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It is surprising that to date the ingenious gentlemen of the Nazi propaganda mill in Berlin haven’t discovered that perhaps, after all, what Nero was playing while Rome was burning was a Jew’s harp and not a fiddle.

That such a pronouncement has not yet been spewed forth from the Goebbels publicity cannons is a sure sign that the Hitler juggernaut is beginning to sputter along on one cylinder and a pagan prayer. To our way of thinking such an omission is even more indicative than was the bloody mop-up indulged in by Der Fuehrer that the end is near for Hitlerism. When a ruler’s minions begin to overlook such important details that ruler had better look to his crown.

The mere fact that neither historian or philologist has thus far been able to establish an authentic connection between that instrument and the Jews as a race, religion or people certainly couldn’t have been a factor in keeping Goebbels, Streicher et al, from front-paging so sensational a “discovery.” It has yet to be recorded that the truth is a matter of deep concern to any of the Nazis.

We have a theory that may possibly account for the Hitler baboons’ remissness in bringing Nero into their burning Jewish question. Goebbels, who has a doctor’s degree, may know something of history. He may have been aware, for example, that to bring Nero to the attention of the public might give the public some ideas along the line of unflattering comparisons between Adolf and he who was born L. Domitius Ahenoharbus. There have been recently some incidents in the Adolfian career that are strongly reminiscent of what occurred in the latter days of the fat lyreplucker’s hapless reign. That purge, for example. Ahenoharbus may not have called it by the same name but he, too, his day was called upon to become his country’s “supreme judge” in a crisis almost exactly similar to the one in which the gentle Adolf “had to act with the speed of lightning”

Change the date and names in the following excerpt from the encyclopedia and one would imagine he were reading an account of the June 30 blood-letting:

“Early in 65 Nero was panicstricken by the discovery of a formidable conspiracy involving such men as Faenius Rufus, Tigellinus’s colleague in the prefecture of the praetorian guards, Plautius Lateranus, one of the consuls elect, the poet Lucan, and lastly, not a few of the tribunes and centurions of the praetorian guard itself. Their chosen leader, whom they destined to succeed Nero, was C. Calpurnius Piso, a handsome, wealthy and popular noble, and a boon companion of Nero himself. The plan to murder Nero was frustrated by a freedman Milichus, who, in the hope of a large reward, disclosed the whole plot. Piso, Faenius Rufus, Lucan and many of their less prominent accomplices, and even Seneca himself (though there seems to have been no evidence of his complicity) were executed.”

Little wonder then that the learned Goebbels, if he thought of it at all, hesitated to drag Nero into the anti-Semitic campaign.

But we seem to have wandered far afield from the original thesis of this column, which was the Jew’s harp. What prompted the thesis in the first place was an insignificant item in a statement on German exports for the first quarter of the year.

This item revealed the somewhat puzzling news that during the first three months of 1934 there was an increase of six percent in Germany’s exports of jew’s Larps.

That there has been a rather sharp increase of late in the export—voluntary and forced—of Jews from the “Aryan” paradise has been an accepted fact. But that the Nazis had gone so far as to see that every departing Jew took a jew’s harp with him— that was too much to swallow. But the Nazis are thorough if nothing else, so the fact will have to be accepted at its face value. Nazis not only do not wish to have Jews in their country, but they would rid themselves of anything that even remotely reminds them of the hated race.

The next time this reporter is assigned to interview an exiled German Jew, the first thing he will do hereafter will be to demand to see his credentials. In this manner:

“Dr. Rosenfeld, do you have your jew’s harp with you? If you don’t you had better get one. Without a jew’s harp in your possession you cannot be a genuine refugee.”

—H. W.

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