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The Bulletin’s Day Book

If Paul Joseph Goebbels, the pathetic little shrimp whose job it is to tell the world about the Nazis, keeps on talking the way he has been lately, there’s no telling when I’ll be able to return to reading my fan mail.

Yesterday, speaking before 30,000 Storm Troops, he said that no German will suffer “cold, hunger or want” during the coming Winter. Papa Hitler, he thundered, will take care of that.

Then, tightening his belt, the gabby Goebbels launched this Spartan speech into the four winds:

“No troubles are great enough to force us to capitulate. No distress can force us to our knees.”

Waiving for the moment the blatant inconsistency of first assuring people they won’t go hungry and then telling them that even if they are hungry they won’t be forced to their knees, both Goebbels and his speech recall to mind the city editor of fiction. When his reporter returns from an attempted interview, in the course of which he gets considerably banged up, and informs him of his failure to get a story, the city editor roars:

“You go back and tell that blasted suchandso he can’t intimidate us!”

It’s a lead-pipe cinch that if this Winter Germany has to draw its collective belt tighter around its shrinking stomach, Herr Doktor Goebbels won’t be called upon to exercise the Spartan stoicism he’s prattling about to the Storm Troopers. There’ll be plenty of heat in his furnace—he could talk his apartment warm right through the hardest Winter if it comes to that. There’ll be plenty of furs on his skinny little back, even if there are nothing but rags to cover the ribs of those who voted “ja” at the plebiscite. And the Goebbels platter will be heaped to overflowing with squab and filet mignon and cauliflower and gravy, even if the “ja” voters are limping along on a diet of black bread and potatoes.

Goebbels, however, will be in a much better position than some of his Nazi colleagues if it comes to a hard Winter for Germany, Paul, even if he continues to eat heartily, will always be able to look pathetically hungry. He looks that way naturally.

But Hitler, Streicher and Goering —those paunchy babies will have to keep out of the public eye during the lean days to come. They’ll never be able to look as if they’re starving.

So if the Third Reich hits a famine year, Herr Doktor Paul is in for a tough time of it. He’ll have to stump all over Adolf’s realm showing the folks a woebegone, famished look so they’ll think that Der Fuehrer’s playmates are with them in their suffering.

The “they-can’t-intimidate-us” speech of the Doktor abounded with other gems. Put your jeweler’s glass to your eye and examine this dazzler:

“We intend to win over the negative voters. This is best done by love and care, affording them an opportunity to understand the Nazi state.”

Paul was referring to the 5,000,000 Germans who had the courage to vote “nein” at the plebiscite. Paul is going to go around loving those dear people and caring for them, so that they’ll see the error of their ways and vote “ja” at the next plebiscite—if they live to see another one.

A “nein” voter is sitting in his parlor somewhere in Berlin. There’s a sound of tramping feet approaching his house. The sound stops in front of the door. Comes a heavy pounding on the portals and a Nazi storm trooper roars:

“Open in the name of Herr Cupid. I have brought you a message of love from Herr Goebbels.”

Surprised at this unusual greeting, the nervy “neiner” opens the door. A burly trooper grabs him by the nape of the neck and trundles him out to his comrades, who are roaring at the leader’s demonstration of wit.

“We have been told to handle you delicately,” the burly one roars. “Ach, mein herr, believe it or not, we love you.”

The leader punctuates this remark with a blow to the “neiner’s” nose that draws claret. After that, except for a few kicks in the rump by the hob-nailed boots of his escorts, the dissenting citizen is marched lovingly enough to the love chambers of Cupid Goebbels.

“Ach, my beloved fellow citizen,” Cupid greets him, sighing deeply, “I have brought you here to show you how much love there is in our Nazi hearts, even though you have so awfully betrayed us.”

No sooner has Cupid finished this kindly speech than the man he is speaking to crumples up before him. One of Cupid’s messengers has crawled up behind the “neiner” and tapped him lovingly on the head with a sledge hammer.

“Tchk, tchk,” Goebbels says as he wags his finger reprovingly at the naughty man who has accidentally picked up a sledge hammer and used it on the beloved one in place of a Cupid’s dart. “You shouldn’t have done that. Now you will be punished. Go in that corner there and with your back turned repeat out loud three times—’I will conquer my enemies by love.'”

The man does as he is told. That is, he goes to the corner. He turns his back. However, what he says bears little resemblance to what he has been ordered to say. Instead, it sounds like this:

“Ja, I’ll love ‘em. I’ll kill them with kindness.”

Everybody in the room laughs. It seems to be an old Nazi custom. But, wait! Not quite everybody laughs. A groan comes from the fallen victim of Nazi love.

“Dear, dear,” says Cupid Goebbels, “still dissenting. Isn’t he the darling? Hey, there, Hans, come out of your corner and give our little precious lamb some more of your loving kindness.”

H. W.

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