has withered, George Sylvester Viereck, and brings forth nought but worms!…
“You have learned all the precepts of Machiavelli. Unable to convince by your weak logic, you resort to trickery. You try to cause dissension among the Jews themselves. You say: ‘Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been contributed by charitable donors to various organizations whose aims are ostensibly humanitarian. How much of it clings to the pockets of race racketeers?’
“Have you never heard of the proverbs: ‘In a hangman’s home one should not speak of rope,’ and They who dwell in glass houses should throw no stones? For by the same token, one might ask ‘How much of the money the German government has spent for propaganda in this country, lines the pockets of those who spread it?’ I shall give you my answer: There are scoundrels in all camps! …
“George Sylvester Viereck, I have spoken to you about the Jews because your speech was chiefly an arraignment against them. But the truth of the matter lies elsewhere. You have been instructed by your superiors to blind the people to the real issue. The real issue is not the Jews. The real issue is tyranny versus civilization. The effect of the Jews’ boycott would indeed be “slight” as you put it, but you know that it is a boycott by all labor, by all churches, by all thinking men, artists, scientists, poets, by all women who having at last achieved a modicum of freedom, refuse to be merely the carriers of a new generation destined as fodder for the cannon. You know all this, but you dared not breathe one sound of it.
BRANDS HIM WITH SHAME
“You dispute the statement made ‘that Germany under Hitler has returned to the law of the jungle … the law of the jungle is an eye for an eyeâ€”a tooth for a tooth.’
“Verily, the law of the jungle does not hold true, for in the land of Hitler it is an eye and a limb from him who has not plucked another’s eye and not torn another’s limb.
“It would require much more than a passing sentenceâ€”chaptersâ€”nay, volumesâ€”to rationalize your activities during the World War and your present activities so that the world may recognize in you a hero and a super-patriot, George Sylvester Viereck!
“To pursue you further in your subterranean, muddy paths of empty words and insincere postures would be futile and altogether unprofitable. All your steps lead to the lair of the wild beasts who rule a once cultured and great nation.
“If history ever records your name, it will say: George Sylvester Viereck preferred darkness to light, falsehood to truth, hate to love, prejudice to reason, a world of slaves to a world of freemen and will brand your memory with one word: ‘Shame!’”