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World Press Digest

The New York Times comments on the dignity of Colonel Alfred Dreyfus’s bearing after his trial and imprisonment, as follows:

History, as defined by one of the greatest historians, has a twofold principal office. It is to prevent virtuous actions from being forgotten and to cause evil words and deeds to fear “an infamous reputation with postery.” In the case of Alfred Dreyfus, history has a proud task in recalling the heroic way in which he accepted and endured the most degrading and inhuman of human punishments, conscious of his innocence, and the almost superhuman way in which, after his exculpation and clearly established innocence, he bore himself in the country which he had chosen as his own and which had for a time made him a man without a country.

His suffering in the tropical island to which he was banished must have been even greater than that of the Titan, nailed to the frosty wall of “the eagle-baffling mountain, black, wintry, dead, unmeasured, without herb, or beast, or shape, or sound of life.” But, released from the hell of Devil’s Island, Dreyfus bore no resentment. He would even let history omit the second part of its office —that is, of giving “infamous reputation” to the words and deeds of those who condemned him unjustly. Like the Titan, he too, had in his suffering lost all memory of what is hate. Plucked by a great wrong from obscurity, as one of our poets said at the time, he mad many a true and fainting cause heir of all his courage. He has given France, “impassioned nobly to retrieve her passion past,” reason not only for readmitting him to citizenship but also for bestowing honors upon him—and not mere “penitential laurels.” He was decorated where he was degraded. He was admitted to military service in the World War, was promoted and was given the greater satisfaction of having his name, once scorned and despised, carried to new honors on the battlefields of France by the next generation of his family.

It cannot be that his sufferings have been as he feared, “all in vain.” Rather did he give fresh illustration of the glory of forgiving “wrongs darker than death or night,” and going bravely on till hope creates “the thing it contemplates.”

NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM HURTS BRITISH CAUSE

Concerning the relations between Great Britain and Germany, The London Spectator says:

Signs of a new drive against Jews in Germany multiply. Dr. Goebbels, who must be distressed at possessing so few of the outward characteristics of the blond Nordic himself, did his utmost to set the fires of racial hatred ablaze again on Saturday in a speech in which he conceded that a Jew is indeed a man in the sense in which a flea must be admitted to be an animal, and declared that Germany wanted the Jew no longer. This is deliberate incitement from the Minister for National Enlightenment and Propaganda. The provocative campaigns of Julius Streicher’s foulorgan, Der Stuermer, continue unabated, and signs multiply of anti-Semitic action, all of it intolerant and much of it brutal, in other fields. It is useless to pretend that this is a matter which concerns Germany alone. It concerns Germany’s relations with Great Britain directly. Agreements like the naval accord are all to the good, but a spirit of mutual appreciation and sympathy between peoples is worth ten times more. And of that there can be none while the German government not merely condones but instigates racial persecution through its official spokesmen. Such a policy leaves advocates of an Anglo-German understanding in this country powerless.

CITES CONTRADICTIONS IN NATIONALISM HERE

The Press, of Mobile, Alabama, in an editorial on nationalism, writes:

A bill has been introduced in Congress to send all aliens out of the country, and another bill has been introduced to require ex-patriates to come home. These bills would seem to constitute a flat contradiction, but they are both an outgrowth of that spirit of nationalism which is a plague not only in the United States, but in every country in the world.

The bill to deport all aliens represents the hope that the action will mean that American citizens can obtain the jobs thus vacated.

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