The Charlotte News
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1939
Hitler Poses A Terrible Choice For His Foes
Site Editor's Note: Once again, "Zarathustra" lays it out largely as it would come to be; in twelve days, Hitler would blitz Poland which would fall almost entirely by September 17, when the Russians entered from the east. France would sign an armistice permitting Nazi occupation the following June 22. Fortunately, Great Britain would dump Bumble and replace him with the strong and resourceful leadership of Churchill and the British steadfastness would persist through the Battle of Britain in August through October of 1940. And when the Nazi horror was all done in 1945 after millions on millions of lives were lost, indeed, it was written in the book…
The prospect for war in Europe is probably more real and menacing today than it has been at any time in the last eighteen months. The taking over of Slovakia by Hitler amounts to little in itself--either from a military or a political viewpoint. German troops were already along the Slovakian border of Poland, and there was nothing at all to prevent their free passage into the region in far greater numbers--nothing to prevent the use of that border as a point of attack against Poland.
For in reality, of course, Slovakia was no more "independent" than Czechland. Merely, it had Hitler's promise to respect the nominal seeming of "independence" for 25 years. His disregard of even that poor boon merely shows again how utterly worthless his promises are. But that is not startling. Not even utter idiots expected anything else.
But the move is nevertheless important. What it actually testifies to is the absolute determination of Adolf Hitler to persist in his course of attempting to bulldoze the world--and, in all probability, to his belief that he can always have all his way if only he threatens hard enough. That is to say, the move is one designed to heighten the tension, to convince Poland and England and France that he must be given what he demands or that he will immediately eat Poland up whole.
Which is to say the world is confronted with the naked choice between submitting to conquest or war. There is no longer involved here any question of "right," as the civilized world understands that term. Hitler openly admits that he wants to take not only Danzig but the whole Corridor, including Gdynia, as well--i.e., to make Poland his economic, and so his political, vassal.
Perhaps he bluffs for the moment, would be satisfied with Danzig as the first bite? But the fact that the city controls two-thirds of Poland's Baltic commerce would make the next bite easy--and even inevitable. In any case, there is no doubt that what is ultimately involved is the conquest of Poland as a whole, and, as in the case of the Czechs and Slovaks, the reduction of a Slavic people to Nazi German bondage. The "right" involved is precisely the "right" of Attila the Hun and Tamerlane--the barbarian "right" to take all that it can by uninhibited force and terror.
And nothing is more certain than that if this succeeds, it will be only the beginning. If this succeeds, England's alliances in Central Europe and with Turkey will crumble at once--the Eastern Front will be done with. The old German dream of an empire stretching from the Scandinavian Peninsula to the Persian Gulf will be realized. And with that achieved, the demands of Hitler will be the most extravagant ever dreamed by man. Worse, England will be so weakened that she probably can no longer hope to oppose it. And France--France will have no choice but to become a satellite of Germany on her own account.
It is a grim and terrible choice. If war comes, Germany may conceivably win, as she hopes, by a swift knockout blow. If she does, then the price will be far more dreadful than the mere conquest of Poland. If she doesn't, she will be destroyed--as completely as Carthage was once destroyed by the Romans. If the Germans make this war and lose, they may write it in the book: they'll not make another soon. But the price will be the lives of millions on millions of men, and in all probability economic ruin for all of us. Yet, if this thing is not stopped, the price is probably going to be the Nazification of Europe and, quite possibly, the whole Western world--which is to say the destruction of all that civilization has achieved and the return of Western man to barbarism.
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