The Charlotte News




Lord Mussolini, in his open letter to Lord Runciman, denied that any such nation as Czechoslovakia existed, and advised plebiscites and "self-determination" not only for the Sudetens but also for the Slovaks, Hungarians, and Poles now living in the allegedly non-existent republic as the only "just" solution of the problems now agitating Central Europe.

That sudden conversion of Italy's boss to "self-determination" and "justice" must have brought great joy to the German-Austrians dwelling (still dwelling in part) north of the Brenner Pass about the towns of Bolzano and Chiusa in Venezia Tridentina. These German-Austrians were originally Bavarians who settled here as early as the seventh century, and who belonged to Austria from 1363 right on down until the end of the World War when Italy took title. And no more determined Pan-Germans live on earth. They have repeatedly sought to interest Mr. Hitler in taking them over, but curiously enough, that great man, whose heart so bleeds for the "oppressions" of the Sudetens, has remained uninterested despite the obvious fact that Mussolini has been genuinely oppressing them. He has robbed them of their language, and planted soldiers at every other turn to spy on and dragoon them. And lately, he has been giving the lands of many of them to Italians and transporting them bodily from the dangerous border region to the malaria marshes of Southern Italy, where the death rate is high.

But now, of course, all that is ended. Now, certainly, he will call a plebiscite for the Bolzano Germans and for those in the marshes, as to whether they do not want to join in their Fatherland, the Reich. It is, you see, only self-determination and justice.

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