The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 31, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Still Hopeful?", after giving due warning of the perils of continuing warfare into, around and over the late fall and winter months' cold and fog enshrouded coasts of Europe and England, nevertheless suggests that Hitler would be foolhardy to wait until spring to continue the war, as it would give time to England and France to build up their air forces. Checkmate. No one ever credited Hitler with being a tactical genius and, indeed, he did wait until spring to continue his imperialism, precisely starting in Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, then France. After Dunkerque, however, his steady successful advances would end--with the Battle of Britain, then later on the Russian front, until finally on Walpurgis Night, 1945, with a remaining fiefdom the size of his underground lebensraum, he beat the hangman.

In "Jim Crow", Cash, by the title, subliminally strikes another analogy between the post-bellum South and the Nazi. (See, e.g., "Europe's Ku-Kluckers", book-page editorial of September 5, 1937) (And, by doing so, he suggests, besides many other things to the attentive reader, the oft rebutted theory among scholars, which runs in The Mind of the South, that there was little real discontinuity between the antebellum South and that which followed Reconstruction. More evidence of Professor Joseph L. Morrison's never-published thesis, "A Pretty Good Afghanistanism", suggesting that Cash had, for emotional relief, "Afghanistanized" his perturbations over the Southern tradition by transference of them to the war in Europe and the Nazis? (See Morrison Papers, Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.) More likely, rather than a personal vent, this periodic but continuing comparison raised by Cash was to smack it right in the faces of his Southern brothers and sisters, impolite though it might have been, that their worst ways were in fact the ways of the worst forces ever known to Western civilization--and that therefore it was high time to put an end to it with all the same celerity exhibited by those careering oil trucks on the highways and byways of the South, lest the refinement of the bloody primordial crude dumped in the wreck otherwise created explode right smack in their faces, and with a good deal more heat than that generated by the merely rude. (See the last page of The Mind of the South))

A Difference

Oil Trucks Have An Extra Hazard To Be Met

It happened again, as it happens monotonously nowadays. At Balfour, a farm community near Asheboro, an oil transfer truck wrecked, caught fire. Two men were burned to death, and a roadside dwelling was consumed by the flames. Whether the men who died were riding on the truck we do not know, since the dispatch fails to inform us of such details. All we know is that two men are dead--drivers, employees, innocent bystanders maybe. And that a house is burned.

We do not believe that these trucks are to be classed as merely normal highway hazards. They zip along at a dangerous speed, indeed, and, with their great weight, represent the same hazard as any other heavy truck roaring along the road at high speed. But they have an additional hazard--their cargo. They stand not only to run over you but also to burn you to death, if you escape being smashed in the first place--to flood out their flaming stuff and burn up innocent bystanders and property--in towns, perpetually threaten to do the thing on a large scale. We'd almost as soon meet a rolling bomb.

Bad Publicity

First Law Of The Sea Is Unquestioning Obedience

Passengers returning from Europe on American ships report some exciting times. Not, mind you, that phantom German raiders, suddenly materializing in the fog, or the appearance of periscopes cutting the green water have given them their bad moments, though there might have been those too.

But what has contributed to the adventurous nature of the voyages has been crew trouble--labor rowing, oftentimes between members of rival unions. Thus passengers on a chartered U. S. liner brought back the other day tales of flights and lack of discipline at sea--at sea under trying conditions. Thus the captain of another ship which docked at New York last week reported fighting among the crew--that he had never seen so many men "patched up after fights."

The United States is engaged at present in an extensive and costly effort to regain its position as a maritime nation. The other day a great liner, the America, was launched. The advantages of going by American lines are being advertised extensively. The added safety in traveling in American ships during these war times is obvious.

And yet, much more of this kind of thing, of bellicosity among crews and labor disturbances at sea, and Uncle Sam had as well dock his new boats. Passengers won't stand for it, and where will the maritime unions be then?

Still Hopeful?

Hitler Has About Lost His Chance To Attack Now

Apparently Adolf Hitler still hopes for victory by a war of nerves and words--or has turned Hamlet and is caught in a fatal indecision.

The time for launching a great land attack in the West is almost past now, unless he proposes to defy all the experience of former times. In that case he would almost certainly be riding straight to disaster: For convictions of irresistibility have no effect whatever on the mud and cold of Lorraine and Alsace. And the French and British, defending the Maginot Line against armies advancing through that mud and cold, can slaughter them at leisure.

It may be that he still plans to invade Holland, with a view to strafing England continuously throughout the Winter, from the air and by submarines. But if he undertakes it, he is very likely to find himself flanked by the French, for Belgium will probably abandon the hope of neutrality so soon as Holland is invaded. More than that, it is doubtful that, even if he succeeded, the Dutch bases would do him a great deal of good this Winter. For from now on until Spring the British Isles and the North Sea will be almost continuously wrapped in fog.

It is not reasonable to suppose that he can have planned to let the war wait until next Spring, unless he does hope still to win by the impact of threats and cajolements on the nerves of the Allied peoples. For it will afford England and France an excellent chance to bring their air forces more fully up to his own--and so to deprive them of his one best bet.

Our Yardstick

Different Cases Call For Different Treatment

The official mouthpiece of the German Foreign Office, Deutsche Diplomatische-Politische Korrespondens, is exercised about what it calls the "two-fold yardstick" of the United States in connection with the European war. But it destroys its own case when it proceeds to complain about the State Department attitude toward the case of the City of Flint as compared with its calm acquiescence in the seizure of American ships by the British.

Many Americans sources, including the News, beat the German publication to that charge when the case of the Flint first broke. But as time went on it became clear that what we were in front of in the German-Russian case, was a brazen frame-up. Germany had taken the ship to Murmansk, not for any of the reasons legitimately allowed under international law but to have time to form a convoy for her and bring her back through the North Sea. She had kept her there on the claim that she was "disabled" much longer than she could legitimately keep her there. Then Russia had become a party to the crime by allowing the Germans, who by now had formed their convoy, to sail her out for a German port. There was not the slightest reason to believe that the ship had actually been disabled. There is every reason, indeed, to believe that the claim was a falsehood, for the Russians had taken good care that the American representatives should have no chance to examine her or talk to the members of her American crew. The whole business smacked most closely of an act of common piracy.

The British case is quite different. Britain seizes American ships carrying contraband, but she takes them into her own ports, examines their cargo, gives American officials full access for counter-examination, and releases them if they are not lawful prizes. At no time has she yet violated the rules as we ourselves practiced them in the last war. And she is entirely open and above board with what she is about.

That we should have a "double yardstick" for dealing with the two cases is perfectly inevitable in human nature and in a decent regard for our own interests.

Jim Crow

As The Gentle Nazis Apply It To Their Polish Victims

One of the favorite arguments of the let's-have-peace-in-Europe-at-any-price boys has been that it doesn't really matter who rules Poland, the Poles or Germany. It is to say, of course, that it doesn't really matter who rules the United States, the Americans or the Nazis or the Reds or what have you.

And, in view of the orders just issued at Bromberg, Germany, until the other day Bydgoszcz, Poland, by Nazi Commissioner Kampfe, even Hugh Johnson could probably see that the Poles themselves might have a different opinion about that. Those orders are:

1--Poles in the conquered areas (their homeland for 1,500 years) shall be treated as inferiors in stores, factories, and public buildings--in all such places must stand aside until the Germans have first been accommodated. Germans get the first choice of all jobs.

2--German is made the official language. If a Pole wants anything from an official, he had better learn to speak it. It will be taught exclusively in the schools.

3--The Poles must dress like Germans. The wearing of any specifically Polish form of clothing is forbidden.

4--All foreign exchange in the possession of Poles must be turned over to German authorities by Oct. 31--without compensation.

All this, of course, was to be expected, for the Nazis have all along made it clear that the German was to occupy the status of one belonging to a superior race as against every other people on earth. And they had already demonstrated the same thing in their dealing with the Czechs. But it makes the claims of those people who tell us that it really doesn't matter who wins look pretty silly.

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