Saturday, August 28, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 28, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of another major RAF raid, this one on Nurnberg, which had also been hit on August 10. The 1,100 mile roundtrip mission resulted in 33 RAF planes not returning.

"Drans Ins Freie", or "free air", was the cry coming now from Berliners as they daily escaped the targeted city to the countryside, most now dwelling in single-family residences holding up to ten families. The populace was now spending an average of five hours each day aboard trains as they dodged broken rail lines on their way to and from the country. Bicycles were to be had only for large sums of money.

In the Pacific, Bairoko Harbor was taken by the Allies, ending Japanese occupation of New Georgia. The remaining holdouts at the harbor had fled to Vila airstrip on Kolombangara across the Kula Gulf. Vila, however, also was threatened, by the taking of New Georgia and by the taking of nearby Vella Lavella.

A young lieutenant from New York bailed out of his P-38 fighter on July 31 after running out of fuel over the jungles of New Guinea and wound up cut and injured from his ejection and fall. Taking morphine doses to ease his pain, he spent several days in the jungle before being rescued, whereupon he discovered he had been promoted to a captain.

King Boris of Bulgaria was reported dead at age 49 from an attack of angina. According to unsubstantiated other reports, he “might” also have been the victim of an assassin’s bullet amid unrest in Bulgaria. King Boris had sought to maintain Bulgaria on a tightrope between German demands for military assistance to the Axis and the desires of the bulk of Bulgarians to maintain affinity with Russia. It was denied by German radio that the King's illness had resulted from a violent quarrel recently with Hitler.

In Chapter 2 of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, continued on the inside page, Ted Lawson tells of his training in a B-25 and the many mishaps in it which he suffered stateside before being informed of a secret mission for which he and other pilots and crewmen in his squadron were invited to volunteer. All they knew of the mission, before being introduced to its commander, Lt.-Col. Jimmy Doolittle, was that it was dangerous and involved a foreign country. Which was all they knew after being introduced to Col. Doolittle.

And Queen Alice, a 57-year old elephant, star of the Bronx Zoo, had to be put to sleep after suffering several falls from her arthritis. At least she did not suffer the same fate as Mary the elephant in Tennessee in 1916.

Object lesson: if you have arthritis, don't fall down.

On the editorial page, "Two Polyannas" characterizes as a blunder the American and British grant of limited recognition to the French Committee of National Liberation as the Russians immediately provided it unqualified recognition. The Anglo-American view was to wait until after the war to decide whether the Committee’s composition was entitled to lead France.

The editorial finds this diplomatic move to be yet another in a series of faux pas with respect to the French by the American and British diplomats. It offers that if the war were won with the smaller nations not gravitating more toward Russia than either Britain or America, it would be because of the goodwill spread by American and British fighting forces abroad, not because of the diplomats and their erratic policies often in support of former Fascists.

Yet, could the limited recognition of the Committee also have been simply in deference to the fact that the Committee itself did not propose to act as a governing body of the French after the point where the French could popularly establish a new republic? It did not set itself up with intent to be a carryover body after the war in some autocratic fashion, more akin to Soviet Russia than the democracies.

Perhaps, all a tempest in a teapot by this juncture in the war.

"Useless Plea" remarks on Nazi Labor Front chief, Dr. Robert Ley, urging Berliners not to be afraid of the Allied bombs, that the Allies had also suffered heavy losses in their raid on Monday. There was no need for panic.

The editorial offers that, to Berliners, the words must have rung hollow as the exodus to the countryside continued, the evacuees unmoved by the soothing words of Dr. Ley.

"Of Berlin" offers some historical perspective on the capital of Germany, the youngest of the European capitals, dating from the Thirteenth Century.

Drew Pearson devotes most of his column again to the division between Sumner Welles and Cordell Hull in the State Department, resolved by the ouster of Mr. Welles. The heart of the dispute, says Mr. Pearson, had been the treatment of Russia, Hull taking a hard anti-Soviet line while Welles had always viewed an alliance with Russia desirable, necessary to effect post-war peace, even if the U.S. rejected the Soviet system.

Regardless of how matters were effected by the State Department with Russia, Russia's primary doubts were leveled at Britain. Besides a general reservation historically regarding Perfidious Albion, specific problems gravitated around four issues: the belief that Churchill, desirous allegedly for primary American participation in establishment of a second front, had thereby stymied its inception; the presence of British troops in Palestine, Mesopotamia, and the Near East, perceived as a block to Russia obtaining a warm water route through the Persian Gulf; the perceived illegal presence of Britain in Teheran, while the Russians had occupied two southern provinces of Iran; and the suspicion that Britain wished to keep Russia fighting another winter so that mutual attrition would take place, in the vein of the old pre-war Cliveden Set's publicly stated desire to have Russia and Nazi Germany fight one another to the death of each.

Dorothy Thompson observes that the appointment of Heinrich Himmler as Minister of the Interior in Germany signaled that Hitler was worried about uprisings from within, thus needed the tough Nazi chieftain, who, having conducted himself as a good Aryan, exterminating all Others in the occupied territories, could tamp down, by use of deterrent force and fear, all hint of revolt at home.

She concludes that if the actual object of the fear thus demonstrated could be made the subject of policy to foist from within the demise of Nazism, the war might be won in 1943.

Raymond Clapper finds some suggestions for the post-war world offered by a member of the National Republican Club to be more refreshing than anything coming out of the seemingly retrenched Administration of late.

Most of the points, however, appear to be rehashed policy promoted by either Vice-President Wallace or Sumner Welles, if not directly by the President. Perhaps the Republicans were exploiting the recently ousted of the Administration by adopting their views to attempt to make political hay for 1944 and split the Democratic Party on itself, an attempt already having been made in that direction with respect to the disgruntled Southern Democrats, turning away from New Deal policies.

Samuel Grafton studies different perceptions, that of the Americans and British versus that of the Russians. He finds that, to the Western Allies, Sicily and North Africa represented major places on the world map; to Russians, something remote, distant, relatively insignificant, compared to their home losses and sacrifice. But to the West, Stalingrad was likewise remote; to Russians, the central victory of the war. To Russians, the demand for a second front was merely a plea for help and relief from the massive dying in their midst, both of civilian and soldier alike; to the West, a petulant bit of ingratitude, given the victories in Tunisia, in Sicily, the ongoing bombing campaign of Europe, all affording relief to the Russian fighter, while the Soviets also forgot the enormous impact of Lend-Lease on their ability to rout the Germans in the last two winter counter-offensives and especially in the current summer offensive.

He concludes that the Russian desires were sincere. They were not out to conquer Europe for themselves by inviting the West into Europe; they were not out to gain a separate peace with Germany by asking the Western Allies to attack Germany.

And the quip related by Drew Pearson from the last Czarist Ambassador to Washington, George Bakhmeteff, when asked his relationship to Alexander Kerensky's Ambassador, Boris Bakhmeteff, that it was the same as that of George Washington to Booker T., may present an apt analogy between the August 28, 2010 Tea Partier rally at the Lincoln Memorial, organized by one of the Limbecks, and the Civil Rights March to the Memorial of August 28, 1963, that despite one of the more recent rally's key speakers having expressed, to tepid applause, that she honored the significance of the date and the march "two score and seven years ago", a coincidence of date which the Limbeck proclaimed was, of course, without his awareness when chosen, but had to have been the work of "divine providence". The one in 2010, primarily a bunch of white middle class people talking of "taking back America"--to where besides a theocracy of some sort being unstated--, was distinctly different from the one of August, 1963 in which the dream memorialized was of an integrated America, one where all enjoyed equal rights and opportunity, black, white, red, brown, or yellow, regardless of religion, regardless of economic or social class. The message conveyed in 2010 appeared to be, by its symbols, by its verbiage--notwithstanding its hollow quoting of the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty, there being no evidence of any tired or homeless among the crowd, much if not most of that crowd wishing to seal the borders against such ne'er-do-wells--that you could only enjoy equal rights and the American dream provided you are both Christian and wear your Christianity on your sleeve the way these white people do, all while wrapping this "religious" message up in a picnic sandwich with statements opposing "Liberals" and "Big Government", and, not coincidentally or by divine providence, President Obama.

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