6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 8



N Hitler's speech of last Friday one passage deserves special I attention. " The -farther the war spreads," he declared, " the farther anti-Semitism is going to spread. It will spread to every prison-camp, to every family, and, the hour will come when England, too, will become anti-Semitic." This is no mere raving of a madman, seeking consolation for his defeats in Russia. It is final confirmation that the Nazi Party has been following, and now intends to intensify, a coldly calculated plan to reduce all administration in Europe to the level of tools and accomplices of the Party. There has accumulated ample evidence that the administrative class of every conquered country is undergoing a systematic .degradation, a carefully devised discipline in anti-Semitism.

The " New Order " is, in many ways, a fait accompli. The Nazis have gone far towards setting up a common system of administration for most of occupied Europe. It is the extension and projection of the .German system, with the puppet-govern- ments in the position of provincial Gauleiters, bound to the Nazi chiefs by the guilt of complicity and the bonds of self- interest, spied upon and terrorised by the ubiquitous Gestapo.

The conference of quislings held in Berlin last November was the European counterpart to the periodic gatherings of Gauleiters. No sooner had they signed the anti-Comintern Pact than they were told that every signatory must, of course, solve its Jewish .problem in one way or another. In Denmark,

where there has never been a Jewish problem, the Danish Nazis have since worked hard to create one, and have launched a Press campaign against professors, bankers and politicians. In Norway, the Department of Justice ordered a survey of Jews and their estates in each district, and plans were started to make all Jews wear special badges and to expel 'them from the learned

professions. In one country after another the famous Nurem- berg Laws have been forced upon the administration. Since

October, 1940, they have been introduced stage by stage into Holland. Last August all Jewish property was confiscated.

Similar steps have been taken in Greece. Into every country

where the sense of political decency and of civil justice was *particularly high anti-Semitism is being laboriously injected.

'Amongst the peoples who fell earliest under Nazi domination the fate of the Jews has been particularly horrible. In the " Protectorate " of Bohemia and Moravia and in Poland their liquidation has been most thorough. No form of persecution is too petty—whether it be exclusion from all means of transport, as in Pilsen and Brno, or being made to yield to all others in the food-queues, as in Belgrade. Penalties are imposed ort all who " behave in a friendly manner " or even speak to a Jew.

No persecuted people of Europe is spared the sight of a still more victimised race or the risk of infection from the filthy propaganda of racial hatred. Even allies and collaborators have to toe the line. Italy fell into the trap from the first—and the Gestapo was introduced to show her the way. Since October, Bulgaria has been busy confiscating Jewish property. When Antonescu's government in Rumania tried to buy up Jewish businesses and re-sell them to Rumanians, it was remarkable how many found their way into German hands. In France a special Department of Jewish Affairs has been set up, and

a long series of anti-Semitic decrees have brought France—and even her colonies—into line with the rest of the " New Order."

It is a dreary, sordid story, monotonous in its savagery and diabolical in its cunning. . Details. are too horrible and too well known to need repetition. But it is more important to realise that it is no blind fanaticism, no mere psychological obsession. It is consistent, calculated policy: and its purpose is barbarism. Puppets find themselves dancing more and more to the call of the Gestapo, waverers become accomplices, innocent are confused with guilty, and all alike are defiled. The revolutionary Nechaev used to get his fellow- conspirators to murder one of themselves, whom he falsely accused of treachery, in order to make them accomplices in a common crime. Complicity makes each -the slave of the other. This is the operative principle of Hitler's " New Order." The agonies of the Jews are the cement of its administration, and common fear of retribution after the war will—Hitler hopes—bind the administrative class of every country to'his own chariot. Such is the political purpose of this organised regime of pogroms. Ethically, it has even more sinister significance. In a famous conversation with Hermann Rauschning, Hitler declared, with characteristic cynicism : You will see how little dine we shall need in order to upset the ideas and the criteria of the whole world, simply and purely by attacking Judaism. Once the principle of rice has been estab- lished . . . the rest is easy.

The Nazi regime in Europe is- quite literally a conspiracy against the whole ethical tradition of western civilisation and its most fundamental beliefs concerning justice, law and the value of the individual personality.

It is more than ever important for us to realise this, because Nazi propaganda has recently changed its tune. Formerly, the Nazis boasted that Germany did not belong to the West, with its liberal, Christian traditions. Nordic man was the eternal prim"' five, the healthy barbarian whose upsurge was necessary to re' invigorate a decadent culture and a waning civilisation. 'rho glorified the renunciation of reason. Mr. Rohan Butler has shown, M his admirable analysis oE The Roots of National Socialism, that the immediate background of Nazi thought—Spengler, Moeller van den Bruck, Mann, Chamberlain—was one of revolt against the rationalist culture of Western Europe. This whole ideology has been inverted in recent months, the inversion being completed in Hitler's Reichstag speech of December ttth.

There is no fitting geographical definition of our Continent, but only a national and cultural one. Not thr Urals form the frontier of our Continent, but the eternal line which divides the Eastern and Western conceptions of life. There was a time when Europe was that Greek Island into which Nordic tribes had penetrated in order to light a torch for the first time which from then onwards began, slowly but surely, to brighten the world of man. . . . German) is fighting today not for herself; but for the entire Continent.

And so the "New Order " changeth, yielding place to the "Defence of the West " as the basic conception of Nazi propa- ganda. Hitler becomes the heir of Caesar and Charles Martel, the champion of Western culture and European civilisation and Humanism against the East. Before long it will even be the defence of Christendom, for prayers to the Almighty are becoming the normal peroration to most of Hitler's utterances.

&hind this mask the corrosive forces of racial hatred are being carefully fostered, and now Hitler openly states his hope and his intention that they shall spread with the war. " If other nations have to bleed to death, so must the Jews." The eternal primitive, the original barbarian, is still there behind the mask, and this is his authentic voice. Carefully disguised in the December speech, he drops the mask in January. And his true features will no doubt become more plain the more desperate he becomes. But how far is his remark indeed prophetic? Will these powerful forces of hatred and hooliganism perish with Hitler? It is very doubtful. Political and economic conditions after the war may even tend to intensify and prolong anti-Semitism in Europe. Oppressed nationalities do not react to oppression by becoming less nationalistic. And xenophobia may breed anti-Semitism. If, indeed, the evil that men do lives after them, our task of restoring Europe may be even vaster than we yet realise.