The Charlotte News
MONDAY, APRIL 28, 1941
Site ed. note: Luftwaffe pilot Oberleutnant Franz von Werra had become notorious in the national press in early 1941 by leaping from a Canadian transport train while being moved to an Ontario prisoner-of-war camp, and rowing himself across the St. Lawrence River onto American "neutral" soil in upstate New York. To his surprise, he was arrested by the I.N.S. While awaiting return to Canada's prison camp, he called a press conference where he told high tales of adventure as a Nazi pilot, drawing the attention of the German consulate in New York which promptly posted his bail. He was taken to Manhattan where he became an instant success among the social elite on the cocktail party circuit. In late March, however, the German consulate informed him that he would soon be extradited to Canada, ostensibly on a warrant for stealing the rowboat. The Baron hopped a train sometime in April and fled to Mexico City where the German Embassy, under the wink-and-nod, no doubt, of the notoriously fence-sitting and corrupt Mexican government, enabled von Werra to escape via Vera Cruz back to Germany. Upon arrival, Hitler planted on his chest the Knight's Cross, promoted him to captain and placed under his command an entire fighter squadron. (Source: Hitler's Undercover War, William Breur, St. Martin's Press, 1989, pp. 269-270)
Which Anybody Should Have Known Would Come True
When, after escaping from a Canadian prison camp and entering this country illegally, Nazi-airman Baron von Werra was admitted to bail--$15,000, hastily furnished by the German consulate--in Federal District Court in New York, it was flatly predicted in these columns that he would use the opportunity to escape.
Now, sure enough, he has flown the coop, with the bold and unmistakable co-operation of the German Consul from New York. And so finally, Attorney General Robert Jackson has ruled that Nazis escaping from Canada to this country are to be turned back with whatever force is necessary.
It took no great perspicacity to know that the German game was directed to having this man escape. He is one of the most effective and one of the most boastful of the Nazi murderers of women and babies. If he could escape, he could go back to murdering English people. And in addition, his escape would greatly bolster the morale of the German people.
The excuse on which he was allowed to get away was his supposed rights under international law. But in point of fact all Nazis long ago forfeited all rights under international law.
That is clear enough if you understand the nature of international law, which was never law in the sense of our national law, as something imposed by the common will and backed by force. Instead it was merely a body of rules adopted by mutual agreement among the civilized nations. Obviously such an agreement holds only so long as the parties to it observe it. There is not one of the rules which Germany has not consistently and cynically violated from the beginning of the last war right on down until the present.
To talk about Germany's rights under international law is, therefore, pure nonsense. The only rule we are bound to regard with respect to Germany is precisely what will best serve our own purposes before this inhuman barbarism. The Attorney General has finally got around to recognizing as much. But it should have been recognized before this animal was allowed to get away.
Site ed. note: The supplying of oil to the Axis nations from United States sources and ostensible allies had long been a thorn. Texas oil millionaire, William Rhodes Davis, had even arranged a deal with Hitler himself and President Cardenas of Mexico to ship oil, previously seized by the Mexican government from American and British holdings, from Mexico oilfields via Vera Cruz to a Hamburg refinery owned and operated by Davis, with Hitler's personal imprimatur. Some 400,000 tons of oil were shipped along this route in 1938-1939 until a British blockade finally stopped all shipments into Germany after the invasion of Poland. Davis even tried unsuccessfully thereafter to circumvent the blockade. Mexico had agreed to the scheme on promise from Germany of much-needed German industrial goods. (Source: Hitler's Undercover War, William Breur, St. Martin's Press, 1989, pp. 126-127; The Game of Foxes, Ladislas Farago, McKay, 1971, pp. 352-355; see also Mystery Man, Dale Harrington, Brassey's, 1999)
For an earlier article critical of the flow of oil from California to Japan, see "Squirrel Cage", July 21, 1940.
Oil For Foe
All Expert Turns Loose Some Disquieting Figures
E. De Golyer, appraisal engineer of Dallas, Texas, tells the National Petroleum Association, in session at Cleveland, that Germany's present oil supply is adequate for her needs.
That contradicts what is often said, and if it is true it is gloomy news indeed. An ultimate oil shortage in Germany has been one of the chief hopes for a fairly early end to the war. However, there is the comfort that as she continues to extend her lines her consumption will mount.
A cause for quite as much uneasiness is the revelation by De Golyer that California oil fields supplied Japan with 4,071,000 barrels of oil in the first quarter of 1941. That compares with 5,556,000 barrels in the first quarter of 1940. But it is still a cause for concern.
De Golyer himself thinks, indeed, that Japan will have to take the oil fields of the Dutch East Indies if war comes, and that they will probably be blown up before she manages to seize them. But that kind of thinking was much indulged in about Rumania, etc., and none of it turned out to be true in practice.
The fact remains that the United States, at war in all but active fighting with the Axis, is furnishing an Axis power enough oil to fill its total military needs. It is this oil which will drive Japanese battleships if we have to fight in the Pacific, which seems increasingly probable.
Mr. Churchill perhaps meant it when he called the President's move to patrol the Western Atlantic a "tremendous decision." But if so, it was probably only because he thought it heralds other decisions.
The action in itself doesn't mean much. So far, nearly all losses of shipping in the Western hemisphere have been due to the action of surface ships. And surface ships have accounted for only eight per cent of all ships sunk.
Some British warships which have had to patrol the waters off America will be released for duty in the battle of the Atlantic, but they will probably not be numerous enough to be decisive.
At the present rate, the British are losing five million tons of ships annually. Experts figure that they have about thirteen million tons actually available. But of this all but about four million is engaged directly in military duty. The British will replace two million tons during the year, America about a million.
But there is no longer any doubt that unless the submarine and plane menace can be conquered, Britain will go down this year.
Meantime, Mr. Roosevelt goes right ahead making grandiose gestures which are full acts of war but which count for little in actual effectiveness.
Japanese Sheet Confirms Our Idea of a Definition
The Tokyo Times Advertiser confirms what we had already deduced, from the words of Foreign Minister Matsuoka, to be the now-prevailing Japanese definition of "aggression."
Says the sheet, in speculating on the possibility of a non-aggression pact between Japan and the United States:
"Common sense would dictate that the time to discuss non-aggression pact with the United States is after American aggression has ceased."
The American aggression in question consists of:
1--Having sold China some war supplies to carry on her fight against the wanton and cynical Japanese aggression against her.
2--Having resisted the Japanese desire to play the aggressor in the South Pacific, seize French, British, Dutch and American (Philippines) possessions there, to the end of establishing an empire of over half the earth's population and making Japan master of the Pacific, by (a) warning her, (b) embargoing certain exports to her, and (c) stationing some of our ships in those waters.
Aggression, in the Japanese version, you see, means simply anything which challenges the right of Japan to unlimited aggression on her own account.
There is nothing startling in this logic anymore. The Japanese, always a mimic, has taken it over from his partner, Hitler, who explains his rape of many nations as a defense against their aggression.
But the Times Advertiser would not be well advised to sit up at night waiting for old Mr. Hull to accept that logic.
Applause at Lindbergh Meet Showed Nature of Crowd
One of the most significant facts about the Lindbergh meeting in New York last Wednesday is recalled to our attention by one of his warmest sympathizers in our letter column today. It is that when he said that England couldn't win the audience cheered for ten minutes--the greatest ovation of the evening. The New York Times has proved by pictures that the audience in question was largely made up of known Nazis and Nazi-sympathizers, mainly Germans, and Communists. But of course the British-haters get out of that by saying that the Times, and presumably the camera lens, is in the pay of England. But it will be hard for them to get out of the evidence of that cheering. People cheer precisely what fits with and stirs their own emotions. And the ten-minute ovation is absolute evidence not so much that that audience believed that England would fall, as that it hoped passionately that it would--that the Nazis would win.
More than that, wildly cheering audiences have a way of getting what a speaker really means despite his mumbling of occasional weasel words.
And that great ovation was probably the truest test of what Charles A. Lindbergh actually wants in his heart which has yet appeared.
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