When is Germany going to start the next war? This is the question now on the lips of many American officials as well as foreign diplomats here.
Despite the fact that Germany’s economic situation is such that she cannot meet the cost of a war, the general opinion here is that Hitler is definitely preparing for conflict.
Some are puzzled as to how Germany can start a war without being well stocked with cottonâ€”an essential in the manufacture of munitions. Germany has been unable to buy cotton. As a matter of fact, her cotton imports during the last year were less than half of what they were a year ago. The United States sold Germany less than a third of the cotton usually sold that country.
Under such conditions, isn’t the Hitler threat a big bluff, many are asking.
The reply is generally in the negative. With the internal conditions as they have developed today, there is ample evidence that Hitler’s march towards a full rearmament means nothing but eventual war.
Tired of the anti-Jewish propaganda, the German nation is beginning to realize that of all the promises which Hitler has made, nothing has been carried out except the discriminations against the Jews. What about the Versailles treaty? What about the promise to make Germany the equal of other nations? What about the basic idea of establishing the Third Reich, not on paper but in actual life?
All these questions are now being answered by Hitler with the restoration of the army. The proclaimed conscription automatically tears up the Versailles treaty and automatically makes Germany the equal of other nations, at least in a militaristic sense. It gives Hitler the best chance to prove to his followers that he want to fulfil his promises. It opens wide possibilities fodr regaining Danzig, Memel and all the other territories required for the establishment of a real Third Reich.
Does all this spell eventual war? The opinion in Washington is that it does. A watchful eye is now being kept here on the developments in Germany as well as on the reaction in Paris and in London. Germany this week was the center of Washington’s interest and will remain so for the next few weeks until it is definitely established what is what in the speculations on a new war.
With interest concentrated in diplomatic circles here this week on Germany, there was an increased interest in the Jewish situation in Germany.
The fact that Jews may not be conscripted into the German army was seriously discussed. This fact was linked up with the recent reports that Germany may soften its attitude towards the Jews. Certain circles in Washington believe that this report, even though not entirely true, may contain a grain of truth.
It was pointed out in circles which are usually well informed, that only recently a leading German-Jewish financier visited the United States as a member of a German delegation, in an effort to obtain a loan for Germany in America. This was taken as a sign that there might be a change of heart in Germany with regard to the Jews there.
The exclusion of Jews from the German conscription has made it clear now in Washington that no illusions should be held as to any possible improvement in the Jewish position in Germany. It is very possible that in connection with this the American embassy in Berlin will be asked to keep a closer observation on the Jewish situation in Germany and to report on it to the State Department.
What diplomatic circles in Washington are interested in is to see whether Germany will keep it promise not to discriminate against Jews in sports. Since most of the sports organizations in Germany are semi-military the possibility exists that discriminations against Jews in sports will be introduced despite the promise given not to do so. Should this be the case, America may still not participate in the forthcoming Olympiad in Berlin.