Twenty years ago the world was plunged into a war in which the flower of the youth of many nations was crushed out, the wealth of nations was destroyed, and demoralization followed in the wake of the wholesale slaughter. The war spirit remained mobilized and nationalist greed and fear became intensified by the consequences of the war and the peace.
Autocracies were overthrown and in their stead dictatorships have ruled the people in various lands by means of violence and terror.
In Germany the monstrosity of Hitlerism has risen to power by false promises and hideous iniquity, racial, religious and political persecutions unparalleled in history. Nazism expressed itself in arrogant defiance of all the just laws of God and manâ€”in vengeance, in war mania.
While the real causes of the World War have not yet been conclusively defined, and while Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm was not alone to blame for the outbreak of the war, it has been clear for some time, and now it can no longer be doubted, that Hitlerism is precipitating a new war of many nations.
The latest tragedy in Austria is the handiwork of Hitler, however he may now try to deny or conceal it.
First came his hapnazard promises to the German people to give them work and bread. Then came his pledges to restore Germany’s lost prestige among the nations. Then came the agitation against the Jews as the scapegoat for all the ills that have befallen the German people through the war and the peace. Then came the attacks on Jews and Catholics and Protestants, on Socialists, on liberals, on radicals, on intellectuals and on pacifists. Throughout this period feverish preparations were made for a new war. Propaganda for Nazism and against Jews and democracy has been conducted, at great expense, in various lands. The Hitler follies and the Nazi crimes resulted in the anti-German economic boycott in various lands. The consequences of this anti-Nazi boycott and moral isolation have reduced Germany to moral and economic bankruptcy. Spending huge sums on munitions and propaganda, Hitlerite Germany repudiated her obligations to other nations.
Then Hitler discovered that a mutiny against him was being hatched among his most devoted comrades in crime and depravity. In desperation he personally conducted a butchery of his Storm troop leaders and numerous innocent people. When the world was shocked by the unprecedented brutalities of the Fuehrer of the German people, Hitler tried to defend and justify his butcheries in a hysterical speech before his “reichstag.” The modern Genghis Khan employed the radio in an effort to clear himself before the world. He said the emergency had made it imperative for him to assume the role of the Supreme Judge. He produced no evidence, and presented no facts that could convince any sane person that he had acted as a responsible, conscientious and sane leader. Hitler killed the witnesses before the trial, and then declared himself innocent.
Despite his promises to his only friend in Europe, Mussolini, that he would keep his hands off Austria, Hitler nevertheless tolerated the continued Nazi machinations in Austria which culminated in the assassination of Dollfuss, and which may serve as the spark for a new European conflagration. The recall of the German Minister to Austria because of his aid to the assassins of Dollfuss, the appointment of von Papen as special envoy to Austria, as a pacific gesture of good will, and at the same time as an opportunity to rid himself of the critical element in his Cabinet, are but desperate efforts to camouflage his guilt in the Austrian affair. Hitler has in all likelihood sought to divert attention from his fiascos by precipitating international complications.
It is clearly the duty of all responsible statesmen in Europe to stamp out the Nazi fire which is intended to set Europe ablaze, without delay. No war can be localized now. The various European blocs will necessarily draw many nations into the conflict, if it is not averted now energetically and promptly. The consequences of another war are too horrible to contemplate.