In Quest of Empire: The Problem of Colonies

In Quest of Empire: The Problem of Colonies

In Quest of Empire: The Problem of Colonies

In Quest of Empire: The Problem of Colonies

Excerpt

On January 30, 1939, the sixth anniversary of his rise to power, Führer Adolf Hitler made some very pointed remarks on the subject of colonies. "The great German colonial possessions," he said, "which the Reich once acquired peacefully by treaties and by paying for them, have been stolen. . . . The theft of the German colonies was morally an injustice. Economically, it was utter insanity! The political motives advanced were so mean that one is tempted merely to call them silly."

Such statements, coming from the head of one of the world's most powerful states, are obviously of vital importance to every one of us. In the special case of Mr. Hitler, moreover, the world has come to realize that he is entirely ready to let actions speak if his words fail to achieve the desired result. We need think back no farther than 1938 for confirmation of this view. Early in that year, as you probably remember, the Führer indicated his immediate interest in the fate of the "ten million racial comrades" who lived just outside the borders of the Fatherland. And before the year had expired, these ten million Germans, in Austria and in parts of Czechoslovakia, had been united with Germany. In the light of this and other recent German actions, it seems fairly safe to assume that the colonial question, referred to by Mr. Hitler in a number of his latest speeches, may well emerge as one of the most prominent issues of our day. And that, you must agree, is ample ground for regarding the colonial problem as one of great importance.

WHAT IS THE COLONIAL PROBLEM?

Good, you will say, but what is this colonial problem? Why did the great powers ever seek colonies in the days before the World War? How did they manage to get them? Who owns what? Why do governments and peoples seem to want to hold fast to their colonies at all costs? How does it happen that . . .

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