The Charlotte News
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1938
A MAN ABSTRACTED
Site Editor's Note: "Nurnberg" is of course what we know as Nuremberg. The German spelling was often used in the press of the day. This article appeared 22 days before the Munich Pact between Hitler and "Mr. Bumble" Chamberlain which effectively gave the Sudetenland territory in Czechoslovakia to Hitler to insure "peace in our time". In March, 1939, Hitler occupied, against the Pact's provisions, the remainder of Czechoslovakia. In April, Mussolini marched on Albania. So much for "peace in our time".
The following day's editorial showed Cash warning strictly against such a pact, contrary to the stand in favor of it appearing in the London Times.
This was the first of ten Cash editorials, (the remainder accessible from the special menu above), which appeared in What America Thinks, published in 1941, a 1500-page compilation of newspaper editorials from all over the United States chronicling events from the time just before Munich through the end of 1940. The ten editorials which appeared from The Charlotte News gave the paper a tie for 20th in representation among the approximately 250 newspapers having entries. These ten were the most of any North Carolina newspaper; indeed, 40% of the 24 North Carolina editorials in the book. By contrast, the Charlotte Observer had four, the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel, combined, also had four, and the Durham Herald, six. The Raleigh News and Observer under the respected editorship of Cash's friend, Jonathan Daniels, had none. Across the country in small cities of similar size to Charlotte, about 100,000, only the Emporia Gazette in Kansas, the Evansville Courier in Indiana, and the Toledo Blade in Ohio placed ten editorials in the collection. The only similar-sized newspapers to top this number were the Youngstown Vindicator in Ohio with 12 and the Easton Express in Pennsylvania with 11. Ten editorials equalled the representation of much larger newspapers such as the Dallas Morning News, the Atlanta Journal, (the Constitution had eight), the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, the Washington Evening Star, and the Omaha World-Herald. The Washington Post, for instance, placed only six, the Boston Globe and the respected Virginius Dabney-led Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5 each, the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner, and Call-Bulletin, none, the Manchester, N.H. Union and Leader, a combined total of 3, the Nashville Tennesseean, 5, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Times, 8 each, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Des Moines Register , the Chicago Journal of Commerce, the Minneapolis Star Journal, the New York World Telegram, and the Los Angeles Times, 11 each, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Kansas City Star, 12 each, the Detroit Free Press and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, 13 each, the Louisville Courier Journal, the New York Herald-Tribune, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Christian Science Monitor, 14 each, the New York Sun and the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, 15 each, the Baltimore Sun, (under whose masthead wrote Cash friend Gerald W. Johnson), 16, the New York Times, 17, and the far and away champion, of course, as the mammoth book was published in Chicago, was the Chicago Tribune with 28. As none of these editorials bears a by-line, there is no way to determine how many of these other papers' folders represented the contributions of only one editorial writer. Burke Davis, Cash's colleague at the News, later of the Baltimore Sun, found the extent of the inclusion remarkable enough to remember it for 24 years and note it in some detail in a 1965 letter to Joseph L. Morrison (available in the Morrison Papers at the University of North Carolina Southern Historical Collection). (Morrison, however, did not include this factum in Southern Prophet.)
The comparison is not idle as these relative statistics plus the 1941 Pulitzer nomination for Cash's 1940 editorial work, especially "Sea Fight", and the widespread publicity he received in 1941 for The Mind of the South, including not only the February Time review and photo but also an announcement in the March 31 Time, (page 45), of his Guggenheim Fellowship and his intent to spend his year writing a novel in Mexico City, add up to something a good deal more than the legend has it of an "obscure North Carolina newspaper man" who therefore could not have possibly been the target of spy activity in Mexico in June, 1941. "Obscure" of course to those not keeping up closely with the news or in relation to well-known journalism personalities of the day Walter Lippman or Drew Pearson, to widely distributed syndicated columnists Dorothy Thompson (expelled from Germany by Hitler in 1934) and isolationist Hugh Johnson, or to CBS radio war correspondent Edward R. Murrow, originally of Greensboro, N.C.; but to Nazi spies whose job it was in part to monitor anyone who seemed to have more knowledge than he or she ought? Perhaps, just obscure and therefore just vulnerable enough…
Der Fuehrer's annual message to the Nazi Party Congress on the state of the Reich, delivered yesterday in Nurnberg, whose usual 500,000 people were augmented by three times their number for the occasion, was notable for what it didn't say. In contrast to last year's proclamation, which dealt ominously on the "community of interests" among Germany, Italy and Japan that would "safeguard Europe from chaotic madness" [Communism] and was dedicated to "repelling an attack on the civilized world that today may come in Spain, tomorrow in the East and the day after somewhere else," this year's message made hardly more than passing reference to the danger of Bolshevism. The 1937 deliverance stressed, whereas the 1938 model glossed over, his determination to have back German colonies. Last year he bewailed the difficulty of supplying food. This year he boasted that the larder was filled to overflowing.
In neither year, of course, did he define his immediate European objective, which in 1937 was Austria and today is Czechoslovakia. But the Czechoslovakian situation is acute, in contrast to that of Austria at the same time twelve months ago, which then was only in the making. In fact, for a man who has come as close as Herr Hitler to invading another nation and taking that portion of it he wanted, the Nurnberg proclamation yesterday was singularly discreet. It was as though the proclaimer's gaze were fastened on the spectacles of French soldiers pouring by the hundreds of thousands into a lot of underground steel fortresses on the German border and the mighty British fleet on maneuvers in the North Sea. It was as though his thoughts were absent from the words which dealt with German internal solidarity and self-esteem.
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