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The Bulletin’s Day Book

Adolf, say it isn’t true.

A pal of yours on this side of the pond has just told the government officials what sounds like the biggest whopper of the year. The whopper is about you, Adolf.

It seems you and this fellow who tells it, George Sylvester Viereck is his name, were strolling along a beach one day in 1926 when suddenly Georgie spied a sign. The sign announced bluntly that Jews would not be permitted to bathe in those waters.

Distressed, Georgie says he pointed mutely to the sign. As if to say his great compassionate heart bled at sight of such vulgar bias toward a race he loved.

Then you, dear addled Adolf, with your deep insight into the human soul and your sensitive appreciation of a fellow mortal’s suffering, you spoke up like a man.

“That sign,” vinegary Viereck said you said, “was unauthorized.”

At that point, though Georgie-Pergie (Nazi puddin’ n’ pie) doesn’t tell it that way, there must have been a pause in the conversation. A pause pregnant with the weltschmerz you and your strolling companion were suffering at the thought of such loathesome bigotry.

Then, when you thought George Sylvester had suffered enough, you turned and innocently put to him this poser:

“Is it not true,” you asked, (and our imagination envisions you asking it with a great gob of glycerine welling over your eyelids) “that Jews are excluded from certain beaches in the United States?”

At this point Mr. Fuehrer, permit us. to halt the narrative long enough to reprimand you very severely. You wounded Sylvester’s feelings. You hurt him, as they say, to the quick. That question had a poisoned barb for a punctuation mark and poor Georgie was riven by it.

But honest George proved then and there that he can take it. Though humiliated—that’s his own word to Chairman McCormack—he manfully admitted that you knew your anti-Semitic onions about the United States.

After this admission, the two of you walked on, presumably. We say presumably because Georgie didn’t describe this epochal scene in sufficient detail and so we are reduced to using our imagination.

Now it comes, Adolf. While your hand is raised in that eternal Nazisalute, let us slip the Nazi equivalent for the bible under your left hand, and prepare to give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Did you really say this to Viereck after you had walked on a bit past that nasty sign?

“I do not persecute the Jews; the Jews persecute me.”

Gentle Viereck said you said it.

Adolf, say it isn’t true. So that we might believe you, say it this way: “By the pagan gods I worship, by Wotan, Vulcan and Thor, what Viereck said doth make me sore; by the Jewish heads I’ve caused to roll in the dust, for such a tale I’ll pay him off in—rust.”

You hear that, George Sylvester? Der Schoene Adolf is mad with you. He says you have misquoted him. He says you have tried to make him look like a puling, diapered infant. He says for that he will make you eat rust.

And we don’t blame him one bit.

Any half-baked press agent who couldn’t think up a better yarn than that for $1,750 a month ought to get run out of the profession George, if Hitler knew the American slanguage well enough, he’d cup his hands and yodel across the water: “Tell it to the marines.” Since Der Fuehrer can’t say it, we say it for him.

George, tell it to the marines. Only better make it soft, so they don’t hear it.

—H. W.

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