At last one of the great American universities has spoken out against the Nazi war on intellectuals and the fundamental principles of institutions of learning. Dr. James B. Conant, president of Harvard University, in rejecting the gift of a scholarship offered by Hanfstaengl. Hitler’s intimate friend and Nazi liaison officer for the foreign press, wrote as follows:
“We are unwilling to accept a gift from one who has been so closely associated with the leadership of a political party which has inflicted damage on the universities of Germany through measures which have struck at principles we believe to be fundamental to universities throughout the world.”
All honor to Harvard University for having stated so clearly the reason why the Nazi gift was refused. The stand taken by this University is certain to make a profound impression throughout the world. The moral isolation of Naziland, like the political and economic isolation, cannot fail to bring the German people to their senses.
At the time “Putzy” Hanfstaengl offered his gift to Harvard University, I stated the reasons why Harvard University could not accept it. I also pointed to the stupidity of the Nazi propagandist who offered a gift which the American institution of learning must reject. Nazi blundering is matched only by Nazi ruthlessness and violence.
The Kulturtraeger of Hitlerite Germany will rub their eyes when they read Harvard’s rebuke to “the political party which inflicted damage on the universities of Germany,” if the Nazi press will be permitted to publish the fact.
HOOVER ON NAZISM
In his new book, “The Challenge to Liberty,” the former President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, analyzing the evils of various forms of dictatorship, writes as follows about Fascism and Nazism:
“Fascism is the flat contradiction of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Liberal insistence that progress moves in freedom with the help of doubt and criticism. It means the destruction of self-government and of all checks upon incompetent or ruthless tyranny. Americans, unfamiliar with Italy today, do not know how safe a thing liberty is both for soul and body.
“The rise of Chancellor Hitler and the National Socialist party mark, as did Fascism in Italy, the revolt of the middle ### Germany the impulses ### at the ### the mis### inflation, the ### exploitation which arose particularly out of the inflation, and from Socialism and Communism. Despite its name, Herr Hitler’s party is violently anti-socialistic. It is not only extremely nationalistic but extends its vision beyond national borders to extreme racialism, from which arises the inhumane persecution of the Jews.
“Herr Hitler rose to power by constitutional steps, but within sixty days the Reichstag, upon demand, voted practically unlimited power to the Chancellor and in effect abandoned all legislative responsibility. Most of the processes have followed the Fascist patternâ€”the unlimited dictatorship, the terrorization, the suppression of all local self-government, the emphasis on class differentiation, the forcible abolition of the craft labor unions, the National Planning, the regimented economic life, the practical adoption of the system of the “Corporate State,” the suppression of of free speech, free press, and free assembly, the abolition of all guarantees of personal liberty under the constitution of the Republic.”
This striking estimate of Nazism by the former President of the United States should serve to arouse the conscience of the American people against the tyranny imposed upon the German people by Hitler who mocks Christianity and democracy and who has been waging a ruthless war against Jews and Catholics and non-Nazi Protestants, against liberals and intellectuals and members of labor unions and advocates of peace. Hoover’s denunciation of the Hitler regime is all the more significant because of the fact that it was Mr. Hoover who organized and supervised the feeding of Germany in 1919, and while he was President he demonstrated his sympathy for German people by several acts intended to save Germany from anarchy and from such despotism as prevails in that unfortunate country today.
The German people should know what the former President of the United States thinks of their present masters. But the Nazi press, muzzled and servile, will surely not dare reproduce Mr. Hoover’s arraignment of Nazism.
In 1919, when in some of the Allied countries there was sharp criticism of the policy of feeding Germany, Mr. Hoover prepared a remarkable memorandum in which he thus emphasized the purpose of America’s humanitarian service:
“Why are we feeding Germany?
“From the point of view of my Western upbringing, I would say at once, because we do not kick a man in the stomach after we have licked him.
“From the point of view of an economist, I would say that it is because there are seventy millions of people who must either produce or die, that their production is essential to the world’s future and that they cannot produce unless they are fed.
“From the point of a view of a governor, I would say that it is because famine breeds anarchy, anarchy is infectious, the infection of such a cesspool will jeopardize France and Great Britain, which will yet spread to the United States.
“From the point of view of a humanitarian, I would say that we have not been fighting with women and children and we are not beginning now….
“Taking it by and large, our face is forward, not backward, on history. We and our children must live with those seventy millions of Germans. No matter how deeply we may feel at the present moment, our vision must stretch over the next hundred years, and we must write now into history such acts as will stand creditably in the minds of our grandchildren.”
The German people seem to have forgotten this humanitarian act and subsequent sympathetic substantial efforts to save them after the war. Carried away by the false, glittering promises of frenzied and unscrupulous demagogues and charlatans, who sowed the seeds of hate and vengeance, the German people have submissively accepted the most tyrannical dictatorship which now boasts that it has perpetuated itself for a thousand years. And because this tyrannical dictatorship is challenging all the attainments of civilization, menacing world peace and stability, undermining by means of destructive propaganda the democratic institutions of other nations, violating international agreements and repudiating treaty obligations, it is high time that the world cease regarding the Nazi terror merely as a matter of Germany’s internal affairs.
The Nazi cesspool is spreading infection far beyond the boundaries of Germany.