A grotesque statement by the late Col. Ernst Roehm, chief of staff of the Brown Shirt army, whose life was taken as forfeit by his friend, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, appears in the current issue of The American Illustrated News, a startling Nazi propaganda release now being circulated throughout English speaking countries.
Weird in its posthumous character, the statement was possibly one of the last essays written by the storm troop chief. It expresses a deep conviction of the “peaceful and spiritual qualities of the Brown Shirts” whose guns a short time later sent the Colonel to eternity.
Excerpts from his statement, entitled “The meaning and purpose of the S. A. and S. S.” follow:
“The German revolution has been carried out with very little bloodshed. It is purely spiritual and philosophical in character.
“The training of the storm troops in fighting is confined to the limitations of conflicts with internal political opponents. The carrying of arms by the S. A. as troops and by the individual S. A. man was forbidden both by the government and by their supreme S. A. leader Adolf Hitler.
“Just as the S. A. and S. S. with their political views fought their way to power, so will they in the future defend their National Socialist State with every means against any attacks by Marxism or the advocates of obsolete ideas. The S. A. and S. S. do not possess a single piece of artillery.”
Of his chief, Hitler, with whom he had long been an intimate comrade in campaigns and in victoryâ€”of Hitler, who ordered him shot down by storm troopersâ€”Roehm states:
“Adolf Hitler fought throughout the World War as a common soldier in the front line. The German soldier was a brave and honorable opponent and the tales of cruelty about him are lies. These ghastly stories that poison the relations between the nations did not have their origin on the fighting front where death alone was master and where the same need and danger forged a bond of invisible comradeship between all fighting men, regardless of the uniform they wore.
“But when the cowardice and treachery of social democracy, blood brother to Communist Bolshevism destroyed the will to further resistance in the homeland behind the lines, the German army was compelled to lay down its arms.
“Adolf Hitler burned with shame when he remembered the undeserved disgrace inflicted on the German soldier.
“Since the revolt in November, 1918, the Social Democrats had been absolute masters of the situation, and thus of the whole political life. They prevented with brutal force any enlightenment contrary to their wishes.”
THE ATTACK ON ROEHM
On Roehm’s arrest and death Prussian Premier Goering wrote the following obituary:
“The execution of the arrests was accomplished by a spectacle so bad morally that every trace of pity must needs vanish.
“Some of these storm troop leaders had brought boys with them for lustful purposes. One of them was caught in a most despicable situation and arrested.
“Der Fuehrer gave orders for the pitiless excision of this pest and boil. He will not tolerate in the future that millions of decent people shall be compromised by individuals with abnormal tendencies.”
“The American Illustrated News,” a highly expensive quarterly publication of Hitler’s Germany, standard news sheet size and embracing sixty-four pages of propaganda of an economic and political nature, is now being distributed in the United States.
It is believed that dissemination of the publication, which has been produced with no effort made to spare expense, has been intrusted to German travel, steamship, diplomatic and trade interests here.
Just how many copies of the paper are being distributed cannot be determined, but it is estimated that it has a circulation in this country of between four and five thousand. It is entirely in English.
While the masthead of the publication, describing the American Illustrated News as “The Bridge Across the Atlantic … Berlin, London, New York …” indicates it is to be sold at eighty cents the copy, it is reliably learned that the issue is not to be sold, but rather distributed free of charge to persons and institutions interested in building up the Third Reich.
A letter signed by Karl Bergmann, editor, with offices at Bamberger Strasse 61 in Berlin, is included in each copy. It follows: “Dear sir:
“One year of the Hitler government has impelled us to request the heads of the government to give us a statement as to their ideas on the reconstructive work which has been done in the New Germany
“We are enclosing a copy of the special Hitler number of The American Illustrated News resulting therefrom, hoping that it will arouse your interest.
“Should you wish to make any comments upon any of the articles, we should be grateful if you would send us your views on the matter. We should be glad to print these with your picture, which we hope you will send us.”
Full page advertisements have been subscribed by the Hamburg American Line, the North German Lloyd Line, the Leipzig Trade Fair, the German Tourist Information Office, the Eleventh Olympiad Committee, the port of Hamburg and other concerns, some of the firms of Carl Byoir and Associates of New York represent in this country.