The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 1, 1941



Site Ed. Note: Though he was not around to see it, Mr. Cash proved the prophet, not Der Fuehrer.

For an amendment to "A Racket", see "A Correction", February 8, 1941.

The Prophet

Having Failed Once, He Makes Last Bet On Destiny

The date was Saturday, December 30, 1939. From Berlin the alert Associated Press reported:

Adolf Hitler today expressed (to his soldiers) his conviction that 1940 would bring victory to Germany.

Yesterday, on the 31st day of December, 1940, the Associated Press again reported from Berlin:

Adolf Hitler told German soldiers in a New Year's message today that "the year 1941 will bring completion of the greatest victory in our history."

Was there not perhaps, even among the fanatical and brutal horde which heard him, some whose blood ran a little cold as they recall the first prophecy and its failure? Did not Adolf's own spine perhaps prickle and his throat contract as he recalled it?

But then he might as well make such promises. For one thing is virtually certain--1941 will settle the score one way or the other. Germany is presently at the peak of her armed superiority. If she is to win at all she must strike while that superiority holds and before it can be reduced or balanced out.

If Britain can hold fast until Summer, the German superiority should be receding rapidly. By the end of the year it should be wholly balanced out and the democratic forces should be rapidly assuming the ascendancy. Germany's chance of victory will be gone for good.

Hitler, might, indeed, be able to drag out the war out of spitefulness for a long while to come. But his own doom and that of his people will be sealed.

He undoubtedly knows that and so recklessly risks another prophecy in the face of the fact that his first has just failed of fulfillment.


Stale Method

A Paragraph Shows Adolf Clings To His Old Way

As for Hitler's speech in general, there is no need for going over it in detail. The argument by now is familiar to everyone, for it has been made many times.

A key to the value of that argument is to be found in the following short paragraph from the Associated Press report:

Touching on the theme of total war, Hitler said Britain bombed German towns for three and a half months in "criminal night attacks" before Germany retaliated.

The world, of course, knows better than that. The indiscriminate bombing of cities for the purpose of terrorizing civilians has been a settled part of German policy from the beginning of active attack last Spring. And that policy has been consistently used on England from the beginning of the attempt to beat her to her knees.

It may be true that the British resorted to night bombing first. But that was simply for the reason that the Nazis had air superiority. The Nazis at first were so cocky that they felt that they could raid at will by daylight. They turned to night bombing only when it was clear that they were sadly mistaken. But always the use of indiscriminate bombing to the end of terrorism has been present. And that of course is the crucial point in the argument.

A grain of truth, a ton of falsehood, for the purpose of creating a monstrously untrue impression--which is Hitler's whole method. And it is the measure of the value to be placed in his cries that he does not plan world conquest.


A Racket

Which Is Also Tainted With Treason to Nation

If the story in the Washington Merry-Go-Round yesterday is true--and there is other evidence that it is--American Federation of Labor officials will do well to reconsider their refusal to interfere.

According to that story building trade locals operating in territory where cantonments are being built, have raised their initiation fees to from $75 to $150 for all men who wish employment on these defense projects and even though the applicants are already members of the union. More, a deliberate slowdown policy is being pursued. In consequence the cantonments remain unfinished; the cost to the nation has been increased 50 per cent. At Memphis one contractor is offering plumbers $150 a week.

This sort of thing is criminal at any time. It is bald and unadulterated racketeering and profiteering. And coming now, it means that the training of an army is being held up--that the national defense is being blocked at a time when time is the crucial factor.

And if the AFL bosses know what is good for them they will move heaven and earth to wipe it out. It is idle for them to say that they haven't the power. Technically, the fixing of dues may be a matter for locals. But all locals hold their characters at the pleasure of the AFL parent union and can be disciplined whenever the bosses really want it. The fact here is that the bosses are winking at this racketeering as they have winked at other forms of racketeering and unions in the past.

But they are flirting with disaster. For if anything is calculated to discredit the AFL in the public eye, to turn the sentiment of the country overwhelmingly against the unions, it is precisely this sort of thing.


Bound Home

A Noted Lady Finds One War Not Enough

When movie people start getting into the news stories, it is usually wise to look for the publicity angle. But for once we are tempted to waive suspicion altogether.

For one thing, this pair hardly needs publicity, right now. For another Britishers generally deserve the benefit of the doubt these days. And finally the risk they take, is hardly the sort of thing people do just for publicity.

Vivian Leigh and Lawrence Olivier are aboard the American Export liner Escambion, bound for Lisbon. From Lisbon they will fly to London. Miss Leigh explains that she knows London isn't precisely safe, but after all it is home. And Olivier goes to offer his services to his Government.

Sailing even to Lisbon isn't precisely a pleasure jaunt these days. For the ship must skirt the war zone much of the way and pass through waters haunted by Nazi raiders and submarines. Worse, these waters are fog bound at this season and it might easily be possible for a Nazi raider or submarine to make an error as to the identity of the vessel.

Worse still, the Nazis are undoubtedly hopping mad at the United States and might not object to making a mistake on purpose.

It is not likely that Olivier will be sent into the army even if he wants it. He is too valuable as an entertainer-- for morale purposes. But in any case, the dangers posed these days is not in the army. Indeed, a theater in London is just about as dangerous a spot as you can find.

This war is doing strange things to even light people like these. But La Leigh at least ought not to feel too ill at ease in London. As Scarlett O'Hara she has been through it all before, of course, in the siege of Atlanta.


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