The Charlotte News
Saturday, July 20, 1940
Hitler Holds Out Poison Ivy as an Olive Branch
The speech of Adolf Hitler yesterday was the same sort of hodgepodge of flat falsehoods, twisted logic, pretense of sweet reasonableness, specious promises and blatant boasts with which he has always sought to clothe and, so far as possible, achieve his brutal purpose.
He spoke as God prepared to loose his thunderbolts. He was quite irresistible, and Mr. Churchill had no understanding of the power which was his. As for the British soldiers, they, unlike the Norwegians and French, were cowards, a despicable and a negligible foe.
But it may be that he is not in fact so sure in his own heart that he is as powerful as that. He is powerful enough in all truth, and he has won astounding victories. But in "Mein Kampf," he did not think British soldiers were negligible foes.
On the contrary, he raged at length against the stupidity of the German High Command in telling the German Army that sort of thing before they encountered the British in battle and learned better in blood. And of Britain he set it down as his sober judgment that the stubborn tenacity of that people made it certain that they would always carry through to victory what they had begun.
It may be that Adolf Hitler can well destroy the British Navy and over-run England as easily as he over-ran France. Perhaps that is still the most probable thing. But the Third Horseman of the Apocalypse--Famine--is already riding in Europe. Adolf Hitler will feed his holy Germans, first and last, so long as there is food anywhere in his conquered domain. Already the cattle are being taken out of Poland and Norway and France. But behind the Third Horseman the Fourth is beginning to ride also.
Influenza is raging in Poland on the heels of hunger. And to Plague not even Hitler can say: "Beyond this frontier thou shalt not pass." And, though the Germans are fed now, yet their bodies are weak from the long privations they have endured in preparation for their unmatched crime.
And so it may be that Adolf Hitler is not quite certain about England, that he greatly prefers not to take the final gamble--knowing well that the price of losing is a rope for himself and his gang and the destruction of his infamous people. Or perhaps he only plays to the gallery of the world as a "humane man"--a gesture which is likely to be wasted on all but the sappiest of American isolationists.
Anyhow, having begun as God, he proceeded to hark back to the Versailles Treaty as his justification, to explain sweetly that all he was fighting for was the liberty of Germany. But the trotting out of the threadbare old Versailles claims is proof positive, if it were needed, of his lack of good faith. Whoever knows anything about the Treaty of Versailles knows that what Adolf Hitler has done, what he has said plainly he means to do, to Norway, Belgium, Holland, France, and England if he conquers her, makes the Treaty of Versailles look like a manifesto of the Ladies Aid Society.
Forty-million wet-eyed Frenchmen will tell you that the one fault of the Treaty of Versailles was that it didn't make sure that the brute nation was destroyed when it was safely under the heel of the democratic nations. Versailles took no proper German territory, save some fairly worthless colonies. Versailles did not attempt the conquest of Europe. Versailles did not set out to destroy the culture of Germany and replace it with barbarism.
And having disposed of his justification, he appealed to "common sense," held himself out, not as a conqueror dictating terms to England but as victor offering fair and honorable terms--which he failed to name.
But common sense, like liberty, has a peculiar meaning in the Nazi language. What both are we may judge from the following taken from old General Ludendorff, one of Adolf's earliest backers and mentors:
"After the next victorious war we must strike the conquered foe so mercilessly that his spirit and the spirit of his children will be crushed for generations. No conquered foe must ever again dare to look a German in the face as an equal. He must recognize him as his overlord."
The passage perfectly sums up what is said ten thousand times in "Mein Kampf," what the whole Nazi record proves to be the spirit and purpose of Hitler. Liberty, as the Nazis use it, is the right of the Germans, as a Master Race, to enslave and rule mankind. Common sense, as the Nazis use it, is the recognition that it is the irresistible destiny of the Germans to be master of all the other inferior peoples and humbly to submit.
For the moment, Mr. Hitler may and probably will disguise his purpose. For the moment, he may and probably will attempt to persuade England that "common sense" means a little less than that. But the worth of his fair promises, the madness of believing any part of them, is written in the story of Austria, of Czechoslovakia, of Poland, of Norway, of Belgium, of Holland, of the disastrous session at Munich, of the terrible chapter of fallen France.
How To Be a Police Chief In Twelve Easy Lessons
If yesterday afternoon the City Council had deposed Commissioner Grice in favor of some up-and-coming police officer who it thought had the making of a chief, its action wouldn't have been so indefensible. What it did, however, heroically and under the pretense of economy, was to remove the man in charge and leave the department to the direction of a figurehead chief and the City Manager, a busy man without the slightest experience in police work.
To be sure, Councilman Hovis put forward a nebulous program of some day appointing somebody to head the department and letting him take lessons in how to be a police chief. Also, in due course the FBI is to be asked to send somebody "to set up a police structure."
This, we gather, can be done by drawing a series of horizontal lines in the shape of brackets, stacking them up like a pyramid, putting the word "chief" on the top line, "captains" on the next, "lieutenants" on the next and so on down through the ranks. "It won't," said Mr. Hovis, "take any especially brainy man to operate that department."
All the Police Department needs, you see, is a correspondence-school chief with a blueprint to go by. Executive ability and character incorruptibility will accrue as needed, probably through a post-graduate course.
Meanwhile, the net effect of the Council's backing and filling over the past fifteen months has been to swap Chief Pittman for Chief Nolan, a non-entity, with an interlude during which the strong hand of Keely Grice made the numbers racketeers, the houses of prostitution and bootlegging trade begin to wonder if they were as invulnerable as they had been allowed to believe. But it's all right. Anybody can run the sort of Police Department the FBI some day is going to set up.
A Correspondent Strings Along With Robert Rice
Mr. George S. Parker, of Salem, plugs hard in his letter published on this page today for the "patriotic" scheme of Robert Rice Reynolds and Senator Lundeen to grab the British islands in this hemisphere.
He neglects to say specifically what he would do if Britain did not choose to sell them, as she emphatically does not choose. But he makes it pretty clear that he is willing to go along with Lundeen and Reynolds and if necessary use force.
It would be an act of war of the most flagrant sort. And not only against England proper but also against the whole British Empire, including Canada.
Moreover, it would be an act of war based on the adoption of the principle of Adolf Hitler, that you do not respect established rights or anything else save your own desire. And finally, it would be an act of war delivered against England and the British Empire at exactly the time when England represents our first line of defense, when it is imperatively necessary to our safety that the British navy be kept out of the hands of Nazi Germany. It would brand us as the greatest cad nation in history--not forgetting Nazi Germany. And as the silliest ever heard of under the sun, for it would make it certain that England would gladly hand over her navy to Nazi Germany if she were defeated.
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