Now-editorial Notes

J. L. Garvin, the brilliant editor and publicist, in his latest article in the London Observer, analyzes the state of mind of the German people today with regard to Nazism. During the time that the article traveled to this country, the situation in Germany has grown more critical because of the planned mutiny against Hitler and the drastic manner in which it was crushed for the present.

Says Mr. Garvin:

“Today on the question of conscience Germany is split through and through. The Protestants are riven by the grotesque neopaganism of jingo Christianity, while the Catholics to a man and a woman are more and more prepared in their gradual way for another of the ordeals which they have always survived. It is certain that on the issue of conscience two-thirds at least of the German people are against the Nazi regime. Herr Rosenberg’s mania for stenciling the swastika on every German mind is hopeless and ruinous. Unless Herr Hitler faces the elementary facts; unless he learns the primary lesson of German history for a thousand years; unless he recognizes the spiritual conditions of political unity; unless he makes up his mind to restore at any risk or cost complete liberty of conscience and practice—unless he does these things he cannot by any possibility survive. His foundations will crumble beneath him, do what else he will.”

And then he takes up the Nazi Judophobia:

“Leaving aside all ethical and humane considerations, the Jewish persecution is economic imbecility. In all matters of international trade and credit that blunder has far-reaching effects, to Germany’s detriment.

“No policy of religious or racial intolerance can prosper in the economic sphere. Modern Germany became richer because of her Jews. Old Spain impoverished itself by expelling them; just as France suffered by driving out the Huguenots. No truly great modern man has been an anti-Semite. Not Cromwell, not Napoleon, nor Bismarck. The Judenhetze is an expensive as well as a vicious luxury.”

Mr. Garvin’s conclusion is this: “That Herr Hitler himself will declare for reason and stability against extremism and convulsions there seems little doubt. It is the only way by which he can consolidate his own basis; and moderation at home would go far to restore confidence abroad.”

Mr. Garvin is right in his evaluation of the present crisis in Germany, but he is all wrong in his conclusion. While Hitler, after his interview with Mussolini, is ruthlessly fighting his enemies, both of the Right and the Left, he who preached hate and unreason and rose to power on the wave of anti-Semitism cannot be trusted when, for the sake of self-preservation, he may declare that he is for reason and stability. A Hitler policy of moderation would hardly restore confidence in his regime abroad. His rabid Judophobia, in his speeches and his book, Mein Kampf, is too widely known in Germany as the principal part of the Nazi program. He has created an evil force that will destroy him. His own fanatical dupes will try to force him to continue the ruthless war on “non-Aryans.” Hitler cannot be trusted to rebuild the new Germany along the lines of reason and justice and peace, even if he should make the most sensational acrobatic political somersault.

The salvation of Germany lies in the complete repudiation of Hitler and Nazism, and in the establishment of an orderly government of reason by men of wisdom and peace, trusted by the German people who are awakening from the Hitler delirium, and worthy of the confidence of civilized nations.

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