Sincere Aryan Ecstasy
Once Your Enemy. By Heinrich Hauser. (Methuen. 10s. 6d.) Reviewed by PATRICK MAITLAND All the Nazi propagandists in the world could not have produced a more thrilling, telling, inspiring or informative book to show the world what the ordinary man, maybe an expert at his job but no politician, just a man, feels about the New Germany.
Here is an absolutely sincere, delightful, charmingly written autobiography of the son of a well-to-do German landowner who gets into the German navy just in time before the war ends, who voyages all over the globe and returns to find Germany awake again.
So often eulogies of the New Germany seem to have been subventioned by the Berlin Press Department and to indulge in Aryan Nazi ecstasy artificially. But Hauser is absolutely sincere when he says, with the feeling of a poet, " One day we shall have to defend Europe. The great war of the future will not be a struggle between nations but between races. The intellectuals of the old Europe which died in the World War call the new time the beginning of barbarism. They hedge our country about with the whitewashed walls of their leading articles'. Little do we bother ourselves about the ghosts of a dead spirit-world! " He doesn't glory in the idea of war, but assumes its inevitability. " Not long ago we saw the picture of a new Japanese torpedo. This torpedo is controlled by a man. An embodiment of the satanic power of dynamite. He lies in the body of the steel fish and directs it to its goal. Could we have imagined such a weapon? Could we man it with the full knowledge that at the moment of impact We should be blown to atoms? No, I believe we could not. It is our fate to be Europeans."
One could quote endlessly. But whether we want an entertaining and beautifully written biography, a poetic interpretation of a naval cadet's experiences, or a commentary on the events in Germany for the last twenty-five years, we could do little better than take this book.