To Be Concluded Tomorrow
A Day Book walked into the office the other afternoon. He was a big man with pine-needle blond hair and blue eyes and he spoke with a German accent. He was a true “Aryan” if there ever was one.
When he asked to speak to the person in charge of this department, it was explained to him that various members of the staff contribute to these columns, as the mood and the inspiration strike them.
“I am one of the many non-Jews who read the Jewish Daily Bulletin,” he said, “and I particularly enjoy your Day Book. Something happened a few nights ago that I thought you might like to tell about in this feature of your newspaper.”
Our visitor identified himself by name, but for obvious reasons we can’t give it here. Let’s just call him Mr. Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt is a native of southern Germany who retains a warm love for his Fatherland, its folkways and its past glories, and who is tied to the Reich by strong bonds of blood and friendship. Most of his family and many of his friends reside in the Reich.
He, himself, however, has been in this country long enough to have become imbued with its spirit, and he thinks of himself as an Americanâ€”a fact which does not interfere with the sentimental attachment he feels for the country where he was born and grew to manhood.
“I went to the most recent meeting of the Friends of New Germany, in the Turn Halle, at Lexington avenue and Eighty-fifth street,” he said, “and I heard something there that amazed me.
“Joseph Schuster (leader of the Brooklyn cell of the ‘Friends’ and one of the powers of New York Nazidom) was speaking to an audience of about 1,500 persons. He was attacking the older German residents for their failure to rally to the Hitler cause.
“Behind him, on the platform, hung the Hakenkreuz (the swastika) on one side and the American flag on the other. Schuster began ranting against American youth and what he described as its tendency to spend its time in movies and on street corners.
“Finally, working himself up into a frenzy of oratory, he swung halfway around and pointed with trembling, melodramatic fervor to the Hakenkreuz.
” ‘That,’ he shouted, ‘is the spirit in which American youth should be educated! Let them learn the meaning of the Hakenkreuz, so that when the proper day arrives, they will know into which camp to throw their bombs and their hand grenades!’ “
Mr. Schmidt paused in the telling of his story and fanned himself with his straw hat. He had become quited excited while he was recounting it. Unconsciously, with his voice and his gestures, he had been imitating the choleric Schuster, and his face had flared into a beet-redness while he was pantomiming the apoplectic hysteria of the fanatic Schuster.
“I have been to a number of these meetings,” he said, “but this is the first time I have ever heard such an open incitement to sedition and violence. Schuster was showing himself and the Nazi gangster rule in their true colors.”
From an inner pocket Mr. Schmidt drew forth a letter which bore a German postmark.
“This letter,” he said, “was written to me by a good and harmless man a few days before he was killed by Hitler’s thugs.
“He was a sixty-two-year-old employe in the offices of Vice Chancellor von Papen. He was what you might call a ‘pen-pusher.’
“On that week-end of the so called purge, six storm troopers forced their way into his office and shot him down when he arose to ask what they wanted.
“When I learned of his death I went to the German consulate here in New York.
” ‘Why have they killed my friend?’ I asked. They shrugged their shoulders.
” ‘Please don’t ask us anything,’ they said. ‘W don’t know anything, we receive no information, we can’t say anything.’
“That poor man was no traitor. He was a middle-aged clerk, who never had done anyone harm in his life. He was murdered in cold blood by these animals.”
Again Mr. Schmidt paused for breath. Again he became excited, this time with anger and indignation.
“I am not one of those who condemned the Hitler government from the start,” he said. “A year ago I didn’t believe the stories I was reading and hearing. I thought they were lies and exaggerations. I thought I knew my own people better than to believe they would tolerate such things.
“I have since learned that everything was true. These fellows are gangsters. They use gangster tactics. They are driving the country to ruin.”
He told of his own experiences in business, which he regards as typical of how the world has reacted to the Nazi terror.
â€”A. J. B.
To Be Concluded Tomorrow