Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 5, 1944

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 5, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that it was believed that the British were pressing deeper into Holland, past captured Breda, and strengthening their position in Belgium. The movements of the American forces of General Patton's Third Army continued for the third day in succession to be shrouded in secrecy, reminiscent of the conditions extant during the move in August through Brittany from Le Mans to close the gap-trap on the Germans between Argentan and Falaise.

Unconfirmed reports from the Swiss indicated that the Allies had captured Aachen in Germany, 25 miles northeast of Liege in Belgium, and Saarbrucken, 70 miles east of Verdun. An earlier unconfirmed report had it that Patton's forces had reached Strasbourg, one of the key points along the Maginot Line.

Canadian troops of the Second Army moved to within three miles of Boulogne on the northern rocket coast. Other British forces were closing in on Dunkerque and Calais.

On the western tip of the Breton Peninsula, heavy fighting continued for Brest.

Prisoners of the Third Army had increased to 76,000 while enemy wounded were estimated at 61,500 and dead, at 19,500.

Some 750 American bombers hit the Karlsruhe rail yards, through which supplies came for Saarbrucken and Strasbourg, as well as Stuttgart and Ludwigshafen.

The Second Army encountered only slight resistance as it captured Antwerp and moved to within five miles of the Dutch frontier. The docks at Antwerp were left intact because of the hasty German retreat.

A map on the inside page shows the convergence of the Allied Armies on Germany from Poland, the Balkans, and France.

A false rumor emanating from Brussels circulated that Germany had surrendered, causing a spate of denials from Supreme Allied Headquarters, echoed by the British press. The pubs of London nevertheless, the patrons acting on the initial unconfirmed reports, quickly began to fill with celebration. Brussels radio quickly apologized for the erroneous report, closing again the taps, interrupting an otherwise good time.

V-1 attacks on Southern England resumed after a four-day respite. They would be among the last of the V-1's.

Italian-based bombers hit Budapest and other targets in Hungary.

In Italy, on the Adriatic front, the Canadians of the Eighth Army advanced to within six miles of Rimini, meeting increasing resistance as they moved to the eastern edge of the Po Valley highway. Heavy fighting was reported along the ridge from Abissma to Missano.

West of Florence, the Fifth Army advanced nearly five miles to the Serchio River and the outskirts of Lucea. The American forces fully occupied Pisano.

Russians and Rumanians, now fighting together for the first time, pushed against combined Hungarian and German forces toward the Mures River Valley, running westward through Hungary.

Russia declared war for the first time on Bulgaria as the Russian troops were facing Bulgaria's border on the Danube. The Russians rejected the claims of the Bulgars that they were neutral in the war, reinforcing the fact that they had acted in aid of the Germans for three years, and, while Russia had previously taken into account their subordinated status from which they could not easily resist, changing circumstances now permitted them to surrender without hazard, as had Finland and Rumania in recent days.

From the Pacific it was reported that 30 Japanese ships and 107 planes had been knocked out of service during a five-day period of Navy shelling and Air Force bombing. These operations included the Bonin and Volcano Islands, Wake Island, Davao on Mindanao, Celebes, Halmahera, and Palau. The American forces lost seven planes, one of which was that of Lieutenant George H. W. Bush on Saturday, during his mission over Chichi Jima in the Bonins. Five cargo ships and a tanker were definitely sunk, while a cargo ship and three submarine chasers were damaged, in the Bonin and Volcano raids.

A report from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, indicated that experiments performed by the Aero Medical Association on pilot blackouts had found that there was a five to seven second interval between the point at which the blood began to pass from the brain causing blackout, during which interval the subject remained conscious. The results were achieved from experiments in spinning chambers which produced high levels of centrifugal force.

An ancillary and macabre conclusion from the finding was that persons decapitated remained conscious for about five seconds after the severance of the head from the body. The findings were consistent with historical accounts of headsmen during the French Revolution who stated that the eyes of M. Guillotine's victims would continue to blink for about five seconds after the head rolled into the basket.

No experiments at Mayo Clinic were conducted to confirm this particular derivative hypothesis, we assume.

Nor, apparently, did the headsmen of the French Revolution report anyone being clever in the process and simply winking.

Bob Hope got a splendid haircut, he reports on Majuro, a fancy bowl cut from Mike's Barber Shop—New York Style Haircuts. No blood, we trust.

When he and his group of entertainers arrived on Makin Island, they were greeted by a sign which welcomed Fred Allen, Fibber McGee, and Jack Benny. Mr. Hope felt warmly welcomed.

They finally hoisted a welcome sign for him when they saw the girls accompanying the show.

His best opening was on Tarawa, where a mouse walked a wire from the projection booth down to the stage, just as Mr. Hope made his entrance. It received the best laugh of the trip.

On Makin, one of the soldiers was trying to photograph one of the native women who was scantily clad. She asked him to wait a minute while she ran in the house, emerging with a red cloth, which she then wrapped around her head and told him to proceed.

Whether she also carried with her a Time as she emerged from the hut, Mr. Hope does not relate.

The native chief made a speech of appreciation to the troupe. Mr. Hope, at its conclusion, told him that he did not know what had been said, to which the chief responded that he could not either understand "Mairzy Doates".

Mr. Hope laments the lack of a straight man even in the jungle.

We cannot understand "Mairzy Doates", and so have something in common with the native chieftain.

And, as reported on the inside page, don't miss the radio show on WSB at 9:00 p.m., as the new Frank Sinatra Show welcomes Orson Welles as guest, all brought to you by Vimm's, the best-known name in vitamins. Whether they contained rose hips or not, the ad does not impart.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Dulles" takes to task Drew Pearson's trenchant column of the previous Friday, extracting numerous quotes from John Foster Dulles during a speaking tour of the country in 1939. The piece finds Mr. Pearson to have abstracted at least one quote which was entirely consistent with mainstream thinking during the pre-war period. Mr. Dulles was quoted as saying that America should not accept measures short of war in combination with neutrality, in the context of his being opposed to aid to Great Britain and the proposed amending of the Neutrality Act to lift the restriction on providing arms to belligerents.

The editorial points out that this quote was little different from Walter Lippmann's statement in his recent Foreign Policy: Shield of the Republic, in which he had advocated that the United States make no commitment it was not prepared to back wholly with force.

Regardless, it asserts, a review of Mr. Dulles's views in 1939 did not provide sufficient insight into his current views, completely relevant given his role as chief foreign policy adviser to Governor Dewey and presumptive secretary of state in a Dewey administration.

So, while "yah-yahing" and name-calling were inevitable in an election year, adding color to the campaign, it was unsound reporting and commentary to obfuscate the issues, which, it finds, Mr. Pearson had done.

Well, did he? There was substantially more to the column than just this single quote. And, we posit, it was far different, in context, from that of Mr. Lippmann. Regardless, the most offensive quotes, those calling Germany, Italy, and Japan "dynamic forces" in contraposition to the "static forces" of France and Great Britain, are conveniently ignored by the editorial. Mr. Pearson was entirely correct in educating voters to this pre-war stance of Mr. Dulles, a mere five years in the past. He made no comment upon the quotes, simply presented them. There was nothing obfuscatory about doing so. Indeed, it would have been the height of obscurantism for the press to have wholly ignored these prior stances which placed Mr. Dulles squarely in the company of leading isolationists of the time, including his neighbor, Charles Lindbergh. The News never hesitated to lambaste Mr. Lindbergh when his name was current in the prints.

"Last Blow" finds reprehensible the fact that Congressman Martin Dies, in his last months in office, had employed his eleven-year old son as his "secretary" at $2,400 per year, along with his wife, at $3,000 per year—facts also reported by Drew Pearson.

The editorial equates the greed with that of outgoing Vice-President John Nance Garner in 1940 who went home to Uvalde, Texas during the last seven months of his tenure, sulking because he was bumped from the Democratic ticket in June, but nevertheless continuing to accept his paycheck from the Government.

"Lily-White" expresses the hope that the State Department would ignore the contention by Spain's Ambassador to Washington that the Spanish Government of Generalissimo Francisco Franco had nothing to do with National Sozialism in Germany and that the Government of Spain was based on Christian principles.

The piece points out that Spain had supplied troops to fight with Hitler on the Russian front until just a few months earlier. Hitler and Franco had met several times to discuss strategy. And Spain had shipped vital war materials, principally wolfram, to Nazi Germany, also until just a few months earlier, when it agreed to curtail its shipments to ten percent of previous levels.

Moreover, there were thousands of political prisoners in Spain, and Germany had assisted with men and materiel during the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939, which led to the establishment of the regime of Franco and the Falangists.

It concludes by finding elliptical the remark of the Spanish Ambassador when he said that Spain was not providing haven to enemies of the Allies. The piece asks rhetorically, "What about brother Franco himself?"

"Sen. Norris" eulogizes the passing of Senator George Norris, former Senator from Nebraska. The piece describes him as a progressive and liberal who would be sorely missed for his tenacious stands on principle.

He had been a primary champion of the Tennessee Valley Authority, as well the Twentieth Amendment, the so-called Lame Duck Amendment, ratified in 1933. The latter Amendment changed the date of the presidential inauguration from March 4 to January 20 and the date of the start of the new session of Congress to January 3, rather than March 4. It alleviated, therefore, the long gap previously extant between the November elections and the installation of a new Congress and Executive Branch.

Senator Norris, defeated for re-election in 1942, had been a Republican throughout most of his thirty-year Senate career, until switching to Independent status in his last term. He had also been in the House for ten years prior to that, thus having a Congressional tenure of forty years from 1903. He died September 2 at age 83.

He would be one of John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage" in the 1957 book.

Drew Pearson writes of Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall having been informed by FDR why he did not wholeheartedly back Vice-President Wallace for re-nomination. Governor Arnall had been one of the stalwart backers of the Vice-President at the convention. This fact had led former Governor Gene Talmadge to suggest to Governor Arnall that the President had double-crossed him by first saying he supported the Vice-President, then shifting support to either Senator Truman or Justice William O. Douglas, leaving the Wallace backers in the lurch. When FDR heard about this taunting from former Governor Talmadge, he invited Governor Arnall for an exclusive conference to inform him of his reasons for the change.

The President told Governor Arnall that he had been completely supportive of the re-nomination but had been convinced by DNC chairman Robert Hannegan, Mayor Ed Kelly of Chicago, and Ed Flynn of New York that the convention would not support the Vice-President, and so gave them carte blanch to proceed at will based on the President's enunciated second and third choices. But the President implied in the process that had he known how much strength Vice-President Wallace in fact had at the convention, he would have continued to support him.

Mr. Pearson comments that this version differed to a degree from the story emerging out of the convention at the time, in that the President was said to be completely behind Senator Truman, at least after Mr. Hannegan and company had provided the sales pitch against Vice-President Wallace.

In any event, Governor Arnall had never fallen for the pitch, himself, and continued to the bitter end to support the Vice-President.

Mr. Pearson recounts also a colloquy between Republican Representative Clarence Brown of Ohio and Sidney Hillman of CIO during a House hearing in which the Congressman pointedly asked Mr. Hillman why, when he was present at the Democratic Convention, he did not attend the Republican gathering. To that, Mr. Hillman simply responded with the question as to where Wendell Willkie had been at the Republican Convention, shutting Mr. Brown's mouth in the process.

Samuel Grafton, returning from vacation, contrasts the opinions of American observers of the European war scene. When Paris was liberated, there was a great outpouring of support and affection for the Resistance. But when it was learned that French snipers were at work in Paris, the tune changed to one of disdain for Frenchmen who would participate in such an "underworld".

The same was true with respect to Italians. Americans were pleased to read of the accounts of the activities of the Partisans in Northern Italy but found the Partisans in Southern Italy to be radicals in need of repression.

The problem, he opines, was one of ignorance on the part of Americans for having not been forced to live under a regime of Fascism, not understanding therefore the extremes, including violence, to which a resistance movement had to resort to undermine its impact. Americans appeared to distrust the inherent wisdom of the Resistance in ferreting out the Fascists, despite their having been under the thumbs of the Fascists for four years and thus knowledgeable of who they were.

Marquis Childs discusses the steady chipping away of benefits to be provided soldiers and workers under the proposed demobilization bill. The Senate version had already been watered down. Now, the House was presenting an even more adulterated version.

There was more at work, asserts Mr. Childs, than ostensible election year politics. The huge amount of debt remained on the minds of the lawmakers, as did the concept that most people malinger if given the opportunity, that providing unemployment benefits would ultimately encourage unemployment.

But that type of reaction had been prevalent during the Depression years. A book by Clinch Calkins, Some Folks Won't Work, published during the Depression, tended to dispute the notion, as workers on relief whom the author had interviewed stated that they wanted a chance to work and earn a decent living.

The dead-beats, inevitable under any system, were negligible. The proof was in the fact of the rush to employment in war industries when the opportunity arose in 1942.

But the House, nevertheless, had eschewed the advice of industrial leaders and General Hines of Veterans Affairs who counseled provision of prophylactic measures through the time of transition.

The House had rejected also the Senate plan for disposal of surplus war property. Yet, on this point, the House in rejecting a cumbersome system laid out by the Senate bill, appeared to have the better of the argument.

Mr. Childs concludes by pointing out what he deems a revealing contrast in the approaches. The Senate unemployment compensation measure was set to cover two years; the House version, only one year. The surplus property measure would apply for three years and contract re-negotiation for two years. The bias therefore was in favor of industry's transition more than for the individual laborer.

Dorothy Thompson reports of the grim findings by American journalists who had visited the Nazi concentration camps at Lublin in Poland, recently captured by the Russians.

These correspondents, she points out, had told of Hitler's ruthless purges as early as 1933. Yet, America did not listen. Herbert Hoover, Charles Lindbergh, Robert Rice Reynolds, but to name three prominent Americans, had each gone to Germany as Hitler's guest, greeted him as an equal and on friendly terms, even received his decorations. The same was true of members of the British House of Commons.

Now came the gruesome reports of the mass killings at Lublin where men, women, and children were stripped of their clothing, led into showers, then into chambers where poison gas or carbon monoxide was released. Their corpses were then plundered for the gold in their teeth. These victims included not just Jews, but also Poles, Russians, other Europeans, and Germans who had opposed Hitler.

Slowly the truth was emerging of this beastly Murder, Inc., would emerge more as the Allies overtook other occupied countries.

She asks whether Vichy could be absolved of complicity in these murders for its role in providing to the Nazis the persons they listed as being treasonous to their cause. Likewise, the countries who had prevented the immigration of Jews and other citizens from Germany and the occupied lands, seeking asylum for ten years before and during the war: could those countries who averted their eyes be allowed to escape culpability?

Yet, some lines of gradation of blame had to be drawn. The most responsible for the Holocaust were the leaders of Germany through the eleven-year reign of Nazism. Next were the Gestapo. Then, the collaborationists. All must be held accountable, lest those who would excuse some level of the culpable would be themselves accomplices after the fact in this human slaughter.

Hal Boyle was escorted through an abandoned Nazi supply warehouse in the village of Ormes by an American sergeant. He was shown a huge stash of photographs of Hitler, Goering, Himmler, and other members of the Nazi hierarchy. The Germans liked to distribute them among the commanders.

The fleeing soldiers had cleared out so fast that they left their food still warm on the plates, even left behind their German police dog. They had also left six cases of soda but no liqueur.

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