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Hitlerism in Danzig

May 3, 1932
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The Hitlerists in the Free City of Danzig have converted it into a Hitlerist fortress, where the Jewish population is subjected to antisemitic terrorism and has no redress.

Though the Free City of Danzig is a neutral State under the protection of the League of Nations, there is open incitement in Danzig to race hatred and economic boycott, mainly against the Jews, and the Hitlerist forces grow in numbers and strength from day to day, and are becoming a real danger in public and social life. The Central Union of Danzig Citizens of the Jewish Faith has launched a vigorous self-defence campaign. All sections of Danzig Jewry have united against the Hitlerist antisemitism in Danzig. Jews-nationalist or assimilationis-all are suffering equally because of the terrible anti-Jewish agitation in which the Hitlerists are engaged in all branches of economic life, in the schools, in public affairs, everywhere.

The Hitlerists in Danzig happen to occupy a strategic position which gives them almost unlimited power. They are not represented in the Coalition Government, which consists of the bourgeois Parties. But the Government is short of five votes in the Senate, and for these five votes the Government is dependent on the Hitlerists, with the result that at any moment the Hitlerists can turn the Government out of office. To remain in power, no matter what the Hitlerists do the Government must wink at it, or out it goes. Hence the Hitlerists go about their work without fear and hence the inaction of the Government in face of the Hitlerist provocation and terrorism. Jews are not safe in the streets of Danzig, and the cry of “Perish Judea” is raised without fear.

When Jewish representatives go to any member of the Government to complain, the answer in so many words is always that the Government does not approve of the anti-Jewish agitation, but is powerless to prevent it, because without Hitlerist support it will cease to be a Government.

In Germany Hitlerists are now allowed to appear in the streets in their Hitlerist uniforms, but in Danzig the streets swarm with Hitlerist brown shirts. The Hitlerists openly engage in their military training and hold their parades in Danzig, and if a Hitlerist knocks down a Jew and sends him into the hospital with grave injuries, the Hitlerist need never fear that he will be punished by a court of law. In fact, if a Jew is kept in hospital because of serious injuries inflicted on him by Hitlerists in the street, because the authorities have failed to provide the most elementary degree of public security, and the police have stood by and made no move to come to his assistance, he must pay heavily for his treatment, and if he happens to be a foreign Jew, he is threatened with deportation if he does not pay.

The London Press today reports alarm in Danzig where it is feared that Poland intends to seize the Free City. The “Daily Herald” Danzig correspondent, for instance, reports that “preparations for the seizure of the Free City of Danzig by Poland have been going on for some time. Last night excitement in Danzig was intense. It was freely expected that Polish warships now stationed at the Polish port of Gdynia, eight miles away, would enter Danzig Harbour in defiance of the advice given to Poland by prominent members of the League of Nations.

“Danzig has no army, but could get together some thousands of fighting men.

An eminent authority here said today; It is time that the world was warned of the gravity of the situation here in Danzig.

“It is stated that Poland has been warned that any action similar to that taken recently in Memel by the Government of Lithuania would be regarded most seriously.

“The advent of Adolf Hitler to power in Germany is considered by many Poles sufficient to justify necessity for Polish troops to enter Danzig to protect the lives and property of Polish subjects, and it is certain that extremists both in Germany and Poland, are merely watching for the first move on the other side”.

A Geneva report in the same paper says that “messages from Warsaw declare that since Friday Germany Hitlerites wearing their uniforms have again made their appearance in the streets of Danzig. There is considerable apprehension here that serious evonts which might lead to international complications are about to happen in Danzig. Whether the Danzig Nazis are really preparing some dangerous coup or whether their activity is being utilised as a preparation for some step by the Polish Government is uncertain.”

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