Friday, April 30, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, April 30, 1943


Site Ed. Note: French and American forces fought their way through dense enemy fire to within three miles of Lake Achkel, 20 miles west of Bizerte, reports the front page. Fifteen Focke-Wulf 190's attacked American forces in the largest German air raid in the Tunisian fighting in several days. Other U. S. forces made gains on the high ground north of Sidi N'Sir, 35 miles southwest of Bizerte, causing the Nazis to withdraw to Djebel Anntra--wherein, there, deliverance might be had. Yet other American forces, between these two sectors, made headway toward Jefna Station in heavily mined country around Green and Bald hills. Four miles east of Sidi N'Sir, (mislabeled at one point in the report "Sir N'Sir"), another group of American infantry advanced on an enemy gun emplacement at Djebel Tahent, but had not yet taken the summit for heavy enemy fire.

A report indicated that the Nazis were showing no signs of evacuation, indeed were still pouring in reinforcements whenever they could get them past the naval and air blockade guarding the Mediterranean. Their ultimate plight, however, was quite known to them: they were, among themselves, referring to the area now as "Tunisgrad".

A reporter provides a first-hand cockpit view of a Pacific bombing mission from an American Liberator four-motor, with a target of Nauru Island, locus of enemy phosphate plants.

Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper, foretold of a new offensive building for the summer months, which it believed would be decisive in the war in Russia. Berlin sources confirmed the report of a new offensive being mounted by the Soviets, with the statement that 150,000 fresh troops, ten divisions, had been hurled into the Kuban River Valley, providing the Russians numerical superiority over the remaining Nazis in that area.

With time running out on the midnight Friday deadline imposed by John L. Lewis on behalf of the UMW for negotiating their contract before calling a general strike, and as well the President’s deadline fast approaching for counter-action, 10:00 a.m. Saturday, should the strike go into effect, there remained in sight still no resolution to the impasse.

We add another installment from the re-printed series by Marion Hargrove on life in the Army as a new private, this time finding him out of sorts with sunburn, summoned to receive a call on the topkick's phone, from some long lost noisome pal, True Blue, whom he didn't recall at all from school, as he writhed in agony from his blistered epidermis while True Blue went on about their former supposed mutual companion, Jernigan. If you have ever been sunburned badly, you might find empathy for Private Hargrove's circumstances.

In an effort to switch American meat tastes from round steak and center-cut pork chops, OPA had reduced point allotments for such delicacies as brains, spareribs, tongues, and pig's knuckles.

--Danged, if it just ain't too complicated even to eat anymore, Delores. I been through these new points twelve times and I still haven't figured out a diet worth eatin'. I just refuse pig knuckles and brains and tongues. Guess we might have to just stick to the baby food. On second thought, how about we just follow that Gandhi guy? He seems happy and all. This is just too complex.

--Also, better get your hat before they start curtailin' 'em. Says here they're gettin' ready to curtail 'em. You know you don't like those little ones they got now.

On the editorial page, "The Old Beast" again condemns the Japanese barbarity displayed to prisoners, this time focusing on the report of the previous day that a year earlier, the Japanese had committed wholesale slaughter of Chinese while searching for the downed crews of the Doolittle Raid. They captured but one crew, while butchering an estimated 250,000 people.

The piece recommends no mercy at war's end to these beasts. It finds the inhuman character thus displayed to be even worse than that of the Nazi.

But, of course, the full scope of the Nazi barbarity in the concentration camps was thus far only rumor and would certainly equal or exceed anything done by the Japanese. Once all restraints are lifted from an ignorant people who have hate for an enemy in their minds and souls, and they are allowed to do what they will with impunity, the most predatory instincts will usually surface, the most bestial behavior result, as the enemy becomes to them dehumanized animals, scapegoats for all of their manifold ills, actually inflicted by their own government upon them.

"Lester Stevens" gives praise to the artist who was now settled in North Carolina from his native New England. He was providing instruction for a time at the Mint Museum in Charlotte while his art was being displayed there. Here, a sample of his works.

"Well, Now…" examines this piece by Eleanor Roosevelt from her "My Day" column of April 26, (as well the following day), regarding her visit to a Japanese Relocation Camp at Gila, Arizona, in the area of Phoenix. The piece finds a disconnect between New Deal politics and that which the First Lady had to say of this camp, finding her somewhat disconnected from what it views as practical realities, perhaps overly given to Couéism.

The News editorial column was no fan of Mrs. Roosevelt, typically regarded her as a too ardent gadfly. As she was the most politically active First Lady in the country's history to that point, it was a matter of slow adjustment, even if they had now had ten years to do so.

She remains, in our estimate, in hindsight, one of the premier statespersons of her age, in dignity and in foresight, even if not always saying the things people wanted a First Lady to say, as simply a cheerleader.

A correspondent, Carl Hartman, reports of Switzerland taking in more than its fair share of refugees from Hitler's Europe, many of them children, about 15,000, received on a rotating basis, to nourish and clothe them for a summer at a time and then send them back to their deprived surroundings better able to withstand, then to make room for others similarly situated, starved and destitute. He points out that the adult refugees, some 25,000, worked to earn their keep.

Though he stops short of recommending a similar program for the United States, he implicitly derides the U.S. for not doing so much relative to its size, population, and wherewithal, as tiny Switzerland with a fraction of the resources.

Still, the policy of open borders had reached a saturation point even in Switzerland as the government sought to crack down on smuggled illegal immigrants. But that attitude had been received by the people with condemnation. Switzerland remained a haven for the oppressed of Europe, acting before the fall of France, as a way station for transport to other neutral or Allied lands. In the previous three years, however, that role had been severely curtailed by the fact that the Swiss were now surrounded by Nazi-occupied lands.

Samuel Grafton again examines the work of Herr Doktor Goebbels's propaganda efforts to divide the Allies, providing a concise primer on how the Doktor went about his craft of indoctrination among the willing already possessed of prejudice, merely exploiting that which they were willing to believe in the first instance after exploring to locate a vulnerably susceptible spot within the cultural mind.

The most prominent recent exhibit was, of course, the break in diplomatic relations between the Poles and the Soviets, regarding the Polish government-in-exile in London accusing the Soviets of executing 10,000 Polish officers at Smolensk. (Mr. Grafton says 12,000, but the accounts thus far had it at the lower number.) Because he knew where the vulnerable spots were, Goebbels could take advantage of these pre-existing prejudices and then a little rumor which the targets of the propaganda were willing to believe would go a long way. Mr. Grafton again warns of the dangers of allowing such interloping activity to insinuate itself to ignite the various smoldering hot points between the Allies, resulting in the sort of internecine conflict to delight Doktor Goebbels.

Bennett Cerf, not yet guessing whether a person's occupation involved something larger than a breadbox, writes, in a piece from The Saturday Review of Literature, of this and of that, mostly that.

And, we glean from the Dorman Smith of the day that the Babes wished perhaps to have a nice shrubbery to complement their sylvan surrounds during their perambulation through the Black Forest. So, we had better be quick about acceding to their wants and needs, as we do not respond well to an exclaimed "Ni".

Likewise, we had better be about it, as we are not keen on having "Ni" exerted upon our tender clamshells.

Additionally, "Ni" being a grate to withstand against, we must be getting on.

Finally, not wishing "Ni" to warrant our path, yet we have to hie our course, huing our way, hacking to withstand the frets of the sorcer, lest betides the Ides which behave in staves, it's 'swrath bestride, ruefully in threat to force her.

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