Are the tough guys of Berlin softening up?
A visitor from Mars, not conversant with the true situation, might not be astonished if he dropped in on a diplomatic reception that was being given by the Nazi bigwigs the other day to a fellow by the name of Jacob Suritz.
The Martian would see nothing strange in the spectacle of Hitler’s black-shirted guards doing honor to Jake of the Soviet. He’d probably applaud and say aloud, with mental reservations, that this was the prettiest show he’d attended in a long time. The mental reservations would be, probably, that they do such things in a much more satisfactory fashion back home in Marsland.
However, if there was nothing remarkable or astonishing about the spectacle to a Martian visitor, there was certainly something deeply surprising about the affair to an Englishman, an Italian, a Frenchman, an American and, most of all, to a German who had been reading some of Hitler’s anti-Semitic remarks and had been taking them with the utmost seriousness.
And I’m quite certain that our Yorkville hero, Louis Zahne, when he picked up his copy of the Jewish Daily Bulletin the other day and read what had transpired in Berlin, must have come close to having an apoplectic fit.
For Jake Suritz, be it known, is a little Jewish boy who grew up in a Russian ghetto and one day became a power in the highest councils of the Union of Soviet States of Russia. Recently he was named Ambassador to Mr. Hitler’s Third Reich. At his naming, speculation was rife as to how that fulminating disciple of pure "Aryanism" and not-so-pure anti-Semitism was going to take so bitter a pill.
Today it is no longer speculation. He took the pill without water or without sugar coating. And he took it without a grimace, or rather, if there was a grimace, Hitler didn’t let Suritz or the public see it.
As a result of that little demonstration of pill-swallowing, no one, least of all the Day Booker, will find it in his heart to blame Yorkville’s Zahne if he should desert the Nazi cause here and apply for membership in the American Jewish Congress. Or, better still, if he and his puppet, Dr. Herbert Schnuch, should send in donations to the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League for the Defense of Human Rights. (I wonder, incidentally, if Samuel Untermyer would accept such donations).
Zahne has a perfect right to get good and sore. Just a few hours before Hitler turned out his pet soldiers-of-the-storm to do honor to the little Jewish boy from the land of the red, red and red, Zahne was having a gorgeous time up in the Bronx tearing into Untermyer, Dr. Wise and the Jews generally.
Here’s a sample of what Louis, that great American patriot (wonder if he ever read the Constitution?) was saying to a couple of hundred of his followers:
"The Jews controlled Germany and got the country on its knees, and along came one man who said this Jewish menace must stop—and that was Chancellor Hitler."
"The Jews had no hand in the upbuilding of this country; they did not come over until the Germans had built up the country."
(Hey, Zahne, how many German sailors were there with Cristobal Colon—Columbus, to you—a Spanish Jew, when he discovered America in 1492?)
"I’m happy to preach race; there’s nothing better than the German race. As long as I’m able, I’m going to preach the doctrine of race and preach that the German is the cream of all races."
While Yorkville and the Bronx were still reechoing to those patriotic remarks of a patriotic American, Zahne was getting stabbed in the back over in Berlin.
Hitler was greeting a Jew. Hitler, his mouth still soiled from the anti-Semitic drivel of Nuremberg and anti-Semitic legislation, was doing honor to a Jew. Not an orthodox, religious Jew, perhaps, but nevertheless and indubitably a racial, "non-Aryan" Jew.
Zahne must be asking himself today: Are the tough guys of Berlin softening up?
There can be little doubt of it. The tough guys of Berlin are weakening, turning flaccid, yellow around the gills. Berlin will be needing a new strong man for the job of der Fuehrer very soon. Maybe Mr. Zahne can qualify. The Day Book is thinking of starting a collection to get up enough money to pay for Zahne’s passage to Berlin so he can step into Adolf’s shoes.
Zahne would show those sissies in Berlin how to greet a Jew from Moscow. Wouldn’t you, Zahne?