Re-armament Demands More And More Restrictions
From Our German Correspondent.
Germany enters the year 1937 (Year Five of the Hitlerite Era) in an economic plight and in a psychological mood intimately connected with each other. Between them they will create a situation full of dangerous possibilities.
The draconic currency regulations have been made more draeonic. Death penalty threatens anybody who illegally sends money abroad. Butter, fat and meat are rationed. The police measures controlling the carrying out of the ordinances in question are more effective, and the penalties for offenders more severe than they were during the world war.
Housewives are urged in the name of patriotism to reorganize their kitchen,
their way of cooking and their choice of meals. Restaurants have to restrict their menus and to invite their guests to cat more fish and more cabbage, for instance.
Tooth paste tubes are accompanied by a linle note _which makes clear that they must not be thrown away after use, but must be handed over to the Hitler Youth. Every dumping-ground becomes a mine for digging Nazi boys who are looking for treasures such as old iron cans, metal pieces, rags and paper. A tremendous propaganda campaign is organized against those anti-patriotic elements who throw potato peels and egg shells into the fire or into the rubbish bucket instead of giving them to some Nazi organization which uses them for fattening pigs. Each school has become an emporium for rubbish of every description which boys anal girls have collected from their parents and their neighbours for the benefit of the Four Year Plan.
The Nazi welfare organization (N.S.V.) feeds pigs by means of the rubbish which the Hitler Youth and other party forma
tions have to supply. Nice posters have been published which show a fat pig and tell exactly what such a N.S.Y. pig eats and what he does not eat.
The inscription reads as follows: I eat: offals of potatoes, vegetables, salad and fruit (raw and cooked), of meat and fish. bones, intestines, egg shells, coffe-grounds, remainders of meals, bread and baked stuff of every kind.
. . . And What They Do Not Eat
Then the poster goes on: I do not eat, however, drugs, wood, all spices, lemon. orange and banana peels, ashes, tobacco. feathers, glass, rags. metal pieces, paper and so on. . So people know exactly what the N.S.V. want for their patriotic pigs and what they have to deliver to some other Nazi organization for the success of the Four Year Plan.
The use of zinc, copper, chromium and so on for non-military purposes is possible only with a special permit. Dentists are no longer allowed to use gold for their purposes. If you want to marry, you need a special card of permission to buy a pair of wedding rings, and they will be of an alloy in which gold is rather rare.
The laws which favoured house-building by means of tax reductions and other ad
vantages have been withdrawn. Workers in the building trade and building materials must be primarily used for military purposes, and prospective house-builders have been warned that they cannot be guaranteed to find workers and materials to finish their plans.
General Goering's Four Year Plan organization is already extremely active, but its activities are largely kept secret and give rise to numerous fantastic rumours.
Life in a Fortress One thing is obvious: These measures and a steady systematic propaganda have succeeded in giving the majority of Germans the impression that they live in a besieged fortress and that they have to observe a severe discipline and an absolute obedience to their leaders, if they do not want to starve.
Who besieges Germany? It's obviously the " world enemy number one," i.e. Jewry and Bolshevism which the Nazis feel are absolutely identical. But " Bolshevism " is not only the Communist International and the Soviet Union. It is also Czechoslovakia, which is described by the Nazi press and radio as a Soviet bulwark against Germany; it is the France of the Popular Front, it is the League of Nations which is considered under the dictatorship of Litwinow.
The psychological situation in the Germany of today can be exploited by the Nazis for any purpose. Already Dr. Schacht announces an " explosion " should Germany not get her colonies back in a near future. The lack of colonies is presented as one of the reasons why Germany has to introduce such drastic economic restrictions.
Truth or Strategy?
In Germany's economic situation really bad enough to justify the extraordinary measures and restrictions which we have described? There are two possibilities: Either Germany's economic plight is really bad, and that means that the official statistics have been immensely falsified, or Germany foresees a military conflict in a near future and wants to be prepared from the military, the economic and the psychological point of view.
Many observers connect this with Germany's intervention in the Spanish drama.
Whatever the truth may be (it is extremely difficult to find out exactly how matters stand), it is obvious that most of those extraordinary sacrifices and restrictions could be avoided by slackening down the rearmament programme. Germans could eat butter, if their leaders would agree to build less guns. The foolish slogan that guns are more important than butter makes such drastic measures necessary.
It is a vicious circle. Hitler and Goebbets tell their people that Germany is surrounded and besieged by wicked enemies who want to destroy it economically. In order to protect the country against those possible aggressors, all efforts have to be concentrated on a gigantic armament plan. That armament plan imposes on the people terrible sacrifices and restrictions. At this moment the Nazis prophecy an " explosion " (they do not add " of the guns," but that is what everybody is afraid of), should Germany not get what she wants, e.g. colonies.