Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Heinrich Mann Analyzes Nazis


Even after all that, the Republicans, or what was left of them, could hardly size up the extent of hatred that befell them. The fundamental reason for this lack of orientation is that the Republicans were high minded and that there were among them a great many idealists whose hearts beat for the people. The Repbulic made an honest attempt, although in an especially unfavorable time, to lighten the people’s burden. Constantly in danger of its very life, it maintained, no matter at what peril to its existence, a system of government which truly deserved the name of Liberty. It may have been only relative Liberty, nevertheless, it was the freest form of Government Germany has even known.

The Republicans’ policy of moderation finally turned into weakness, and then it came to pass that the Republic surrendered to the enemy, gave up its soul, was torn to pieces. But even this does not explain the reign of hatred that ensued. The true reason for this hatred lies not in our faults but much more so in our virtues. The species of Humanity that parades under the name of National Socialists did not hate the Republic, with whatever faults it possessed, but what was a real atrocity in their eyes was the ideal the Republic stood. for Marxism which they could not mention without froth on their lips was to them a symbol of thought. But when it came to the Jewish spirit, it personified to them spirituality in general. Their movement is nothing but a revolt of the unthinking and amoral against reason and its defenders, but the fuel that kept its fires burning was hate, hate so devastating, so terrible, that it could not subside even after their foe lay prostrate and helpless at their feet.

Hate carried too far turns into a boomerang and possesses the hater, body and soul. After their victory they might have let well enough alone. They had crushed everything and everybody, all the political parties had either vanished into the thin air or have been “co-ordianted”, But to no avail. They feel that the Republic is still alive in the consciousness of many Germans and that the Terror is futile. All they can do, then, is to keep on persecuting, terrorzing and swearing everlasting hatred for their victims. Of course, they become objectives of their own hate, suspecting each other of treason. The country is threatened with treason! They themselves are in constant danger of treachery!

Look at these victors, these paltry dicators who keep chasing one another throughout the length and breadth of the empire. They do not admit to public office any but their creatures, and they have usurped all the channels of propaganda-the press, the radio, the cinema. They have equipped themselves with prerogatives which Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, never dreamt of seizing. Neither Law nor Constitution applies to them. The masses in brown uniforms and raised arms march by them. They stage a great military parade and fool the people with this sham show of strength. Old time slavery and subjugation are being glorified all eover again. the “Leader’s ” birthday ws celebrated as though he had been a conqueror in hundreds of battles. Accoriding to all human standards, this should have sufficed them. But far from it!

In their inner counciuls thety thisnk of nothing but new wasy and means of oppression. there is not anything left for them to crush insfor as visble powre is concerned. They have therefore turned to breaking the spirit of their opponents. For they are in mortal fear of the old spiritual heritage of the nation they have undertaken to “revive.” It is aganist this spiritual strength that they have been inciting the mob. As their system is anti-Democratic they needs must cater to the mob. They have reached a stage where they see no alternative before themselves except the expulsion of the thinkers and authors who were the Germany of yesterday-and of tomorrow. We have been compelled to flee our country next spet was to burn books-something the world had not witnessed since the days of the Inquistition. And if in the beginning the works of contemporary authors only were consumed in the bonfires, they are commencing to burn the works of te classics as well. And small wonder-for our classic literature is an expression of our humaneness, the antithesis of their own philosophy, if any. The first two to have been delivered to the flames were Lessing and Heine. And having Goethe next, this greatest of Germany’s greatest. They hark back to the Dark Ages, for they tremble with fear.

When hate reaches its limit and finds no more fodder for itself, it gives way to fear. I discern it in their government offices, in their councils, where they have never passed any legislation for the common weal, but have concentrated exclusively on measures for their own well being preservation. To convert more Germans into abject slaves-that is their problem. Terror and more Terror is their sole unifying slogan. Having promised his adopted fatherland to perfect the executioner’s art to a degree never before known in Germany, Hitler has truly distinguished himself as a master hangman. His young, alert Minister of Propaganda advises him where to erect the scaffolds and where to install the platforms for the moving picture cameras, so as to perpetuate the “great events.” Thus hate has reached its peak. It cannot go any higher. And even unprecedented hate is being converted into unreasoning, mortal fear.

The Jewish Daily Bulletin brigns you daily complete news of evets concerning Jews in all parts of the world.

Recommended from JTA