FINANCIAL NEWS, Wednesday 1st March 1933
Hitler moving towards
By Gareth Jones
January 30, when Herr Hitler became Chancellor of the Reich, Germany has made
rapid strides towards a Fascist Dictatorship. The National Socialists have
lost no time in digging themselves in, and they are determined to cling to
power, whatever obstacles may be put in their way. Hitler is in an
exceedingly strong position. He has a personality which can arouse vast
audiences to a frenzy of nationalist passion and the support of thirteen to
fourteen million voters.
important still than the votes of far more than one-third of Germany is the
force of Defence Troops (S.S. men) and of the Storm Troops (S.A. men) numbering
many hundreds of thousands of men, well trained in street fighting and moved by
a profound devotion to their leader and to the national cause. Bound by no
legalistic scruples and scorning constitutionalism, these men will form a strong
barrier to any opposition movement from the Left.
is the basis of the National-Socialist power. It has been broadened and
deepened by the grip which Herr Goering, as Reichs Commissar for Prussia, has
gained over this State, which forms two-thirds of the Reich. A thorough
cleansing-the word itself is reminiscent of another land ruled by a
Dictatorship-has removed from the police ranks those police presidents whose
views smacked of Marxism, and their place has been taken by men whose devotion
to country and to Party is greater than their respect for the minutiae of the
law. The police force, which was once considered a stronghold of Social
Democracy, has thus be come a powerful National-Socialist weapon, which Herr
Hitler will not relinquish easily.
Goering has not taken long to impress upon the Prussian police that they are to
crush any Communist opposition with ruthlessness. The consequences for any
action which leads to bloodshed he takes upon himself, and he exhorts the police
to give support to the National forces such as the Storm Troops. To
whatever injustices it may lead, such a step strengthens the power of the
Goering’s latest decree, which will make the Nazi Storm Troops into an
auxiliary police force, will also lead to the dominance of the Nazis. The
reorganisation of the political police which is now in progress seems to point
to the establishing of a régime similar to the G.P.U. However repugnant
such a body and such political control of the police may be to liberal people,
there is no doubt that it places the country under firm control.
powerful lever of political propaganda is rapidly becoming a preserve of the
Nazis. Already such a moderate and balanced paper as the “Germania”
was banned for a short period. Even “Tempo,” a paper of the yellow
press, disappeared temporarily from the streets of Berlin for having published
the economic report that shares were depressed.
National-Socialist propaganda has been masterful in its simple emotional appeal.
Shortly it will have a new mouthpiece, for a Ministry is to be formed under the
brilliant Dr. Goebbels, which is to control the Press, the wireless and the
films. Control over these organs means, with a docile people like the
Germans, who are accustomed to obey authority, control over a great portion of
Can They Do?
face of odds like these, what can the Social Democrats and the Communists do?
Revolts would be instantly crushed by the Reichswehr and the police. A
General Strike is out of the question, for there are enough Nazi unemployed to
fill the vacant places. The Trade Unions have not extensive funds and are
suffering from loss of membership. Moreover, the Left Parties do not
possess a. single great personality like Hitler who can galvanise their members.
is probable that after the Elections the Communist Party will be made illegal.
That many of the workers now in the Nazis will be disillusioned is probable, but
both the Russian and the Italian dictatorships have shown that once a powerful
and ruthless party has, got into office, it can remain long, in spite of
remains the problem of the relations between the Nationalists and Hitler.
It is probable that the struggle between the two wings in the Cabinet will begin
shortly after the Elections and that the Chancellor will demand at least six
places in the Cabinet. Even an alliance with the Centre is possible.
But before March 5th it is difficult to prophesy, and one can but repeat the
statement made frequently in Berlin business circles that the
National-Socialists would rather throw aside President Hindenburg than loosen
of their policy? So far, it consists of one main point, which is, as one
Nazi told me, that of “giving Germany a bath.” It is largely internal
and aims at rooting out Marxism. What their economic policy will be one
has no inkling, except that an attempt will be made to introduce compulsory
labour service, a move which will be hampered by financial difficulties.
The economic utterances of members of the party in the past point to an
enthusiasm for ‘autarchy.” It is a principle of national-Socialist
economics that each nation shall produce upon its own soil or in an area over
which it rules everything which it needs for its economic existence.
writers state that military and naval policy, foreign policy and trade must be
conceived as one unity. Exports, in their view, must play a secondary
part, and it was, they maintain, a grave mistake for Germany to enter upon the
field of world economy. The highest aim of businessmen should be a closed
national area and not a world economic system.
the line of this thought, Nazi economists claim that Germany must expand to the
East, must follow the policy of colonising Eastern Europe, which was the German
policy of 900 A.D. to 1500 AD. While not relinquishing the right to
colonies, they lay the greatest stress upon settlement along the Baltic Coast
and in the territory now belonging to Poland. The Nazis state that it will
be in Britain’s interest to allow Germany to expand to the East.
Fleet and Powerful Army
views, it must be remembered, are not those officially held by the present
Government, but are the general views of the National-Socialist economists.
presumed, wi1l be built up as rapidly as possible. In the meantime, the
foreign policy of the Government remains the same and will no doubt continue
along the same lines. The National-Socialist hatred of Marxism need not
extend to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and while relations with
Italy will grow warmer, there is no reason to suppose that there will be any new
foreign political constellation.
dangerous the autarchic and Eastern policies of the Nazi writers may be, they
will be modified by pressure of events. Chancellor Hitler is recognised by
businessmen as a man who can rapidly grasp a situation and who will be strong
enough to throw aside dogmas and theories when confronted with reality. In
business circles there is little fear that the Nationalist-Socialists will
attempt any unbalanced economic measures, and there is hope that they will
succeed in restoring order and political quiet.
Hitler is looked upon as reasonable in economic matters, and it is recognised
that his main task will be internal and will be the setting up of a firm and
stable Government. There is confidence among bankers and industrialists
that in spite of his complete lack of an economic programme, he will put an end
to the continuous chopping and changing from which Germany has suffered in
recent years. There is, nevertheless, a grave danger that the narrow
agrarian tariff measures which Herr Hugenberg, the Economic minister, has
adopted will be difficult to undo and will have serious reactions upon industry
and upon exports.