The Nazis in Yorkville are a happy lot these days. Up in the gently rolling hills of East Eighty-sixth street and environs, the Hitler shadows and “ja” men are dancing in the halls and in the alleys, in the highways and in the byways. In the Tyrolean cafes and in the Bavarian beer stubes, the laddies and the lassies are beating the drums and crashing the cymbals.
Such sterling American patriots as Dr. Herbert Schnuch of the Friends of New Germany and Louis Zahne of the German American Independent Voters League are walking on air. Their eyes sparkle with a new hope. Their chests bulge with a new pride. Their tongues wag with a new purpose.
Sheep and shepherd, all Yorkville seems to be imbued with an amazing amount of zip, zest and ginger.
Where does it all come from? What’s happened to a section of the city and the city’s population that but a few weeks ago had appeared to be in a more or less moribund condition, that had to resort to scratching swastikas on Jewish shop windows to get in the news ?
When so much good cheer and so much ebullience suddenly descend upon a normally gloomy people, it makes one wonder as to the cause ? In crime fiction, detectives exclaim “cherchez la femme” for the answer. But in Yorkville, “cherchez la femme” would be merely an empty phrase, signifying, as an eminent author once wound up an equally eminent phrase, nothing. The nifties, somehow or another seem to shy away from the Hitler camp which consigns them to an everlasting grind of Kueche, Kinder und Kirche.
What then, has brought the happy glint into the Yorkville eye ?
The Day Book will keep the reader in suspense no longer.
It’s Red Mike Hylan, formerly new York’s shoutingest Mayor and now an Associate Justice in the Domestic Relations Court hearing children’s cases at a measly little salary of $17,500 a year.
Hylan, it seems, who used to shout long and loud for a five cent fare from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to Coney Island by the ocean, is on the verge of shouting for a five-cent fare from New York to Albany or vice-versa. If a five-cent fare between these two cities isn’t part of the good Judge’s platform in his gubernatorial race, then we’ll be terribly disappointed. He couldn’t possibly get a better plank to stand on â€”unless it is demanding the five-cent fare for a round trip between Albany and New York.
But what the Nazis up in Yorkville are delighted about is not what Red Mike’s platform is going to beâ€”they probably don’t give a hoot about that trival item. They’re kicking up their heels in glee at the fact that Red Mike is running at all and is accepting their “heils” and their endorsements.
For Red Mike is a 100 per cent. “Aryan” and Red Mike is a famous man, or he used to be, and Red Mike makes a mighty noise when he mounts a soap box and, all in all, Red Mike is the most outstanding man the poor Nazis up in Yorkville have ever been able to snare at least partially into their camp.
And Red Mike will be the only non-Jewish candidate in the race against Lehman, Moses and Solomon.
No wonder the York-villians are in high good humor.
But the Nazis are in for a humpty- d umpty of disillusionment. They’re singing hosannahs and beating the drums for the wrong guy. They’re rooting for the wrong horse.
Red Mike, although he’s turned very seedy by comparison with the days when he was in his prime as a member of the ruling triumvirate of Hearst, Hylan and Hirsh-field, is still an astute politician; we say this despite the fact that he seems to be doing everything in his power to belie that estimate of his ability.
Hylan is too smart a bird to try to fight the Jews in their home bailiwick. He’s too smart a bird to wage an openly anti-Semitic campaign. He may not be above taking advantage of the anti-Jewish sentiment that will swing the German-American vote to him, but he is all too keenly aware of the black future New York will hold for him if he dares in so much as one speech to cater to that sentiment with even an ambiguous remark that might be remotely interpreted as an attack on the Jews.
In the privacy of Yorkville’s cellars, Red Mike, in order to seal the support of German-Americans may promise to do this and that and the other thing once he gets up in Albany, but those promises if they’re concerned with anti-Semitism at all, will be a dark secret from the public. And if they’re hinted at in the press, then Red Mike will publicly deny them and publicly denounce racial feeling.
Yes, Red Mike will promise the Nazis everything. But the Day Book will bet better than plugged nickels that he’ll give them nothingâ€”like the smart politician he is.
And come election day, the Yorkville Nazis, their bellies full of Red Mike’s beer and puffing Red Mike’s cigars, will lose that gay glint in their eyes. Their footsteps once more will drag along East Eighty-sixth street. They’ll once more begin to think about taking it out on the Jews by scratching swastikas on their shop windows. And, they’ll take up a chant made famous by the Jewish manager of Max Schmeling, the Black Uhlan: “We wuz robbed!”