Minneapolis (Jul. 20)
This thickly populated German-American sector was startled this week when four of the Twin Cities’ daily newspapers hurled scathing denunciations and pointed sarcasms at Chancellor Hitler in editorial comment on the German dictator’s Reichstag speech on the Nazi “blood purge” of June 30.
In this city an editorial in the Tribune said that, even were Hitler’s explanation accurate, the “blood purge” would still stand, in American eyes at least, as the direct consequence of all that is intolerant, suppressive and tyrannical.
Hitlerism as a system breeding the culture of intolerance in which treason and revolt were inevitable was denounced in this editorial for making possible the alleged treachery of the slain men.
“The methods of the purge are too closely identified with the methods of Hitlerism to make it appear the reluctant undertaking of a gentle and long-suffering government,” the Tribune added.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press, in concluding its editorial praising General Hugh S. Johnson for his Waterloo attack on Nazism, asserted:
“Germany … embraced dictatorship, and if the physical welfare and actual well-being of the masses are to be the test, has smaller results to show than those who have played safe with democracy. Even Hitler himself has had to admit, in his recent speech, that his leadership has only brought Germany into economic quagmire.”
Special significance was imputed by observers to these first two editorials because the Tribune has been the only one of three newspapers in Minneapolis to receive advertising from German steamship lines, and the Press is controlled by Victor F., Joseph E. and Bernard H. Ridder, powerful influences in German-American circles here.
The Minneapolis Star predicted the quick downfall of Hitler and Nazism in their editorial comment which said:
“When a dictator is impelled to tell his people why he did thus and so, he is no longer a dictator. By this speech, Hitler’s power is shown to have lost its complete throttle-hold on the country, and even then the suppressed revolt indicates a flaw in his political structure that may quickly widen to a destructive breach.”
The Minneapolis Journal sarcastically wondered why European capitals were disappointed at Hitler’s explanation.
“As in the World War,” it said, “the situation demanded ‘ersatz’â€”substitute for the real thing. ‘Ersatz’ is what the German chancellor gave his followers.”