V: "Terror Is a Wholesome Thing"

"GIVE me four years' time," was Hitler's slogan when he took over. It needed far less than that to erect in Germany the most complete dictatorship known in modern history.

When the Nazis came into power they possessed themselves of virtually all the government offices and wrecked the trade unions. That first impact was so terrific that the country was completely dumbfounded and dazed, and one position of influence after another was abandoned, often without even a struggle.

But filling pivotal positions with Nazis could not alone have guaranteed the continuance of the Nazi regime. The Gestapo saw to it that the German people were kept sufficiently in terror not to attempt to conspire against it without fully counting the costs.

Before Himmler took over the secret service, I asked his predecessor Regierungsrat Rudolf Diels why, now that all other parties had been abolished and the Nazis were in full control, organisations like the S.A. and S.S. were still maintained. Why couldn't everything be left to the regular organs of the police?

"The value of the S.A. and the S.S.," he said, "seen from my viewpoint of inspector-general responsible for the suppression of subversive tendencies and activities, lies in the fact that they spread terror. That is a wholesome thing."

When, therefore, my American friends sometimes ask me, "If the German people, or at least some of them, are opposed to Nazism, why did they ever stand for its fastening itself so completely upon the country?" I can only point to the bestiality of the Nazi concentration camp; to the efficacy of the Gestapo in ferreting out every person who tried to maintain independence of thought and action; and the utter impossibility, once a German fell into the meshes of its ubiquitous organisation, of ever extracting himself.

We Americans are so used to the habeas corpus act and to the institution of bail, as well as to the fundamental legal conception that every man is to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, that we sometimes fail to grasp the full implications of the diabolical system instituted by Adolf Hitler.

The Nazi concentration camp is an institution that stands outside the jurisdiction of the German courts. It is operated and managed by the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, which can, without warrant, arrest anybody it chooses, either because his being at liberty might endanger the safety of the state, or because he himself might be in personal danger if not taken into "protective custody" for his own good.

"Protective custody" was imposed frequently during the first

-44-

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What about Germany?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Foreword 6
  • Contents 8
  • Illustrations 10
  • I: the Modern Genghis Khan 11
  • Ii: Why Hitler? 19
  • Iii. Preparing the Ground 26
  • Iv: Why Wasn't Hitler Stopped? 36
  • V: "Terror is a Wholesome Thing" 44
  • Vi: the Nazis in Control 52
  • Vii: Fat Years Follow the Lean 60
  • Viii: the Birds of Prey 69
  • Ix: Heil Hitler! 77
  • X: Der Führer in Person 84
  • Xi: Observing the War Machine in Action 96
  • Xii: Lessons Learned from the Enemy 112
  • Xiii: More Lessons from the Enemy 120
  • Xiv: the Westwall 132
  • Xv: Bottlenecks 138
  • Xvi: Hitler's Headaches 149
  • Xvii: is There Another Germany? 161
  • Xviii: the Relapse into Barbarism 177
  • Xix: the Secret Press Instructions 191
  • Xx: the Battle of Words 197
  • Xxi: Shaping a People's Mind 208
  • Xxii: the War of Nerves 218
  • Xxiii: the Foreign Press Gets into Trouble 226
  • Xxiv: Sugared Bread and the Whip 234
  • Xxv: Fishing in Troubled Waters 244
  • Xxvi: A Better Place to Live In 253
  • Xxvii: An Abrupt End to a Long Stay 262
  • Xxviii: What Can Topple Hitler? 272
  • Index 281
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