The Charlotte News

Sunday, May 14, 1939



From The Life

Proving Hitler May Not Be Important, After All

They were three little black boys, ragged in the pants. They were engaged in the feat of transportation--more boxes than could logically be placed on a given space piled on a little wagon made from a soapbox. At the corner of Fourth and Tryon difficulty beset them. In a rush to escape one of those pleasant drivers who come on around the corner the moment the green light shows, and hang pedestrians caught in the middle, their vehicle was upset, the boxes sent tumbling over the sidewalk. Two stood helpless before disaster. But the third was made of more philosophical stuff. "You better git these here boxes up," he admonished the paralyzed pair as he fell to work, "or the po-lice put us in jubill for 60,000 days!"

He was black and little, too, and ragged in the pants. Just ambling along. Looking in shop windows. Stopping sometimes to stand on one foot at the curb and watch the automobiles go by. Whistling by spurts. Rolling his eyes. Solemn-faced. In front of him a newsboy was beginning to cry the afternoon paper. "Britain Lines Up Turkey! Britain Lines Up Turkey!"

He became aware of the sound, listened intently. Proclaimed, his face breaking into a grin:

"I eats my turkey!"


Concerning The Demise Of An Old-Fogey Idea

There is nothing like progress, masters. Take war, for instance. It used to be a business for males and only grown-up males at that. Now and then a particularly well-grown boy of fourteen or fifteen might find his way into the thing, but in general seventeen was the minimum age.

But in these advanced and enlightened times, all that old fogey stuff is over and done with, thank heaven. In Poland they are busily organizing a woman's fighting corps. In Turkey, as officials did not fail to note in discussing the Anglo-Turkish alliance, all women are subject to military service. In Germany and Italy, the little boys and girls have long been trained for war from the age of five up. And yesterday the Rumanian Government announced that it would draft all boys and girls from seven up, once war starts.

In time, no doubt, we shall get sufficiently civilized to go beyond that and begin to send 'em into the trenches at six weeks.

The Grand Illusion

Prompted By A Maverick's Decision To Put On A Front

Differ with him on politics as much as you please, it is impossible not to have a fondness for this Maury Maverick who, after being turned out of Congress in spite of his endorsement by the President, has hit the political trail back by getting to be mayor of San Antonio. The fellow has a most engaging freshness about him and apparently is not above satirizing himself and the whole trade of politics.

From now on, said Maury as a sort of victory speech, "I'm going to be a stuffed shirt. I got beat for Congress for not being one."

The ascendancy of stuffed shirts in this our life is one of the most striking phenomena of the ages. You can spot 'em at a glance. They radiate importance. Their eyes are glassy, like those of the dummies in store windows, and probably for the same reason of being consistently on display. They tell the feeblest jokes in the heartiest manner. Their voices are becoming voices, and they are ready at the drop of a hat or most any object to break into some sonorous speech full of gosh-awful platitudes which fall from their lips with the force of new discoveries. They even take their unbending dignity to bed with them, or at least have never been caught in the morning before they had assumed it again. But they get places.

They get places because, after all, they played a part superbly and because they have the raw courage to demand that they be accepted at their own valuation and because the homo sap naturally refrains from questioning the validity of their greatness for fear his own little pretensions will be exposed. But the role has one besetting drawback. It's like a suit of armor. You can't relax in it.

The Nazi Way

Kuhn Suit And Putnam Kidnapping Seem To Cast Light On It

Is not very probable that Bund-fuehrer Fritz Kuhn really hopes to collect when he institutes suit for five million smackers against Warner Brothers on the ground the picture, "The Confessions of a Nazi Spy", libels himself and his organization. It would be next to impossible to convince a jury that the Bund is actually "a patriotic, loyal, and American organization," and that the picture contained anything but a very mild version of the truth. And Fritz probably knows as much. What, in all probability, his move adds up to is an attempt to intimidate the moviemakers, regretfully afraid of suits and who know how costly they can be even when no judgment is rendered--to plant the idea that it might be just as well not to make any more pictures telling the truth about the Nazis, lest it cause them more trouble than they want.

And essentially akin to that, too, seems to be the kidnapping of Publisher Putnam. As far as it appears, now, the kidnapping was a bona fide job and not a mere bid for publicity for the Putnam book "The Death of Adolf Hitler." But it is certainly one of the strangest kidnappings ever heard of--the seizing of a man for the supposed purpose of extracting information from him, accepting his refusal to give it without any attempt to force it out of him, tying him up and leaving him to be found uninjured. About the only way it can be explained is by supposing: (1) that the kidnappers got cold feet, or (2) and more likely, that the whole thing was intended to be taken as a warning of what might happen in the future--that it represents an effort to scare off those who write and publish books or articles against the Nazis.


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