Tuesday, April 27, 1943

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 27, 1943


Site Ed. Note: With "unabated ferocity", stated Allied headquarters in Tunisia, the attack was taken to von Arnim's Axis forces all along the 140-mile front facing Tunis and Bizerte, reports the front page.

General Patton, in the area between Medjez-El-Bab and the Mediterranean, led his forces in an unrelenting drive, so quickly that the Germans hadn't the time to bury their dead, and took the two most heavily fortified heights in Tunisia's northern sector, Green Hill and Bald Hill.

Southeast of Goubellat, two Allied forces, one British and one comprised of Moroccan Goumiers, threatened Pont Du Fahs, key Nazi stronghold, 34 miles southwest of Tunis. The Goumiers had penetrated to within two miles of Pont Du Fahs. The British column had advanced to within four miles of the road between Tunis and Point Du Fahs. The British had destroyed fully twenty German tanks in the area during the previous 24 hours, 80 in all since Sunday.

In the north, the First Army had cleared out eleven miles of the road between Medjez-El-Bab and Tebourba, taking Toum railway station, a point 23 miles west of Tunis. Taking Tebourba would mean splitting the Axis forces in two.

Progress of the First Army to this point, combined with the French having already moved to within 23 miles of Bizerte from the west at Cap Serrat, presented two western thrusts toward the two final objectives, while Patton tore up the middle and the southern British-Moroccan forces approached Tunis from the southeast.

Coffin Corner was beginning fast to form, with only two weeks left before the Nazi would be gone from North Africa, and for good.

The Russian air force attacked the Luftwaffe and inflicted heavy damage on their launching platforms for the planned counter-offensive attempted the previous week in the Kuban River Valley, by hitting their airdromes along the Taman Peninsula, the Kerch Strait, and in the Crimea.

Increasingly, the chances of a strong putsch of the Nazi to reacquire territory lost in the Russian winter offensive, as in spring and summer 1942, looked dimmer for poor little Adolf and his dog, Blondie, keeping him company in his various hideaways well away from the frontlines, watching his Wehrmacht slowly reduced to the girly-men they in fact were.

Bullies are girly-men. Terminators are girly-men.

American piloted Flying Fortresses and Liberators, taking off from North Africa and the Middle East, completed the longest mission from these points of origin, 950 miles roundtrip, to bomb Grosseto airfield, 80 miles northwest of Rome, and Bari airdrome on the southern Adriatic.

In what was described as one of the heaviest air raids yet carried out on Germany, the RAF struck at Duisburg, twelve miles west of Essen. Seventeen RAF bombers were reported missing. The size of the raid was yet to be given, of course, per the usual silence.

The bituminous coal miners, having failed to achieve a contract of their liking during the thirty-day extension of the time for settling their contract, as encouraged in late March by the President, were now beginning to strike, threatening to shut down all mines from Birmingham, Alabama to Pittsburgh by Saturday. Already, 26,000 miners were on strike. The result of en masse strikes in this industry would be to shut down steel production in short order and thus shut down the war effort.

Were they right, in standing their ground for a measly extra two dollars per day and a minimum guaranteed wage for all miners of eight dollars per day?

For should Hitler have won the war for their striking, they would have soon been working as slave labor in the same mines with a new Boss, some Austrian blockhead, the Terminator.

Such antics are what earned John L. Lewis an honorary swastika in the minds of millions of Americans during the war.

And, a photo appears of a 13-year old police dog named Arrow, of Sunnyside, N.Y., who awaited, as the loyal Argos did Odysseus, for the return of his master abroad in the service of his country. Hopefully, Arrow would not need wait twenty years.

Would he?

On the editorial page, "Mayor Baxter" greets the returns of the voters, fully 10% of the population in turnout at the polls the previous day, to elect their new mayor and city council. They voted, on a margin of only 324 votes out of 10,000 cast, for the People's ticket in the mayoral election over the incumbent Citizens' ticket.

Let us hope that the "People" instanced did not have reference to the herrenvolk. Probably not, as theirs was no slogan in evidence such as a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage.

The returns were inconclusive thus far on the city council, as well they might be as probably no one could figure out the ballot. In any event, there would be a runoff the following week on that one. We shall await the results with baited breathlessness.

"No Prisoners" recommends no mercy to the enemy, based on the anecdotes of returning G.I.'s from the Pacific theater. Parachute troops, for instance, had reported that even dogs carried bombs, that harmless appearing native civilians, old women, often knifed sentries. No mercy therefore could be shown the enemy, lest it result in a soldier’s death. Few prisoners could be taken for the nature of the combat.

Dorothy Thompson examines the record of Japanese atrocities against their enemy since 1937 at the outset of the war in China, finding it no surprise that they had executed some of the Doolittle airmen they captured in China after the bombing raid on Japan of April 18, 1942. Their record was already notorious, evading the Geneva Convention on the chicane basis that it did not apply: this was an undeclared war in China, a police action from the Japanese standpoint, all germinating from the excuse of a Japanese officer being supposedly killed by the Chinese in Manchuria, the southern portion of which the Japanese had of course illegally occupied since 1931.

She extends the argument to the inhuman barbarity displayed by the Germans and Italians in their bombing of helpless civilians at Guernica, Spain, and the Italian invasion and bombing of helpless peasants in Ethiopia, the now dead Bruno Mussolini's explaining the pleasure and beauty of watching masses of people explode beneath his aeroplane by analogy to the opening of a rose. The Nazis had sought to terrorize the population of London during the Blitz to force a surrender, made deliberately coincident, she opines, with the tenders for peace delivered by Rudolf Hess when he landed in Scotland, a madman, in May, 1941.

While recognizing the barbarity and that no mercy could be shown them in war, she also cautions that it would be of no consequence to seek an eye for an eye among Japanese or German prisoners for reported atrocities to American prisoners. The best approach, she offers, was a stolid determination fixedly to win the war.

Samuel Grafton tells of the fact that Hitler was busy in France, the Netherlands, and along the southern European Mediterranean coast building his Festung Europa, Fortress Europe--or, along the Mediterranean, the Mittelmeer of Albert Speer, as Mr. Grafton had described it a few weeks earlier. He cautions against allowing the Nazis' apparent recoiling behind such a defensive wall to afford the Allies a sigh of relief from the offensive war, such that it might lapse into a stalemate, or even eventuate in some Armistice qua World War I.

He cites as example of tendencies toward this stalemate the report that manufacturing equipment useful in producing high-octane fuel for ships and airplanes had been instead put to production of synthetic rubber to satisfy domestic needs of civilians eager to drive about again without restriction. The consequence was that some Army planes were reported out of gas the previous month.

Issuing further caution against the temptation of being misled by the rhetoric of "pro-MacArthur isolationists" favoring the funneling of armament from the European campaign into the Pacific theater, he warns that Festung Europa was being constructed the while and it must be busted for the war ever to end on any front.

"Army's Food" looks at the enormous supplies required to feed an army abroad, that the increased consumption by soldiers in battle and in training meant the need for five times the normal allotment of food. It provides a report from OWI setting forth the large daily requirements for soldiers.

Nobody could begrudge a man risking his life and limb, or training to that end, eating as much as he liked at every meal. For, besides just the need to keep the body replenished in the face of torturous activity, once he reached the front, every meal might then become his last.

Speaking of Army life, we forgot to include from yesterday a re-printed installment by Marion Hargrove from fall, 1941 and early winter, 1942, out of a series of such articles recently collected and published as a book, See Here, Private Hargrove. The piece is slice-of-life and speaks for itself. But, candidly, if we had been poor young Private Zuber, we would have informed the others politely to bug off the business.

We have presented one other installment of this series previously, from January 3, 1942.

A letter writer, an attorney from Statesville, attacks Governor Broughton's decision to free convicted rapist William Wellman, sentenced to death for a crime he never committed, a crime from the scene of which he was displaced by a mere 400 miles, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as proved by a payroll slip he signed, dated and stamped for time one to two hours before the crime was committed in Statesville.

This supercilious idiot, however, takes a supremacist viewpoint, setting forth in the best legalese which he might muster (probably while drinking a little too much wine) his overwhelmingly speculative notions about why the evidence was quite sufficient for the pluperfect seers of justice who convicted Mr. Wellman--and oh so properly, he says.

Why, the Niggers and Jew-boys who obtained this rapist-nigger's freedom were nothing more than a bunch of lying con-artists pulling the wool over the Governor's eyes and those of the silly criminal-coddling Liberals of the puling public disgrace. This nigger was guilty as sin. The Niggers they hired to assess his handwriting didn’t know anything but Nigger, Jew-boy carnival tricks.

Anyone can forge handwriting and any Nigger, Jew-boy then could come along and get a nigger off by subjectively suggesting the handwriting to match the nigger's. Niggers and Jew-boys could not properly discern whether it was really Mr. Wellman’s signature on that time slip which provided him the absolute alibi for the rape, or not.

After all, non-Nigger, non-Jew-boy men of integrity had verified Mr. Wellman's identity as a nigger at the scene or in the vicinity of Statesville three days earlier, one even claiming to know him for many years, and therefore any fool ought know that this indubitably sound and infallible eyewitness testimony could not be confuted by trumped-up affidavits offered from a bunch of Nigger, Jew-boys--testimony not even made subject to cross-examination in a fair and just courtroom of honest, white deliberators, good and true to their calling to see that all guilty niggers get their just deserts.

Well, we have taken a few liberties in translating the letter's composition for you, editorially. Our transliteration, based on some long experience with the type, is just that which we read on the page, set there in the invisible ink which his ilk obtains and openly proclaims, always with impunity, out of the Invisible Empire to which he no doubt had significant ties, if not card-carrying association. You may read it for yourself and see if it doesn't say likewise to you as well.

To us, it merely further attests to the facts that Mr. Wellman was convicted by racist pigs thinking that "Blind Justice" means literally blinding one's self to any semblance of objective reality, and was indeed an innocent man.

Regardless of his factual innocence in the indiscernible abstract, it is the jury's responsibility to convict only on evidence which enables a reasonable person honestly to say with an abiding determination through time that he or she is convinced, based only on the properly admitted evidence both for and against the guilt of the accused, beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. If there is a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused, he or she must be acquitted. And if, subsequent to a conviction, evidence surfaces which, without doubt, would in any reasonable person form such reasonable doubt, then anyone charged with the review of the evidence to determine suitability for pardon, commutation, or exoneration from the penalties of the offense, must perform that duty under the law, for the benefit of all of us, not just the person wrongfully convicted.

It is never, under any circumstances, the accused who must prove his or her innocence of the accusation. Accusation is not equivalent to guilt; conviction is not equivalent to guilt in the abstract, any more than acquittal or exoneration is necessarily indicative of innocence in the abstract. For if it were so, if we had to prove our innocence of accusation, or if the prosecution had but a slight burden, more probable than not, as we have many times said, most of us, probably including this idiotic attorney spouting off in the letter, would be behind bars.

Or, we would be nice little Nazis marching in goose-stepping uniformity to the whip-beat of the Master Terminator.

Justice is not a game. Determinations of guilt are not based on hunches or emotional beliefs apart from evidence. And no matter how much evidence points to guilt, only a little evidence pointing factually away from guilt is necessary to acquit.

Perhaps, had he, in twenty years more time, the benefit then in 1943 of a read of this letter, with consideration and slow discernment, with all deliberate Speed, the attorney might have better understood the grave error of his opinion, and that the Governor, in this instance, was quite correct.

The story out of Holland, which had appeared in the May Reader's Digest, being circulated in the underground there, suggesting with relish how Hitler's final death might be vengefully exacted in an auto da fé, grimly tells a tale of admittedly delicious evil. We would, we admit, have liked very much to have been there to taunt the Fuehrer in his last lingering moments, stretched into days, weeks, even months, years perhaps. We might have even suggested a few wrinkles of our own, such as intermittently sitting beside him, close by, yet hidden from view underneath some palm fronds, loudly whittling a stick of wood with an especially large and sharp knife, the whittling, whittling, whittling quite exposed, the steel glistening, glistening, glistening in the sunlight from beneath the palm fronds, all set to music, turned up loud in Der Fuehrer's ears--and a few other things which we need not share, as it is so long ago.

But, it does bring to mind this version of this song, and so...

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.