Vice Chancellor Franz Von Papen, in a public address, sharply criticized the Nazi regime the day after Hitler had declared that “Germany’s fist was ready to smash” critics and that the end of foreign dictation to Germany had arrived.
Von Papen said, among other things:
“The press is no longer a safety valve. The real purpose of the press would seem to be to inform the government of defects that have crept in and point out where corruption has secured a berth, where serious mistakes have been made, where unfit men have been in wrong places and where sins are being committed against the spirit of the German revolution. An anonymous or secret service, be it ever so excellently organized, can never be a substitute for this task of the press….
“The statesmen and the politicians can reform the state but not life itself….
“In my opinion, the German state will at some future date find its crowning glory in a chief of state who once for all is removed from the political fight of demagogy and from clashes among economic and vocational interests….
“Not by inciting the people, especially the youth; not by uttering threats against helpless sections of the population, but only by the truthful exchange of views with the people, can confidence be increased….
“When once a revolution has been completed, the government must represent only the people as a whole and never be an exponent of single groups.”
These statements contain the boldest criticism thus far levelled at Hitler in Germany by a member of his government.
The Vice Chancellor’s daring speech was suppressed by order of the government. Only those who heard it at the Marburg University were startled by the audacious attack on the Hitler regime. The German people were not permitted to read it in their newspapers.
On the same day General Goering made the admission that enthusiasm for the Hitler regime is on the wane in Germany and that discontent is growing.
“An application of new and perhaps still more radical and revolutionary methods would scarcely produce an improvement,” said General Goering, “but it is not our place to decide whether a second revolution is necessary. The first revolution was ordered by the Leader and has been terminated by the Leader. If the Leader wishes a second revolution, then tomorrow we stand in the streets. If he does not wish that we will crush those who want to bring about a revolution against the will of the Leader.”
These are most significant and