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Germans Sour on Hitler Rule, Says Cahan, Back from Trip

September 25, 1934
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Hitlerism has lost much support in Germany itself, but there is not the slightest hope of any immediate change in that unhappy country, declared A braham Cahan, the veteran Jewish writer and editor of the Forward, who returned from an eleven-week trip which took him to Italy, Switzerland, France and England.

The noted editor, whose entire trip was devoted to a survey of the underground Socialist movement in Germany, stated that he had established the widest contacts with the underground movement and that the information given him on German conditions was the best available.

“My impression is,” Mr. Cahan said, “that the fascination which Hitlerism exercised over the German people is gone, but the strength of the regime is not entirely gone.

“There are many elements outside the German working class now opposed to Hitlerism, but they want to hang on to the present regime. They are afraid of the future—of chaos, of revolution of Communism—so they support the regime.


“But the striking thing to me is that Hitlerism, as a regime, no longer seems tangible or convincing to the German people,” Mr. Cahan stated.

About the position of the German Jews, the Socialist editor expressed deep pessimism.

“Morally,” he declared, “the position of the Jews is worse than ever. They are suppressed, humiliated and reduced to an abject position, even where the lives and property are safe, which is not always the case.

“The noisy anti-Semitic pogrom days are over, but a quiet, cold, relentless pogrom continues. There is no letup. But even here the Nazis overreached themselves,” Mr. Cahan said.


“The Germans did not know that there was a world-wide boycott against them, but Goebbels and his satellites yelled so much about the boycott that the German people began asking themselves who was responsible for such a boycott.

“From reliable information in my possession, I know that the subject became a general topic of conversation in Germany with Germans blaming each other for the part they played in the anti-Semitic movement.

“The mass of the German people are not anti-Semites and they respect the Jews for their honesty and courage. I know for a fact that many of the Nazi officials do business with Jews in foreign countries, because the Jews are the only ones they would trust.


“The people are favorable toward the Jews, but the fear of the Nazi regime keeps them from showing any sympathy for the Jews, Thus the widely heralded ‘ritual murder’ issue of Streicher’s paper was widely discounted by the Germans, many of whom informed their Jewish friends that they understood that the charges were mere nonsense.”

Mr. Cahan praised the young German Socialist workers who were risking their lives to carry on the work of enlightenment in Germany.

“They are not visionaries.” he said, “but practical people, and their work is concrete. The mass of the German people are absolutely without information save what their masters choose to give them.

“So the primary task of these young people is to bring information into Germany and to spread it among the people. But even these ardent workers are not hopeful of any change in the near future. They work on doggedly, knowing that their day will come.”

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