General Hugh S. Johnson, National Recovery Administrator, spoke bluntly about the Hitler massacres of the week-end of June 30. He said:
“A few days ago, in Germany, events have occurred which shocked the world. I don’t know how they affected you but they made me sickâ€”not figuratively, but physically and very actively sick. The idea that adult, responsible men can be taken from their homes, stood up against a wall, backs to the rifles and shot to death is beyond expression.
“I have seen something of that sort in Mexico during the Yilla ravages and among semicivilized people or savages half drunk on sotol and marajuana, but that such a thing should happen in a country of some supposed culture passes comprehension.”
Hitler has been committing shocking crimes ever since he came into power, with the aid of some of the men he has now assassinated. Some of his crimes against intellectuals and pacifists, against Jews and Catholics and non-Nazi Protestants, were marked by greater refinements of cruelty than during his latest sadistic outburst.
General Johnson explained that he denounced Hitlerism as an individual, that he was not speaking for the Department of State or for the Government. But in this instance, the National Recovery Administrator spoke as an American voicing the sentiments of most right-thinking Americans.
A MARRED PROGRAM
Fifty American representatives of American universities went to Nazi Germany at the invitation of the government to see the blessings of Hitlerism. The invitations had been extended to presidents and professors of American universities, at the inspiration of Mr. Ivy Lee, according to the Berlin correspondent of the New York Sun. The American educators were to be guided around Germany so that they might be favorably impressed and could return home with glowing account of the achievements of Nazism. But something went wrong with the plan during the turbulent days of the Hitler butchery. The host of the American educators, Professor Adolf Morsbach, head of the German students’ exchange and German correspondent of the Institute of International Education in New York, was unable to greet the American guests. The guests endeavored to find him, but no one could give them any information as to his whereabouts. At first it was said that he was ill, but when the Americans expressed the wish to pay him a visit at the hospital, the story was changed. At his home no information was given.
The reason why Professor Morsbach could not entertain the invited American educators is very simple. He was placed in a concentration camp during the week-end of Hitler’s hysterical madness.
Thus the propaganda tour was spoiled. The Americans have now had an opportunity to discover something in Germany that had not been included in the German publicity program.
BARTHOU’S REBUKE TO CUZA
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Barthou, during a formal session of the Rumanian Parliament in his honor, was greeted by the anti-Semites leader, Professor Cuza, in a speech denouncing the Jews and accusing them of dominating Europe. Cuza referred to Foreign Minister Barthou as a representative of “Nationalist Christian France.”
In his reply, M. Barthou said:
“I am a Nationalist and a Christianâ€”a nationalist in the best sense of the word; for I demand respect for the laws which serve to protect nationalist rights, but also respect for the rights of all oppressed nations. I am a Christian and a Catholic, and therefore, I demand respect for the right of the adherents of any religion freely to exercise their belief.”
The distinguished French statesman gave an effecitve lesson in tolerance to the bigoted Professor Cuza. The anti-Semitic leader tried to exploit the visit of the French diplomat for his partisan purposes, and was properly and publicly rebuked.
I recall that during my interview with Queen Marie in Bucharest, in 1927, when the question of anti-Semitism was discussed, she asked me whether I had met Professor Cuza. I answered that his attitude toward the Jewish question was so notorious that I did not think it worth while to interview him. Then Queen Marie remarked:
“I beleive you are mistaken. You should size up your enemies. If you met and talked with Cuza, you would convince yourself what an irresponsible fool he is.”
My comment was that it was most unfortunate that such an iresponsible fool was permitted to carry on as the head of the students’ movement in Rumania.
Professor Cuza’s latest experience with the French Foreign Minister Barthou confirmed the Queen’s estimate of him.