Paris (Jun. 18)
Correspondents in Germany dare not reveal one-quarter of what they know and newspaper editors dare not make use of the material which their correspondents secretly turn over to them, Dr. Georg Bernhard, former editor of the Berlin Vossische Zeitung and now editor of the German-language daily, Pariser Tageblatt, declares in a signed editorial.
The situation, he declares, is a challenge to the newspaper publishers of the world and to the international organizations of journalists.
Under the litle, “Obey and Hold Your Tongue,” the famous editor describes the situation in the following editorial.
TRUTH BANNED IN REICH
“A few days ago, Pembroke Stephens, correspondent of the Daily Express, was arrested and then deported from Germany. Now a writer of the Daily Telegraph, Noel Panter, who had already spent some time in German prisons (from which he was released by the diplomatic intervention of his Ambassador) has been forbidden to enter Germany.
“Truth is unpopular in Germany. And journalists who would like to report the news must not live in Germany. That has been known for a long time. But the proper conclusions have not been drawn from this knowledge. Otherwise the combined press of the world, which promises its readers it will supply them with correct news from all the Lord’s countries through its nets of correspondents, would long ago have withdrawn its regular correspondents from Germany.
EDITORS FEAR REPRISALS
“What the great newspapers of all countries are reporting about Germany today is always either (depending upon the character of the correspondent) ‘falsified’ or, at best, only one-quarter of the truth. Many of the reporters, perhaps, confidentially turn over to their editors the things they must themselves suppress. But even the editors, outside, do not dare to utilize such material in perceptible form in their editorial articles. By doing that they would endanger the health and even the life of their co-workers.
SPYING ON WRITERS
“The extent to which the curtailment of the freedom of foreign correspondents in Germany goes was expressed quite unceremoniously a while ago by Herr Hanfstaengl, the corrupt mediator between the foreign press and Reich Chancellor Hitler. The foreign journalists, he said, have been invited into the best room of Germany. But they must not rummage about in the kitchen and the bedrooms. This is in itself a unique conception of the role of foreign correspondents.
“But what does Herr Hanfstaengl understand by unauthorized spying by foreign correspondents? Neither Noel Panter nor Pembroke Stephens published anything which was considered either an indiscretion or even a tactless act in other lands. For the most part they were things any one might notice. But it is just that which is especially characteristic about Germany. What everyone must notice in Germany dare not be taken abroad. For the daily occurrences of this country are so hair-raising that if they were really known abroad, the world would be filled with horror.
GAG PALE IN EFFECT
“In Hitler Germany no right obtains, and no agreements are binding. Children are being educated for murder. War against all the world is being prepared for. No previously assumed responsibilities are permitted to interfere. And all this is happening (to continue the comparison begun by Herr Hanfstaengl) not in a locked secret room but openly, on the streets. And even the noise made in the streets by the marching battalions must no longer be reported by the journalists. The foreign correspondents, too. like the Germans, must think of themselves as ‘Soldiers of Hitler.’ For them too the slogan should be: Obey and hold your tongue!
“What have the international organizations of journalists and of publishers to say about this?”