Much speculation has been aroused here by the projected new citizenship law which provides that Germans will have to qualify for German citizenship instead of acquiring it by the accident of birth.
That Jews will be disqualified as citizens under this new law is considered a matter of course. But there is also the question of the Danish, Polish and Lithuanian minorities, who can ###dly be described as “of German stock.”
Foreigners not of German stock will be debarred, apparently, from becoming naturalized German citizens, in view of the statement made by the Nazi Minister of Interior Frick, that citizenship will no longer be obtainable “by a single administrative act or payment of a sum of money.”
HITLER’S OWN WISH
Such is the wish of the Fuehrer himself, Dr. Frick explained in his statement. The Nazi Minister also is of the opinion that German citizenship must be an honor which those of German stock may earn only through service to the people and State and by approbation.
For every German, citizenship thus obtained would open the way to all public offices in party and State: only those who bore it would be able to enter the fighting formations of the Nazi movement and have the honor of serving under arms for people and Reich; and such only would vote in elections and plebiscites, and take thereby a direct or indirect part in the government of the Reich. Citizenship would be conferred at a dignified ceremony which would include a solemn oath of allegiance to the German Commonwealth, the German Reich, and its Fuehrer. It would not be granted to the undeserving or to enemies of the State.
‘LORD OF THE REICH’
Adolf Hitler, said Herr Frick, had written in “Mein Kampf” that the German citizen would be the lord of the Reich. For the National-Socialist State citizens were not merely the sum of those living more or less accidentally within the borders of the Reich but rather the bearers of the State ideal. Therefore the grant of citizenship must be made subject to definite conditions, one of which, in conformity with Nazi principles, would be racial membership of the German people.
Herr Hitler, in his long dissertation on citizenship in “Mein Kampf,” maintained that citizenship should be granted to qualified German males on the completion of military service. Females would acquire citizenship rights either by marrying citizens or by qualifying in professional and business capacities. There would be no question of selling German citizenship to a Mongol, for example.
A NO-PROFIT PRESS
Herr Alfred Rosenberg has written an article in the Nazi Voclkischer Beobachter (of which he is editor) to remove foreign misconceptions about the new Press ordinances issued by his “old comrade-in-arms”, Herr Amann, president of the Reich Press Chamber.
In National Socialist eyes, Herr Rosenberg explains, the press can never be an affair of naked profit. In Germany there were, and still are, large concerns which let themselves be guided by purely individualistic business principles. National Socialists, with their own code of press ethics have been fighting this for years, and their own press, debarred from the same methods, has been at a continuous disadvantage.
SECTIONAL INTERESTS HIT
Herr Rosenberg argues that what Herr Amann has really done is to proscribe all sectional interests in the German press, not excluding any that may arise in the Nazi Party. But this does not mean that religious interests will suffer. The great Church Press, as it consists of weekly journals and periodicals, will not be affected by the ordinances, which apply only to newspapersâ€”and in German law a newspaper means a daily newspaper. Herr Rosenberg makes it clear, however, that the confessional daily press will not be tolerated because, “as many examples show, it is still ardently pursuing the same confessional policies as the now defunct confessional parties.”
The newspapers which will suffer are those produced by anonymous companies purely as profitable undertakings and not as instruments of popular enlightenment, and those which exist for the advancement of sectional interests placed before the common interest.
An announcement in another column of the same issue of the Beobachter, according to which the Nazi supervisory organs have the intention of compelling all public officials to subscribe to the official party press under pain of being disqualified as unfit for the public service, seems to fall in line with Herr Rosenberg’s explanations.
The Frankfurter Zeitung with every reason to be aware of the more dangerous aspects of the ordinances, has had the courage to criticize them in a leading article. Commenting on the provision for compulsory inspection and the closing down of newspapers where there is unhealthy competition, if observes that when over-production has been accentuated by the rise of the official party press, that press will be exempt from its competitors subject to, interference.
What competition is unhealthy, the Frankfurter Zeitung continues, and what healthy is certainly a difficult question to decide. The better the press performs its educative duties, the more a lively competition will be missed for experience has shown it to a most effective stimulus. The manifold prob-