America is celebrating her national birthday. The greatest Democracy in the world, notwithstanding its shortcomings and some of its backslidings from the original ideals and principles of the far-sighted founders of the United States of America, is a fortress of moral strength and an example of what a free people under a democracy can attain.
The economic distress through which this country, together with the rest of the world, has been passing, is the heritage of the blunders and the crimes that were committed during the World War and its aftermath.
The European intrigues and age-old hatreds which culminated in the bloodiest war in history have become intensified now. In Germany insanity, gangsterism and race hatred reign supreme just now. Fear and greed and vengeance and war – madness, as expressed through a feverish armament race, are preparing the ground for a new and more terrible catastrophe.
This country is suffering chiefly as a result of the chaotic conditions abroad. To regain its material and moral strength, and to make greater progress as the world’s foremost Democracy, this country needs more, not less democracy, more social justice, more of the vision and the ideals and the freedom from prejudice, which characterized the builders of this nation.
The spirit of America should tower as a challenge to dictatorships conceived in crime, born in madness and living by the sword.
THE WOODEN HINDENBURG
In 1915 I saw the German people idolizing their war hero, General von Hindenburg. They erected a huge wooden figure of Hindenburg in Berlin and paid their tribute to their national hero by driving nails into the wooden image. Hindenburg was worshipped by the German masses to such an extent that the War Lord, Kaiser Wilhelm, was overshadowed. The Kaiser frequently had himself photographed with Hindenburg, and had these photographs broadcast throughout Germany in order to profit by the glory of his most popular General.
Now President Hindenburg has grown old and feeble. He has become a pathetic puppet in the hands of the charlatan who seized the reins of government in Germany by fanning the flames of race hatred and by making false promises. Within the past ten days President Hindenburg congratulated his “dear comrade,” von Papen, the Vice Chancellor, on his Marburg speech criticizing the Hitler regime. Von Papen’s speech and President Hindenburg’s telegram were suppressed by order of Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment. And now that Hitler has ordered the shooting of Hindenburg’s comrade, General von Schleicher, a former Chancellor, and many of the comrades of Hitler who had helped Hitler to power by resorting to the most hideous crimes, the aged von Hindenburg has telegraphed to Hitler and to Goering that by crushing “traitorous machinations” they “rescued the German people from a great danger” and he thanked them for their “energetic and successful action in suppressing the attempt at high treason.”
These telegrams were published conspicuously in every German newspaper.
Has President Hindenburg actually sent these telegrams? Or has Hitler dictated these telegrams to be signed by the aged President? How can the Hindenburg telegrams to von Papen and to Hitler be explained?
The wooden image of Hindenburg, once the idol of the German people, has had a few long nails driven into it by Adolf Hitler, the dictator who, by fire and sword, is devastating Germany while rapidly digging his own grave.