About five million people in Germany dared to say “No!” to Adolf Hitler. That is the significant outcome of the plebiscite which was really nothing else than a command to vote “Yes” for Hitler as Reich Fuehrer and Chancellor. Every device of propaganda, threat and compulsion has been resorted to by the Nazis. And yet five million people were courageous enough to take the risk of opposing Hitler.
According to The New York Times Berlin correspondent, the hospital of the Jewish community in one district cast 168 “Yes” votes, ninety-two “Noes,” and forty-six ballots were invalid.
The correspondent points out also that “former Marxists cast a far heavier vote for Chancellor Hitler than the so-called bourgeoisie. In Berlin, especially, judging by their vote, former Communists still are Leader Hitler’s most loyal supporters. In one voting district in Wedding, where a few years ago Communists fought from behind barricades against the police, the ‘Yes’ votes amounted to 949; the ‘No’ votes and invalid ballots totaled 237.”
The voting of the Marxists and the Communists favoring Hitler to the extent reported in The Times is extremely puzzling. Either most of these Marxists and Communists were Marxists and Communists in name only before the advent of Hitler as Chancellor, or they have become so demoralized by persecution and intimidation that they now blindly obeyed the Nazi orders.
The Jewish “No” votes are a heroic demonstration of courage, self-respect and self-sacrifice. It was a foregone conclusion that the farcical plebiscite would endorse Hitler’s seizure of the Presidency by an overwhelming majority. If the plebiscite is a true expression of the German people’s estimate of Hitler and Hitlerism, then the German people are unworthy of a better Leader, and the indignation of civilized public opinion should be directed not only against Hitler but also against those who have endorsed him for leadership.
The Jewish “No” votes redeem to a great extent the Jews of Germany who did not express themselves throughout their tragic martyrdom under the Nazi regime. The inmates of the Jewish hospital who said “No!” to Hitler have set an example which puts to shame the so-called radical elements that voted for Hitler, whatever the explanation, pretext or excuse may be.
Millions of Catholics and Protestants have also voted against Hitler.
Uneasy lies the head of the Reich Fuehrer as he contemplates the meaning of five million brave people opposing him so fearlessly. He surely knows that autocracies have been overthrown by very small groups of revolutionaries. He can have but little comfort from the fact that nine tenths of the votes were cast in his favor, for he knows under what conditions the “plebiscite” was conducted. The one tenth must worry him, for this one tenth will eventually liberate the German people from the scourge of both Hitler and Hitlerism.
Hitler’s Reichsbishop Mueller now hails his master’s victory as a victory over the Jews. “Hitler’s fight is a fight for Christianity against Jews, the most savage enemies of Christianity,” said the Nazi “spiritual” leader. To him Hitler is comparable to Jesus.
“As in the days of the old Christians, faith is equal to confidence,” he declared. “Jesus, preaching the gospel, pleaded for confidence. So did our Leader when he put the plebiscite as a question of confidence to the nation. We as true Christians had to give him our ‘Ja,’ as only our consent gives him the right to defend our religion.”
And he concluded by saying that the result of the election was “the beginning of the whole nation’s Christianity, since it had the courage to vote for and stand behind the leader in his fight against the Jews.”
The Reichsbishop, the Nazi church dictator appointed by Hitler, thus admits that Hitlerism is based solely on anti-Semi-itsm, and that the “beginning of the (German) nation’s Christianity” is marked by the Leader’s fight against the Jews.
What will the Christian world say now about Hitler’s new Christianity?”
U. OF P. GRADUATE
The first Jewish student at the University of Pennsylvania was matriculated in 1772.