If the Germans are nothing else, they’re original. While over here on this side of the salty water, our Secretary of Agriculture Wallace is having nightmares on how to solve the desperate farm problem, over in the Third Reich their Agriculture Minister Darre has simply snapped his fingers and presto! the farmers are going to be nothing short of lords of the earth.
What Darre has done is, in a Nazi nutshell, to make of farming a game. Like playing house. While Wallace and our brave New Dealers are paying farmers to plow under their surplus crops and teaching them a newer, more scientific agriculture, Darre and his Nazi brilliants are saying to their farmers:
“Come, let’s play. Let’s dress the part of farmers. Let’s don pretty costumes, put ribbons in our hair, dance and make merry.”
Of course, we will be accused of exaggerating for the sake of filling space, but the latest story that has just come from Germany on its new farm program, as reported in the Chicago Daily News by Wallace R. Deuel, can certainly stand on its own merits as a masterpiece of humor. Darre may not be the world’s greatest agricultural expert, but he has the Day Book’s vote as the funniest.
In support of this vote, I produce the following evidence.
They’re going to give every egg laid in Germany from now on what amounts to a certificate of good character. All bad eggs, the unpublished alternative probably will be, will be labeled Jewish. And the hen that has had the audacity to lay them will doubtless be purged. Henceforth, also, only eggs with brown shells will be permissible, the chances are. Layers of the white variety will no doubt be consigned to chicken ghettoes.
Another important part of the Darre farm plan will be changing the name of farmer to “yeoman.” Certainly the word “yeoman” sounds much more romantic than the commonplace farmer.
This change in the name, however, will make it very tough on the children who used to yodel that little nursery rhyme. Remember? It goes like this:
“The farmer’s in the dell,
The farmer’s in the dell,
High on the dairy-o,
The farmer’s in the dell.”
The Nazi kids are going to have a devilish time trying to chirp “the yeoman’s in the dell.”
As for the rest, let Mr. Deuel tell it in his own clear, unexaggerated prose report:
“Calling October “wine moon” and all other months by similarly German pure nordic names is a #hase of the third part.
“For the national socialist farm program has three avowed basic objectives. It is intended not only ### enable Germany to produce as much as possible of its own food #pply. More than that, it is supposed to create a new class of yeo#n entirely independent of com#rcial competition, and to alter #e very character of the German #ce by renewing through Teu#ic folklore the closeness to the #h the whole people’s mystic ### of “blood and soil”â€”their ###ith the lifestream of na######rse, if achieving ###oses results also ###numerous and ###tion bound ###s of the ### will ### the old peasant costumes. Traditional wine and other harvest festivals are encouraged. Old folk dances are revived. And with all these, incidentally, tourist traffic profits.
“All this folklore must, of course, be purely Aryan. It has even been proposed to give all the months their old Teutonic names. This suggestion aroused such a tempest of controvery among professors as to what the correct names are, however, that mere politicians were unable to cope with the academic fury unloosed and the project was hurriedly abandoned.
“The ‘moral’ stage of the farm program has been extended in other directions, however. Special courts have been set up to deal with cases arising under the ‘hereditary farms act.’ One of these courts has just deprived a farmer near Dresden of his title of ‘yeoman’ on the grounds that he had been guilty of unsocial conduct, and conferred the title on his wife, although women ordinarily are ineligible to the title.
“An unusual practical feature of the ‘hereditary farms act’ is that it removes farm property from commerce. It provides that a ‘yeoman’s’ land, his buildings, his machinery, his poultry and live stock are inalienable.
“He cannot sell his mortgages or dispose of them in any way. He cannot even will them except in accordance with the terms of the lawâ€”that is, to his eldest son.”