The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 16, 1941


Site Ed. Note: "Nazism is a philosophy and a system. It calmly lays down the postulate that the only thing which matters is power. It holds that the systematic murder of women and babies, the destruction of every human decency, the wanton looting and pillaging of unhappy small peoples, every brutality and cruelty, is thoroughly justified to that end. Its purpose is the enslavement and degradation of all mankind for the benefit of a little handful of German hogs, set apart by a mythical something called 'blood.'" Thus speaks "On Shame" below, and accurately so.

Remembering that the ultimate goal of this campaign through Greece and the Balkans by the Nazi hogs was that of acquiring the rich oil lands of Iran and Iraq, then probably by degrees Saudi Arabia, and to so achieve the goal, securing against Allied interference the Dardanelles, (the Hellespont of ancient times), and incidentally, also the Bosporus Strait in the north, the route to Rumanian oil via the Black Sea, as well as to the Ukraine, preventing interference by both the British and Russia in the eastern Mediterranean; and the acquisition of control in Egypt of the Suez Canal in the south and its access to the Red Sea, and thus out of the otherwise locked Mediterranean, locked from the Atlantic by the impenetrable narrows at Gibraltar, resistlessly held by the British watch, locked from access other than by the Suez route to these vast oil supplies locked in the Middle East, we present below for your edification three maps published originally in the Matthews-Northrup Global Atlas, by World Publishing Co. of New York in 1944, thus showing those lands as they existed also at this time in 1941.

Italy began the invasion of Greece on October 28, 1940, with the British arriving to aid in its defense on November 2. The Nazis began aiding the invasion, along with undertaking the invasion of Yugoslavia, on April 5. Yugoslavia would surrender April 17. The British would begin withdrawal from Greece on April 24. Nazi insurgents entered Athens on April 27, ending, for all immediate intents and purposes, the concentrated Greek defenses of that embattled nation. German parachutists would invade the Greek island of Crete on May 20 and the British would evacuate there on June 1, leaving, as Cash would call them at the beginning of his June 2 commencement address at the University of Texas, "the unhappy Greeks" virtually alone in the "heroic defense of their home land".

On May 27, coincidentally the same day Cash made his last appearance at The News before departing next day by train to Austin, then Mexico, President Roosevelt declared an unlimited national defense emergency.

The degree of that emergency and the degree to which the country was in fact now gearing up for direct involvement in the war is evidenced in "New Okeys", describing the celerity with which 200 farmers were ordered off their land, land which had been taken by eminent domain to make way for an 18,000-acre gun range in South Carolina. Out west, for instance, in this same period of time, some farmers had gathered together and resisted government attempts at eminent domain near the Bay Area of San Francisco, a tract of land sought by the government for the purpose of building the planned Skaggs Island Naval Signal Intelligence station there, as you may read a little about in Body of Secrets, by James Bamford, Doubleday, 2001, p. 98. The efforts of those latter farmers, for better or worse as far as the national defense effort was concerned, partially succeeded, limiting the SigInt station to about 3,000 acres, one-third its originally intended size, as well as delaying its implementation until after Pearl Harbor. Had those farmers not resisted and held up in the courts the creation of this facility and so limited its size, would Pearl Harbor have occurred? Would intercepts of radio signals from the Task Force headed for Pearl in those late November, early December days of 1941 have been otherwise received, instead of having to rely on the cruder radio receivers stationed on Market Street in downtown San Francisco, and despite orders within the Task Force to maintain radio silence? (There are some claims that some radio transmissions were intercepted from the Task Force even at the San Francisco facility, though this claim has been disputed.) Were these particular farmers therefore the next thing to traitors to their country in time of national emergency for defending their property rights and the value of their land? We can't say; we can only say that the farmers in South Carolina obviously were not, even if they complained that $25 per acre was not enough for their land. They left their land and the government took it for its own uses to the end of military preparedness, preparedness as it turned out which was not only sorely needed but well behind schedule, resultant from a lack of foresightedness in the country which had predominated, and to a great degree understandably so, indeed an attitude prevailing in England and throughout non-Axis Europe, for the two decades since the Armistice ending the horrors of World War I.

Iraq entered into a treaty agreement with England on May 31. British troops were embarked to Lebanon and Syria, with an armistice signed by those two countries with Britain on July 12, in order to prevent the Nazi plan aimed at these oil rich lands. Thus, for the time, though part of the Nazi plan was in full operation and successful, the fallback positions of the British ultimately would hold through the remainder of 1941, when the Allied cause in North Africa would have its infusion of American troops and tanks during the course of the following two years, ultimately stopping Hitler's quest for the Middle Eastern oil, ultimately then by attrition, winning the war. Had he achieved his goal in this critical time period of acquiring dominance over these lands, the war might well have been lost and "On Shame" might have become a dark reality for the United States and the rest of the world. For at the end of the day, the Nazi war machine gave out of that precious compound made from crude petroleum needed to power it across such a vast expanse of territory as it sought to control.

And that empirically impenetrable thing, as represented by the mural of which Raymond Clapper's piece on the page today speaks, was the omnipresent part of the human species, no matter the nation or time, which finally afforded the fortitude to contest the will of the Nazi bent on hoggish splendor in defiance of all known annals of history, from the Roman conquests forward. And on that thing, whether you call it "faith" or whether you call it "self-determination" or "rugged individuality" or by any other name, also sometimes potentially terrible and swift when backed to the wall, the forces of liberty and freedom would ultimately rely, not the acquisition of precious booty afforded by conquering the lands of others, to win the war.

We note again, incidentally, as the third of the four responses to the News's solicitation of opinions on the impact on crime and church attendance of Sunday movies, from officials in towns allowing it, this day's from Durham, that the first ship hit by a Japanese torpedo astride Ford Island in Pearl Harbor on December 7, at 7:55 a.m., 1:25 p.m. Washington time, was the Raleigh, a light cruiser struck nearly simultaneously with the light cruiser Detroit and the aging battleship, Utah, all three, given their lack of strategic significance to the Pacific Fleet, recorded as mistaken targets. But were they? About half of the Fleet was at Pearl that morning, the heavier prize battlewagons being parked on the other side of Ford. Why begin, wasting precious torpedoes, with these three insignificant ships? Whether mere mistake, and, even if so, significant or not in the grand scheme of things, we cannot say with certainty; we can suggest, however, the interesting coincidence of the names of those targets with matters trivial and substantial, as set forth on The News editorial page in these latter days of Cash's associate editorship.

And, to which the Hugh Johnson piece of the date spoke eloquently, we can suggest also that one does not, without peril to themselves ultimately, mess with the self-determination afforded by the rights to liberty and freedom of the individual, the inherent panoply of rights to freedom as embodied, for instance, within our Bill of Rights--not a set of privileges, but a set of rights, and rights not thereby meant to be delimited by the expression of those particular rights, rights not of royal grant by edict, but a recitation of the ultimate active recognition in our form of government, as set forth by the Founders, of the birthright of each and every citizen of the land to personal freedom to think, to speak, to publish, to live, free from tyrannical imposition or censorship of ideas, whether of religious, philosophical, economic, or political origin, and to be secure in our homes, papers and possessions against tyrannical intrusion by the government and its officials, and to be afforded due process of law, equating to meaningful access to impartial tribunals to stand as arbiter over disputes with our government officials, before that government may deprive any of us of life, liberty or property in any manner and for any alleged cause. And that peril to one's self for so contesting that individual freedom and liberty is occasioned, no matter the army one may think they have amassed against it, whether supported by corporate money or otherwise, even indeed by the whole of the Ku Klux Klan and all the Fundamentalists one can muster politically in support of such a pathetic and foredoomed cause; that interest is doomed to fail, as surely as Hitler and Mussolini and Tojo and their vaunted armies of aggression were doomed to fail the moment they began training to the ends which they sought, not preservation of freedom by defense, but the conquering of others' individual freedoms through wanton aggression and lies. And if you should think that threatening, then you ought probably check yourself because you are tending toward being a Nazi--and therefore in peril.

Here, the maps, expandable via the "IZ" button at the top of each, the first showing Russia, with the Black Sea, Turkey, and the Dardanelles, (highlighted in the lower southwest corner); the second showing the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey, Crete, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Trans-Jordan (today, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories), and Egypt, (with the Suez Canal and the Dardanelles highlighted); and the third showing Greece and the Balkans, (with the Dardanelles and the Bosporus Strait highlighted):

Bad Break

Greek-British Outlook Dark As Nazis Pass Siatista

The Nazi thrust through the pass at Siatista is the most serious blow the Allies have yet sustained in Greece. The chief rail centers for the supply of the Greek forces in Albania and western Greece lie about 50 miles further directly south.

The direct approach to them is still barred by more or less formidable mountains, but by swinging east to Larissa the Nazis could get at these centers without having to cut through the range. On the other hand, the Allied right, covering Larissa, is reported to be still intact. But the British are defeated, the Greeks too poorly armed, to give much hope that they can long hold out in comparatively open country.

The Greek admission that Koritza has been retaken by the contemptible Italians is also pretty good evidence that the Albanian campaign is collapsing because of the necessity of using the main Greek forces to try to stem the Nazi advance in Greece itself.

Perhaps the narrow peninsula from Phthlotis south-eastward--the peninsula in which Athens is situated--may yet successfully be defended. If not, the Greeks will have the choice of surrendering, the British of retiring, or taking up positions in the mountain fastnesses of the Peloponnesus which is connected with the continent only by the narrow land bridge of the Corinthian Isthmus.

Here they should be able to hold out indefinitely. But the value of the operation would be more psychological than military.

The sole encouraging thing in the Mediterranean situation is that British resistance in Egypt seems to be stiffening rapidly.

Good Board

It Balks Thirteen Senators In Draft Favoritism Attempt

If all draft boards in the nation showed the courage of one in the District of Columbia, there would be little room for charges of favoritism in the administration of the selective service law.

Yesterday it placed Ellison D. Smith Jr., second-year law student, in Class 1-D, which means he will be subject to call in July. That is precisely where he belonged under the law.

Ellison D. Smith Jr. is the son of Cotton Ed Smith, Senator from South Carolina. The young man, for understandable reasons, did not want to be drafted. And Cotton Ed, who opposed the draft act, was not of a mind to give his son along with all the thousands of other young men whose fathers don't happen to be on the public payroll at $10,000 a year.

When the young man was called up Cotton Ed immediately demanded that the Board exempt him on the absurd ground that he was indispensable as a clerk to the Senate Agriculture Committee, which Cotton Ed heads! The Board said no. Then Cotton Ed brought his power to bear, and twelve members of the committee solemnly said that the second-year law student, appointed by nepotism, was indispensable to the work of the body, apparently without blushing.

Because the Board had courage, that shabby attempt failed also, and the nation is spared a glaring example of morale-destroying favoritism. But it is worth remembering that it was in spite of rather than because of thirteen of the members of the nation's highest law-making body.

On Shame

Perhaps the Germans Will Someday Understand It

Yesterday the Associated Press reported from Berlin that the Germans are bawling "shame!" against the British for a plan to "desert" Greece.

So far as that goes, there is not, as this is written, any evidence that the British have any idea of abandoning Greece. The Nazis have been bellowing this charge since the first day of the rape of the Balkans in an obvious attempt to use their old tactic of dividing allies by planting suspicion and stirring up recrimination.

But that is only incidental to this little piece. What we wanted to remark on was the sound of that word "shame!" in German mouths. Nazism is a philosophy and a system. It calmly lays down the postulate that the only thing which matters is power. It holds that the systematic murder of women and babies, the destruction of every human decency, the wanton looting and pillaging of unhappy small peoples, every brutality and cruelty, is thoroughly justified to that end. Its purpose is the enslavement and degradation of all mankind for the benefit of a little handful of German hogs, set apart by a mythical something called "blood."

If this thing conquers, the word "shame" will disappear from the human vocabulary, perhaps forever. If it does not conquer, then it may be said with confidence that for the next hundred years or so being a German is going to be the most shameful thing on this earth. To be the heir of the only presumably civilized people which ever deliberately sought to retreat into full barbarism is the very essence of shame.

Say It, Judge

A Great Many People Would Have Agreed With Him

"Maybe," decided outspoken Judge Hoyle Sink yesterday, "I'd better not say what I was about to say."

What he had been about to say concerned a ten-cent-cab driver who had just been sent up to the penitentiary for breaking and entering. The man, it turned out, had served a six-year term in South Carolina for robbery, and Judge Sink thought it testified to the City's carelessness that an ex-convict could become a cab driver.

A week ago four ten-cent-cab drivers were convicted in Federal Court of hauling Negro bootleggers. For a dollar a trip the cabs would drive the Negroes out to where the liquor was cached and bring them back to the city.

The City regularly inspects taxicabs for mechanical defects, but makes no examination of drivers or looks for criminal records. An ordinance to this effect was proposed some time ago. It got nowhere, which is more or less characteristic of proposals to regulate the dime taxis.

But if their drivers continue to be involved in criminal cases, something is going to have to be done. The longer it is postponed, the more drastic, in all probability, it will be.

New Okeys

Tangle Over Camp Site Turns Hundreds Out Homeless

Monday the gun range at Camp Croft, S. C., went into use. And 200 farmers, most of whom have lived there all their lives, have until tomorrow to get off the 18,000-acre reservation.

They are reported as being pretty mad, those farmers. And you can understand why when you learn that they are being sent away without payment for their lands and houses and crops, with no place to go. Nearly no place, anyhow. The Federal Farm Assistance Board has started building pre-fabricated houses, tiny shacks, near Pacolet for them, but few are ready. And moreover, the farm planting season is past, so that the dispossessed are without a means of making a living.

In the Federal Court of the district, $450,000 is on deposit. That is the sum Spartanburg city and county officials agree that the Government would have to put up to get the whole 18,000 acres of land. $25 an acre, it comes to. Spartanburg was to pay the difference.

But the farmers are angry about the appraisement which has been placed on their land and crops. And so in many instances they have had to be re-appraised and re-appraised. More than that, Spartanburg hasn't come through. And so the money lies in the bank and just lies there.

Whose fault all this is we don't know. Maybe Spartanburg's which is alleged to be trying to duck out of its commitments. Maybe the avarice of some of the farmers, too. Maybe, again, the notorious red-tape of the Federal bureaucracy. But one thing can be said. The whole situation is an outrageous picture of democracy at work.

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