The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 27, 1939


Site Ed. Note: This date's subject: heroes, real and imagined.

On Heroes

The Mayos Have Been Worth Several Thousand Assorted Generals

Some day when we have become a civilized people, we shall remember to put up monuments to Charles Mayo and his brother, William. To put up monuments in all our towns to these men and their kind. But, like other peoples (save to a certain extent the French), we are still more barbarians than not. We reserve our monuments for generals and politicians and other people who make a great show in the world--and who more often than not do nothing at all for the people save to render them more miserable than before. In all the United States there is, we believe, but one monument to Louis Pasteur--to whose devoted life every one of us is incalculably indebted.

Of the same sort were the Mayos. In their time they snatched many thousands of lives away from death. But that was only part of it. They socked the rich and as cheerfully as any Robin Hood or New Dealer ever dreamed--acquired millions. But they took little of it for themselves. Much of it they turned directly back to the care of the poor--even sometimes to staking them to a new start after their bodily ills were cured. And the rest went to endow research at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere--particularly in the field of cancer--and to the building up of the great clinic at Rochester, and arranging matters so that nobody can ever use it for profit. In sum, to making sure that the work they had begun should continue when their own marvelously skillful hands were still.

To cure as many sick men as possible: that was the ambition that one of them once expressed. And that it was no rhetoric, their lives plainly demonstrate. In them the oath of Hippocrates came to full flower--and the austere consecration of the saints of science to the service of an idea and humanity. For their lives all of us are safer and happier. It is such men who are the real heroes of the ranks--such men who deserve our monuments and will get them when we have become a little more civilized.

4,000 Per Cent

No Lesser Adherence Will Be Tolerated Among Ideologists

The biter is deeply bitten and Herod out-heroded by practically infinite odds when old General Van Horne Moseley sets the Hon. Martin Dies down as being virtually a Red on his own account.

There is nothing original in the charge of the old boy that the Hon. Dies' committee is a "smear" organization. Ourselves, we have called it that many times. For, until last Winter when it was somewhat reorganized and Martin given a less free hand, its plain and sole purpose was to smear everyone who stood to the left of the late Commodore Vanderbilt as a Red in the pay of Moscow. Theoretically supposed to smoke out the Nazis and Fascists, too, it actually did almost nothing in that direction until after the reorganization. Rumor had it, indeed, that in private the Hon. Martin felt most kindly toward the Fascists, but he indignantly denied that. Maybe that denial explains the old general's denunciation, since he himself makes no bones about his conviction that Fascism is the only proper equivalent of Americanism, and that the only way to save us from ourselves is to make himself dictator.

Anyhow, it was all to be expected. Who hates a communist worst? Why a Fascist, of course, who differs from him by a hair. And next a Socialist who differs from him only by two hairs. And who hates a Stalinist worst? Why, neither a Fascist nor a Socialist but a Trotskyite, who differs from him only by infinite cube root of an infinitely small mathematical point. And whose heads has Mr. Hitler most often chopped off? Why, neither Jews nor Reds, but good Nazis who deviated from the standard doctrine by a word. In the ideological camps, that is, the closer they stand together, the more certain they are to turn to cannibalism.

Hero's Record

You Pays Your Money And Takes Your Choice

That Adolf Hitler takes every opportunity to boast that he has been a heroic soldier in the German Army and that he won the Iron Cross, everyone who has read his speeches knows. In "Mein Kampf," there appears the following remarkable account of how he got his baptism of fire:

"Then at last came a damp, cold night in Flanders through which we marched silently, and when the day began to emerge from the fog, suddenly an iron salute came whizzing over our heads toward us (sic) and with a sharp retort the small bullets struck between our rows, whipping up the wet earth: but before this small cloud had dispersed, out of two hundred throats the first hurrah roared a welcome to the first messenger of death. But then it began to crackle and roar, to sing and howl, and with feverish eyes each of us was drawn forward faster and faster over turnip fields and hedges till suddenly the fight began, the fight of man against man. But from the distance the sounds of a song met our ears, coming nearer and nearer, passing from company to company, and then, while Death busily plunged his hand into our rows, the song reached also us, and now we passed it on: 'Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt!'"

In view of these boasts and that romantic passage which corresponds to no other account of men who have actually stood in battle, it is interesting to find Emil Ludwig saying in the magazine, Look:

"He remained a corporal throughout the war despite the lack of sergeants. His captain said: 'This hysteric will never make a sergeant.' ... He wasn't in the front lines. He was a regimental runner on the Eastern front (not, mind you, in Flanders). Only one such runner was killed in the war... German textbooks say Hitler got his Iron Cross for capturing twelve Frenchmen. The history of his regiment gives names and dates of two similar feats; doesn't mention him."


Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News--Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.