John Gunther - Inside Europe (1940)

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John Gunther - Inside Europe (1940)

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A good book on the interwar period and the start of the war. Being written in 1940 the bourgeosie and their puppets in academia/universities and paid agents of falsified history had not yet got their ducks in a row.
As always there may be important notes from the book I did not bookmark. If you see something I missed feel free to add it below

John Gunther - Inside Europe ============================


NDSAP
=====

Economy
-------
118 German economy under Nazi s
56 The support of the great industrialists, chiefly the steel niagnite Fritz Thyssen, who from 1930 on helped finance the Nazi party. - nazis support was important.

Hitler
------
111 His whole plan was that England should cover the German rear. But his plan-failed. Hitler himself has said :
"It must be understood that in general the will of the German nation should no longer be limited to mere passive defense, but, on the con- trary, should be steeled for a final, active settlement with France in a death grapple for the realization of German aims. "In the annihilation of France, Germany sees merely the means for our nation to obtain full development in another direction.
Our foreign policy will only have been correct when there are two hundred and fifty million Germans, not crowded like coolies in a factory, but free peasants and workers. "Almighty God, bless our weapons! Judge if we have merited free- dom. Lord, bless our combat 1" 2
26 Hitler reads almost nothing
31 Hitler cries a lot

Pacts
-----
89 Nazis considered the Anglo 1935 agreement a victory for race law

SA Composed of White Guardists
------------------------------
He is a party force of almost first magnitude. It was, for instaace, his private bodyguard of SA, mostly composed of White Russian g:uardists, which Hitler chose for the delicate honor of standing guard on the dying Hindenburg.

German Communists
=================
71 Georgi dmitritov at Reichstag fire trial

Soviet Union
============

Claim Soviets were run by jews
------------------------------
562 It is frequently alleged that Russia is run by Jews. Nothing could be further her from the truth. All the Jews except Kaganovitch (a comp ive newcomer) are exiled or dead : Trotsky ( whose real name was Bronstein), Zinoviev (Apfelbaum), Kamenev (Rosenfeld), and the old intellectuals of similar stamp. Litvinov is a Jew, but he was never a member of the Politburo.

Voroshilov
----------
566 Voroshilov may be slow in speech, but he has all the jargon pat. He calls the kulaks working at forced labor the "army of heroic-canal diggers."

Women In SU
-----------
570In no country in Europe is it so easy for a woman of intelligence and character to make good outside the home.

GPU
---

### Citizens Have Less to Fear Than Party Members
573 The G.P.U. numbers about 200,000 picked men, and is in a sense a superior cadre of the Red Army; it guards frontiers, patrols railways, and the like. Especially it watches affairs within the party. The law-abiding citizen who is not a party member has less to fear from it than party men.

### 1937 Class War
573 When Menzhinsky in turn died, his place was taken by G. G. Yagoda, a careerist and wire-puller, corrupt and unscrupulous, whom Stalin got rid of in 1937. His successor, Yezhov, was an outrageous fanatic, largely responsible for the purges that followed. He gave way in December, 1938, to a much less violent man, L. P. Beria.

573 The G.P.U. became a bit of nuisance to the Kremlin during the Yagoda period. It stupidly arrested foreign engineers, and shocked foreign public opinion by wanton slaughter of Russian professors and intellectuals accused of "sabotage." It failed to uncloak for many years the activities of a remarkable spy named Konar, a Polish agent who succeeded in becoming Soviet Assistant Commissar of Agriculture. Stalin decided to curtail the powers of the G.P.U. On July 10, 1934, it was reorganized with considerably restricted authority; the name G.P.U. disappeared ; it was no longer allowed to impose the death penalty without trial ; and its title was changed to "Commissariat of Home Affairs."

Stalin
------
543 Stalin: His intelligence is wary, cautious, thorough, rather than acute or brilliant. Yet witness his talk with H. G. Wells, wherein he more than held his own with that glib and eloquent interlocutor. And witness his remarkable interview in 1927 with an American workmen's delegation when he answered questions for four solid hours, questions of great diversity and difficulty. He talked strictly extemporaneously, but with perfect organization of material, of a kind only possible to a man completely sure of himself. The verbatim report, about II ,Boo words, comprises one of the most comprehensive and discerning statements of Soviet aims ever made; it was a tour de force quite beyond the capacity of any but an exceptionally intelligent man. When the delegation, thoroughly exhausted, had concluded its queries, Stalin asked if he might ask questions about America-and he did so for two hours more. His questions were penetrating and showed considerable knowledge of American conditions; Stalin, single-handed, an- swered the delegation's questions much better than they replied to him. During this six solid hours of talk, the telephone did not ring once; no secretary was allowed to interrupt-another indication of Stalin's habit of utter concentration to the job in hand.
544 Still another source of power is his early career. Almost Stalin had the guts to stay and work inside Russia after the collapse of the revolution of 1905. The other revolutionaries. scattered into exile, and lived, like Lenin, in libraries or coffee-houses till 1917. Stalin remained within Russia the whole time. He did the dirty work; he was "the hall sweeper." Thus he built up an immense acquaintance with submerged revolutionaries, and was able to transform an underground organization into his own party structure when he needed it.
547 Five times he was caught by the Tsar's police, five times exiled. Four times, a veritable Houdini, he escaped; the 1917 revolution liberated him from the fifth imprisonment, when he was incarcerated above the Arctic Circle.
549 Trotsky detested Stalin so heartily that he studiously insulted him in public ; for instance, in· committee meetings he would ostentatiously pick up a newspaper and begin to read to himself whenever Stalin made a speech.

### Wife Nadyezhda
557 In 1919 Stalin dropped in to see an old revolutionary friend in Leningrad, Sergei Alliluiev (the name means Hallelujah), a locksmith. He met his daughter, a seventeen-year-old girl Nadyezhda (Nadya), and married her.

### Man of the people
556 Yet Stalin is not, on the whole, so drastically guarded as Hitler or Mussolini. He exposes himself a good deal more than they do . He has several times been seen returning to the Kremlin from the Opera on foot, walking with friends through the crowded square. And at least twice a year, on May I and November 7, the two great Soviet olidays, Stalin stands on the tomb of Lenin and literally several million people pass him at a range of about thirty yards.

### Attitude to Sex
556 His attitude to sex is quite normal and healthy. He has married twice. He is supposed "now to be living with the-sister of Kaganovitch, his first assistant. He is rather naive, apparently. One evening, dropping in t.o see his friend Karl Radek, he noted on the table a volume by a German named Fuchs, called Sitt en Geschichte (History of Morals), a pseudo-scientific picture-book. Stalin turned the pages idly, saw one of the more fantastic illustrations. He turned to his friend: "Tell me, , ]w1ek : do people really do this sort of thing?"

Soviet Foreign Policy Was For Peace
-----------------------------------
596 For a long time the foreign policy of the Soviet Union could be fairly expressed in one word- peace. Liberals the world over and even many conservatives-folk who found it difficult to say a good word for the Bolsheviks in domestic affairs-agreed that Russian foreign policy during the 30's was defensive and pacific. The Soviets adopted a consistently non-aggressive line. They tended to their own bu ness, and made no inroads elsewhere, except in remote Xinjiang and outer Mongolia. They joined the League, they cooperated vividly in th~ attempt to make Collective Security work.

Party Leaders
-------------
572 Most leaders in the Soviet Union are cut to the same pattern. Extreme poverty in youth; self-education and manual labor r' revolutionary activity from the beginning; punishment before 1917 and success .thereafter, plus murderously hard work and untiring obsession to thetuse.
560 Even so, a neutral diplomat in Moscow, in a position to know, told me that he thought the members of the Politburo were personally as able as any governing body in the world.
560 Among the masses of the people, we (the communists) are but drops in the ocean, and we will be able to govern only when we properly express that which the people appreciate. Witout this the communist party will not lead the proletariat, t proletariat will not take the lead of the masses, and the who machine will fall to pieces.- Lenin

### Lifetstyle of Party Leaders
558 Stalin's salary is about 1,000 rubles per month, the equivalent of which, in Russia in 1939, was about $200. He is completely uninterested in money. Like all the Soviet leaders he is a poor man; no financial scandal has ever touched any of them. Salaries of communists are adjusted by category, this symm having replaced the former rule whereby no man in the party could earn more than 225 rutper month. There is no upward limit; the average is 6oo. No communist may accept a salary for more than one post, no matter how many he holds; and no member of the party is allowed in theory at 1 to retain royalties from books.
561 They are the first autocratic rulers in history who do not use their power for personal profit. They do not graft; those who do get shot. They have no castles, no titles, no purple robes ; they live in a couple of rooms on a standard below that of an American bricklayer; they are pledged to personal poverty and service."

Peasant Revolts
---------------
551 and work in common on comparatively large rather than very small holdings, assisted by tractors furnished by the state. This was the idea. On it, the future of socialism in the U.S.S.R depended. What happened was that the peasants, bitterly indignant, staged two major resistances to the immense forcible process of collectivization. First, they salughtered their livestock, rather than turn it over to the collectives. It was an· extraordinary and tragic event-though not so tragic as the human starvation later.
552 by hundreds of miles, a simultaneous destruction of animals began. Rather than turn over their precious pigs, sheep, cattle, to the collective authorities, the peasants murdered them.

Pacts
-----
19 soviets sign armistice with Japan on sept 16 giving them a free hand in the west
107 peace plan of 1936 excluded Russia
152 It was. Germany had won the greatest diplomatic victory of the century. Czechoslovakia was in essence destroyed, and the Little Entente collapsed. Disillusion with the democracies smote Russia sharply, and France---it seemed-became a second-rate power. The entire European system of security was burst asunder. Even in Britain there were dark forebodings. For British foreign policy had for three hundred years depended on the balance of power, a theory which in tum depends on the presumption that no single country on the continent is too powerful. After Munich, Germany became overwhelmingly the strongest power in Europe. The British decided that they had better hurry on with their exhausting arms program-after all.
149 The ultimate object was not merely the Sudeten area, but destruction of democratic Czechoslovakia as a barrier in his path. Power to break the Franco-Soviet pact, power to isolate and impenetrate Poland and the Balkan states, power to rule Europe east of the Rhine-that is what Hitler wanted. "The master of Bohemia," Bismarck said once, "is the master of the continent."
149 When I first wrote this chapter on October 5, 1938, I included at this point the following paragraph: "As to Hitler's promise that he does not wish more territory, one can only say that his lies have been notorious. Like Napoleon, he breaks his word any time that dishonesty is politically convenient. He promised to respect the Treaty of Locarno; and violated it. He promised not to fortify the Rhineland: and fortified it. He promised not to annex Austria; and annexed it. He promised not to invade Czechoslovakia; and invaded it." '
157 It must have been obvious to a moron, a child, or even an archbishop that Poland was impossible of effective defense without Russian help. And at first it seemed that Russia was willing to help. On March 18, two days after the seizure of Prague, the Soviet government suggested an immediate conference at Bucharest at which the democratic powers might hammer out a common program.
The British government rejected this proposal as "premature." By mid-April, Chamberlain began to see the cardinal necessity of bringing the Russians in. Even so, he detested doing so. His attitude and that of his government was strikingly like their former attitude in regard to Spain. As politicians, as nationalists, it was imperative to work with the Bolsheviks. But from a class point of view, from the point of view of their deepest social instincts and economic prejudices, they loathed the idea.

### Munich Betrayal
151 The four leaders met at Munich on September 29 and whittled Q\1t agreement. No Czechoslovak representative was permitted to take part in the deliberations; a Czechoslovak emissary was, in fact, shown the door. It was agreed that Germany begin occupation of four Sudeten districts on October 1, that the Czechs must not remove any "installations:' that an international commission should decide future regions for plebiscites, and that Germany and Italy should join Britain and France in a guaranty of the new frontiers. So in nine hours of talk four men accomplished the dismemberment of a nation.
153 All in all, Czechoslovakia lost some 19,000 square miles out of roughly 54,000; it lost 4,922,440 inhabitants out of roughly 15,000,000. Of these, 3,000,000 went to Germany, about 1,000,000 to Hungary, and about 240,000---in the Teschen area-to Poland.
179 Yet when the Munich crisis came in September, 1938, Daladier followed Chamberlain's lead. He went to Munich, he met Hitler and Mussolini, he helped sell Czechoslovakia out. From the point of view of strict ethics Daladier's behavior was worse than Chamberlain's. The British, after all, were not pledged to defend Czechoslovakia; the French were so pledged. Czechoslovakia was the heart of the French security system in Europe. Time and time again, even late in that tragic summer, the French reiterated their promise to come to Czechoslovakia's aid, as we have seen. On July 12, Daladier himself said, "The solemn undertakings. we have given to Czechoslovakia are sacred and cannot be evaded." The betrayal that came in September-a£ ter remarks one of the harshest known to modern history.

### How Britain Scuppered The British-Soviet Alliance in August 1939
158 Not till June 12 did William Strang, Chamberlain's right hand man in the Foreign Office, set out for Moscow-though Maisky, the Soviet Ambassador to London, appealed frantically for haste, and asked that the British send Halifax or some cabinet minister, not merely a subordinate official (whom the Russians incidentally detested); not till August IO did the joint Anglo-French military mission finally arrive i Leningrad.
158 The British were half-hearted, badly informed, and dull; the Russians were mendacious, double-faced, and diabolically clever. The negotiations broke down on two scores. First, the Russians asked what help the Red ARMY should give Poland. The British, embarrassed, referred to the Poles, who it is understood refused to countenance any military assistance, at least by infantry. So the Russians-perplexed asked what was the object of having negotiations at all, if they were in one breath asked to render assistance, and in another breath refused the possibility of contributing it.
157 What happened as a result of this half-heartedness, this division of impulse, was inevitable-a dawdling approach to Russia, an incompetent and laggard and extrcmcly halfhearted attempt to bring Russia "in."

### Poland prior to Mol-Rib
160 In August, after laborious discussion, the British gave Poland a credit of £8,000,000 for purchase of war materials. The Poles did not, however, obtain a cash advance of. £5,000,000 they asked for. This produced a certain amount of ill-feeling in Warsaw. At the moment the British were spending at least £apoo,ooo per day on their own armament. It seemed that they did not consider their Polish ,ally to be worth even two and a half day's expenditure.

### Diplomatic Success
163 As to Stalin's motives for signing the pact with Hitler, they are quite clear too. The pact was an enormous diplomatic victory for Russia. It made the British angry, but for some months at least, angry as they were, the British treated Stalin more politely than previously. I. The Russo-German pact removed in a stroke-provisionally at least-the single greatest preoccupation of Soviet foreign policy. It banished the deepest Russian fear-fear of attack by Germany. It eliminated the danger of aggression by Germany against the Soviet Union for a considerable time to come.
163 It was a wonderful maneuver against the Russian -enemy in the east, Japan, since it gave Russia virtually a free hand against Japan. The Russians felt that no longer would they have to watch both frontiers. The Japanese, stunned and frightened, immediately agreed to a truce in the Far East. A Russo-Japanese non-aggression pact may follow.
163 By isolating Poland it made the subsequent Russian attack on Poland and Russian penetration into the Baltic states possible. 4. It served to destroy the anti-Comintem pact, which had for years been the focus of Fascist designs on the U.S.S.R. 5. By making war virtually inevitable, it put the Soviet Union into a position where it could profit so long as the war lasted, no matter how the war should tum out.

White Russians
--------------
488 To justify their mass murders, the Whites kept alive the legend of communist barbarity and secret strength. Having tasted blood, the Whites would not mind tasting more. Therefore any outcropping of communism is mercilessly crushed.

Trotsky
=======
97 Hess named as Trotskys collaborator
259 It is quite probable that Soviet Russia would have never had a Five-Year plan had not Trotsky succumbed to a fit of pique and refused to attend Lenin's funeral.
267 For a long period his chief source of income was $1,500 per week from the Hearst press; early in 1935, however, he gave up writing regular articles because international politics were so delicate that he could not express himself frankly.

Trotskyites
===========
233 The dissident communist, Jacques Doriot, is an interesting character in French politics, because he personifies what remains of Trotskyism. His New popular" party, formed in the spring of 1936, with it's newspaper Emancipation Nationale seemed at outset merely one of those maddening "splinter" groups that obstruct effective cooperation by the Left; but Doriot has some significance as an anti-Stalin communist, opposing the trend of modem Soviet policy. Doriot, who wants his revolution right away, says that Stalin, a Russian "imperialist," has sacrificed the needs of France to those of Russia and has betrayed the "true" communists.
238 Jacques Doriot, the former Trot turned Vichy collaborator




Britain
=======

Pacts
-----
523 The Anglo-German naval pact seemed to give the German navy domination in the Baltic. German naval vessels were continually experiencing "engine trouble" in obscure Norwegian fiords ( where Swedish ore might be shipped to Gennan ports)

An Oligarchy
------------
307 The House of Commons represents a considerable concentration of wealth; a writer in the Sunday Express, has found, for instance, that 170 members of the House of Commons held 650 company directorships. One M.P. had 34A recent book, "Tory M.P." is packed with suggestive details of this kind. The N cw Statesman once published an analysis of the occupation of the 729 peers who comprise the House of Lords. Two hundred and forty-six owned land. One hundred and twelve were directors in insurance companies, 7 4 in financial or investment houses, 67 in banks, 64 in railway companies, 49 in shipbuilding or engineering companies, and so on. Interestingly enough, of the 729 peers, 371, or more than half, never once spoke in any debate in the House of Lords from 1919 to 1931 ; I I I of them never voted in a single division; the average number taking part in a division was 83.

Labour Aristocrats
------------------
309 Even the poorest of the poor are loyal, Visitors from abroad to the Tyneside and Durham are incredulous that poverty of such miserable proportions does not produce revolution. There are two ·millions of unemployed in England, and of them perhaps a million can never hope to get jobs again; but not only is the thought of revolution an absurdity, but a good proportion of the unemployed vote conservative instead of labor. One reason is the fear of the middle classes that labor is not "experienced" enough to form a successful government. Anoth~eis the social insurance and paternalistic legislation of modern England ; the country buys off unrest by paying $10,000,000 per week to sup the unemployed.4

British Ruling Class Propaganda An Art
--------------------------------------
312 The ruling classes employ propaganda far more artful than any ever dreamed of by Dr. Goebbels. They often stoop to censorship, but always in the quietest possible way; it is usually censorship not by ukase but by voluntary conspiracy. Every editor in Fleet Street knew, for instance, of British fleet movements during the sanctions crisis ; but no one printed anything, not even the opposition papers.

Bourgeois Dictatorship
----------------------
312 The ruling classes, by virtue of the single-member constituency system, gerrymander elections in a manner which, if it happened in Bulgaria or Turkey, would make liberal editors explode in indignation. In the 1931 "National Government" election, for instance, the BaldwinSimon-MacDonald coalition got 556 seats for 14,500,000 votes, whereas the opposition, with the quite respectable total of 7,200,000 votes, got only 59 seats.

Labour
======

First Labour Government Would Introduce no Socialist Measures
-------------------------------------------------------------
379 The Labour party itself, a product of the Fabian doctrine of the "inevitability of gradualness," made no official declaration of socialist principles until 1918. The influence of Marx among British socialists was always comparatively small ; and when the first Labour government was formed, it took office not only on sufferance but on the understanding that, even if it could, it would introduce no socialist measures. trade unions ( who represent eight million British workmen)

### Labour Had Pro-Germans
318 Oddly enough, some forces in the Labour party were pro-German. It is obvious that British socialists and trade unionists under Naziism would suffer even as their German colleagues, but labor foreign policy in Great Britain was erected on dislike of the Versailles Treaty and plea for fair play to Germany, and even outrages performed upon labor by Hitler did not much modify pro-Germanism in some circles of the British Leh.'

Lloyd George a Defeatist and Pro German
---------------------------------------
374 Lloyd George has turned into a defeatist and something of a pro-German; doubtless this is conscience money for the Treaty of Versailles.

Churchill
---------

### Warning Alone About Hitler
352 churchill-almost alone among British politicians sensed the peril to Britain in the rise of Hitler. For six years, day in, day out, he spoke, wrote, argued, exhorted, about Hitler's dangerousness, exploring especially every phase of German rearmament.

### Warmonger
355 For years, Churchill adored warfare. He blamed "democracy" for taking the fun, the style, the glamour out of war. He writes of the Mamund campaign, "Sir Bindon sent orders that we were to stay in the Mamund valley and lay it waste with fire and sword in vengeance. This accordingly we did."

### Contempt for British people
361 Once Marsh accompanied him on an election campaign in the Midlands. Winston walked out in the slums. " 'Fancy,' he said, 'living in one of these streets-never seeing anything beautiful-never eating anything savory-never sayi,ng anything clever!' "

Lord Rothermere(daily Mail) Backed Mosely
-----------------------------------------
388 Lord Rothermere backed him for a while; following is the text of a letter written from B.U.F. headquarters in London after the first big article in the Daily Mail friendly to the Fascist movement :
"Doubtless you have all read the stirring article by Viscount Rothermere in the Daily Mail of the 15th inst... It is desirable that there shall be an expression of approval for the action of the Daily Mail and an endorsement by its readers. To this end it is required of all branch organisers and Press secretaries that they see that a number of letters be sent to Editor -- from each branch. A dozen letters at least expressing approval and support of the sentiments of Viscount Rothermere's stirring article. ·"It is suggested that the impulse for writing these letters by readers of the D.M. apparently be the attacks on Viscount Rothermere and his group of papers by other organs of the Press. • . . Of course these let· ten are supposedly written by readers quite unconnected with the B.U.F., that they have been sympathetic toward Fascism but have been moved to active support of this powerful article. If all branches act as it is their duty to act, Viscount Rothermere ,will be given the impression that most of the country already is Fascist

Foreign Minister Advocated Japanese Case In The Manchurian Crisis
-----------------------------------------------------------------
374 (Sir John Simon) His unpopularity as foreign minister was largely the result of his virtual advocacy of the Japanese case in the Manchurian crisis at Geneva. Matsoaka, the Japanese delegate, told friends that Simon had said in fifteen minues what he had been trying to express for weeks. Simon offended the United States during the Manchurian crisis; he disastrously weakened the League; he was accused of responsibility for the failure of the disarmament conference. It was Simon who, in a historic speech during the General Strike, declared the strike illegal, which more than any other thing broke the spirit of the workers. This has not endeared him to labor.
15 German troops waved British pilots as they mapped lines
128 Eden was the opposition to fascism. his resignation signalled an open door
142 London times strengthened Hitler's hand in Czechoslovakia
147 Winston Churchill said, "The idea that you can purchase safety by throwing a small state to the wolves is a fatal delusion."
198 One revealing incident occurred in London, and was largely hushed up in the British press. It was disclosed that Sir John Eldon Bankes, the eighty-one-year-old chairman of the British commission investigating the arms traffic, was himself a substantial shareholder in Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., a company which although not exclusively an arms firm is the biggest British manufacturer of explosives, chemicals and poison gas.
297 In 1925 Sir Austen Chamberlain and Mussolini negotiated· an agreement confirming their respective spheres of influence in Abyssinia. Referring to this document, Mussolini angrily stated in September, 1935, that "it divided-you understand me-virtually cut up Abyssinia." The British wanted to build a dam near Lake Tsana. In return for Italian approval and support, they promised "to recognize an exclusive Italian economic influence in the west of Abyssinia" and to support an Italian project for a railway through Abyssinia connecting Eritrea and Somaliland. But Abyssinia was a member of the League in 1925 and the Emperor Haile Selassie ( then the Regent) protested so vigorously at Geneva that the agreement lapsed.
309 The ruling classes believe in freedom, in democracy, partly because, as Trevelyan says, freedom and democracy are so much more efficient than despotism.


France
======

Franco-Soviet alliance
----------------------
203 The Franco-Soviet treaty, it is interesting to note, was negotiated and signed, not by the Leftists of the Front Populaire, but by a highly nationalist French government of the Right. It was the child of such nonBolsheviks as Barthou and Laval; on a trip to Moscow, in fact, Laval arranged it. The Germans, naturally, were furious at the Franco-Soviet pact; its signature was the pretext for the "invasion" of the Rhineland. They countered, as we have seen, with both the Anti-Comintem pact and the "Rome-Berlin axis." As in 1914, conflicting treaties served to split Europe into two camps, with the difference that in 1937 the opponents were distinguished by ideological as well as national stigmata. The Spanish civil war, as everyone knows, savagely illuminated this cleavage of Europe into two mutually exclusive blocs.

178 The Front Populaire government betrayed shocking cowardice in regard to Spain, where the policy of non-intervention helped Franco-the ideologi~ cal enemy-win. But Spain wasn't all. There was the pressing threa of Germany under Hitler. France needed airplanes and munitions, it had to inaugurate and push through a huge arms program. Yet at the same time the government was shortening hours, tacitly encouraging ·. strikes, and making efficient production on a big scale impossible.
During the last six weeks of the Blum government, not a single airplane was manufactured in France.
190 ANY French prime minister, until the provisional victory of the Front r-\ Populaire, was a creature of the financial oligarchy. I have alluded to the Banque de France in the preceding chapter. France for generations has been run by a group of about two hundred financial families -the celebrated Deu» Cents-whose central pediment was the Banque de France. How this oligarchy traditionally worked should be described. France, as the French said, was no longer a kingdom, but the Third Republic was the pawn of the eighteen "regents" of the bank.
193 The regents of the Banque de France decisively controlled French politics, because by withholding credits from the treasury they could break any prime minister they didn't like.

Spain
=====

The Republican government overthrown had no marxists in it
----------------------------------------------------------
238 wantonly untruthful to speak of a "Red" revolt in Spain. There never was any "Red" revolt. This is simple fact. The revolt was made by General Franco and his friends. There were no communists-not even any socialists-in the republican government which he sought to overthrow, though they supported it. The socialists and communists came in later, but when Franco moved on July 18 the Spanish government~ devoid of them.
It was certainly a Left government-a moderate and not very efficient Left-but there were no Marxists in it.

Forces on each sides
--------------------
238 The, forces on both sides can be summarized in a paragraph or two. On the rebel or insurgent side (called the "Nationalists" in pro-Franco newspapers) were, speaking broadly, the officer class, the feudal aristoeracy, the bulk of the politically minded Roman Catholics, the monarchists, the Carlists from Navarre, the Falangista.s or Fascists, the army officers, some of the industrialists, and part of the national police force or Civil Guard. Their rank-and-file fighting force contained Germans, Italians, Moorish troops from Spanish Morocco and the Riff, and the Spanish Foreign Legion-in a word, comparatively few authentic Spaniards except the Carlists and Falangistcu.
238 On the government side was-the government. It came to include as time went on all the forces of the Left-republicans, liberals, democrats, socialists, communists, anarchists, syndicalists. It included also the CataJans centering on Barcelona, and such Roman Catholics as the Basque autonomists. The Basque clergy was solidly pro-government. It included the bulk of the peasants, the bulk of the landlesj, and all but a small fraction of the workers. It included most of the freemasons, most of the middle class, most of the intelligentsia. Its army, since ninety-five per cent of the officers struck with Franco, was at first an extremely makeshift affair; the hardest kind of fighting and help from foreign volunteers turned it into a first-class fighting force. A militia of the people became a people's army, with an extraordinary discipline exerted not by officers but from below.

Spain Was Almost As backward As Cazrist Russia
----------------------------------------------
239 Under the monarchy Spain was almost as backward a country as Czarist Russia. The illiteracy rate was the highest in Europe ( Portugal excepted), namely forty-five per cent. The national history had been a study in disintegration for three hundred years. The country, potentially rich, was stagnating with corruption and decay. The landless workers were little better than serfs, and some of them lived almost like animals. And the ruling classes-to quote Life-"were probably the world's worst bosses--irresponsible, arrogant, vain, ignorant, shiftless, and incompetent."

Monarchy deposed without a drop of blood
----------------------------------------
240 The monarchy fell in 1931 of its own weight. There was no revolution. Only an election. Not a drop of blood was shed nor a shot fired. Alfonso paid the penalty of years of misrule by driving to Cartagena from Madrid in perfect safety. No one molested him, and no one in the aristocracy, the army, or the church lifted a forefinger in his behalf. The dynasty which had ruled Spain for five centuries disappeared into the dust of history like a plum dropping from a tree. But-the forces behind Alfonso were still there.

Republic
--------
240 The quality of the republican government formed in April, 1931, gave hope to liberals the world over. It was composed of middle-class intellectuals mostly-professors, civil servants, literary men. The spiritual fathers of the republic were not politicians or army generals, but physicians like Dr. Gregario Maraiion, a specialist in ductless glands, in whose home the revolutionary committee met, and philosophers like Miguel de Unamuno and Jose Ortega y Gasset, whose Revolt of the Masses expressed the ideals behind the movement.
241 The youthful republic paid far too much attention to theory and wasted far too much energy in determining its aspirations-on paper-without attempting to put the aspirations into concrete effect. It concerned itself with fine phrases and neglected concrete policy. Its leaders, like Manuel Azaiia, were such profound liberals that they believed in free speech even for those who would destroy free speech. Azaiia and his men thought that they could profoundly change the organization of society without a revolution. They were wrong.
242 In the autumn of 1933 Azafia was forced out of office. Thus the first period of the Left republic lasted two and one-half years. A coalition of Rightist parties-loyal to the republic if it should be theirs-assumed power. The Rightists made what was tantamounLto a counter-revolution. In October, 1934, the socialists revolted against this counter-revolution, and were put down by force and with ghastly bloodshed. The Rightists ( still loyal to the republic in theory) crushed the miners and workers in Asturias with Moorish troops. The Moors in Spain again t Some fourteen hundred men were killed, all but a few of them civilians. The Rightists wiped Asturias bloody. And terror spread all over Spain. By the end of 1935, some thirty thou.sand socialists and republicat11 ·were~ jaiL
243 the Rightists stayed in power, through a series of shambling governments from the autumn of 1933 to the spring of 1936. It seemed that the Rousseau-Jefferson revolution was ended. But the brief fticker of daylight from 1931 to 1933 still lit the minds of the people. Following a series of violent scandals, and forced into holding an election, the Right went to the polls in February, 1936. The parties of the republic banded together in a . Popular Front and won a narrow victory. The
244 One of his friends was Juan March, the tobacco millionaire who helped finance Franco's revolt.
247 The reason for all this, from Franco's side, was very simple. He had to have foreign troops, the "Aryan Moors" and the totalitarian "volunteers," because not enough Spaniards were fighting for him. From the side of the interventionists it was simple too. The war was interpreted as a struggle between Fascism and Communism; Hitler and Mussolini would not brook a "Bolshevist" regime in Western Europe. Spain was a perfect playground for them both politically and strategically. They knew, too, that a Fascist Spain would drastically weaken France.
248 Such emphatic intervention by Germany and Italy-by the spring of 1937 the Germans had eight to ten thousand technicians in Spain, the famous Condor Legion, and the Italians almost 100,000 trooi>srwas bound to provoke retaliation.

Italian and German Assistance to Franco
---------------------------------------
250 Meantime the Germans finally admitted publicly the activity of their Condor Legion, which marched down the streets of Berlin, and was reviewed by Hitler and Goering. The German U-boat commanderswho got good practice for 1939-were publicly honored. The Italians. revealed that, during the war, Italian aviators made 86,420 flights over Spanish territory, and dropped more than eleven million kilograms of explosives in 5,318 bombardments.8 Italy lost 3,327 dead, 11,227 wounded, during the course of the war, according to Italian figures.

Anarchist Retards
-----------------
252 In the early days of the war a sporadic terror existed in both Madrid and Barcelona. The fact is unpleasant, but there is no use denying it. Churches were pillaged and wrecked, priests were murdered, and assassination of known Fascists occurred wholesale. The anarchists especially ran wild. But let it be remembered that these events occurred after Franco's revolt, when the population as a whole was exasperated to frenzy. The nonnal regulations of society broke down. Much of the killing occurred after a stupid boast by General Mola that a "Fifth Column" of Fascists, the rebel sympathizers living in the city, would rise within the gates and help to capture it. Naturally they were hunted out and shot,

POUM
----

### Defeatist
254 Se.enth, the P.O.U.M. (Party of Marxist Unification), which began : as a dissident communiit group, led by Andres Nin and Joaquin Maurin.Its strength was mostly in Barcelona. In 1936 it became frankly defeatist and Trotskyist and was presently $upprei;sed.

Britain France Pushed the Fiction of "Non-Intervention" and Embargoed Both Sides
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256 For another, the great powers initiated the monstrous fiction known as the "Non-Intervention Agreement •• which established an embargo on the shipment of both munitions and volunteers to both Spanish sides. This was an almost fatal handicap to the loyalists. They could get nothing in from France and not ch from the U.S.S.R.
But Italy and Germany sent great quantities of arms and men to Spain before the pact was signed, and after its signature it seemed that they violated it almost at will.'

French Generals Favoured Franco
-------------------------------
256 Italian ot Gennan naval bases in the Balearics or Morocco would drastically shift the balance of power in the Mediterranean, and might cut France's "lifeline" of communication to her African reservoir of native troops. Yet a powerful section of French opinion favored General Franco for class reasons. And the French were willing to make almost any concession, even if the loyalists should be defeated, in order to stave off the peril of immediate general war. The Fascists held their trump card again. They committed acts of aggression knowing that the French and British would not call the bluff because calling the bluff might mean war.

British Wanted Franco To Win
----------------------------
257 But from the point of view of property, privilege, and class, the British wanted Franco to win; they may like nationalism, but they like capitalism better. They quailed before the bogey of a Bolshevist Spain, of communism on the Pyrenees. Thus the British were divided by conflicting aims, stalemated by a dichotomy in policy. As a result they gave way to muddle, drift, and what almost seemed cowardice before repeated acts of aggression by the Fascists. They wanted peace at almost any price-until their own gigantic armament program was ready.

Fascism
=======
267 The outlines of Fascist economy are known to every one, Private property, private profits, are preserved, but under strict state control. The entire productive capacity of the country, theoretically .represented by employers and employees both, is organized into a series of twenty-two "corporations," from which deputies to the lower chamber of parliament are chosen. Representation will be on a basis of occupation instead of geography; a deputy will represent, say, the hotel business instead of the province of Turin.
276 The scheme was put forward cautiously, and expanded very slowly; in 1939 it was still an embryo structure. Every corporation contains three supervising delegates of the Fascist party; each corporation is headed by a member of the cabinet or an under-secretary, appointed by Mussolini. The deputies, moreover, are "voted" into the chamber from an approved list chosen by the Grand Fascist Council; electors are privileged simply to say Yes or No to the whole list. Mussolini's two general "elections" have been grossly dull affairs.
278 Fascism as Mussolini introduced it was not, probably, a deliberate artifice for propping up the capitalist structure, but it had that effect. The restriction on the mobility of capitalism was in effect "a premium which the capitalists were willing to pay in order to get full security against the demands of labor."
297 "For Fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality,"

Italy
=====

WW2: A War over Colonies
------------------------
298 'We are on the march," he told the Morning Post. "It is too late now to tell us to stop .... Look at Portugal, and Belgium, and Holland. They all have fruitful colonies. Surely Italy must have fruitful colonies too. As soon as we get such colonies, Italy will become conservative, like all colonial powers .... " To the New York Sun he complained: "Why are we condemned for what you yourselves do whenever the need arises? You never hesitated about war when your interests were involved. Think about Mexico and Cuba and your own civil war between North and South. How did the United States end slavery?"

1931 Economic Crises
====================
374 The financial crisis of 1931 was caused, basically, by the shrinkage of British exports and the decline of British shipping and overseas investments. The City of London had borrowed money on short-term, and lent it on long-term ; it made money by paying three per cent on loans from France, and receiving six per cent from Germany. This process was a happy one until Germany, caught by the crisis, could not repay; London found itself with only £55,000,000 in gold, and. with £250,000,000 in immediate outstanding liabilities.

Austria
=======
418 The fighting that followed was simple heartbreak. I saw most of it. The misorganization was pitiful. Bauer, a stern disciplinarian, had ossified the party, so that young men eager to go on the streets obediently waited all day Monday and even till Tuesday, expecting orders to fight. The orders never came; the young men then began shooting and were slaughtered.
131 head of Austria tried to hold a referendum on independence prior to invasion
140 Sudeten demands by Germans in Czechoslovakia. Ability to process loyalty to nazism
403 In Vienna the socialists produced a remarkable administration, making it probably the most successful municipality in the world. By means of an ingenious taxation system they financed paternalistic reforms of unparalleled quantity and quality ; they built health clinics, baths, gymnasia, sanatoria, schools, kindergartens, and the imposing sunshine dwellings which, in decency and cleanliness if not luxury, housed sixty thousand families-socialist families.
They eliminated slums ; they cut down drastically the tuberculosis rate; they took money from the rich, who could spare it, and used it for the benefit of the worthy poor. The achievements of the Vienna socialists were the most exhilarating social monument of the post-war period in any European country. Result: the clericals bombed them out of existence.
409 Third, Dollfuss, who had assumed five of the nine portfolios in the Austrian cabinet, becoming a dictator in name as well as fact, announced his intention to promulgate a new constitution reforming the state on an authoritarian, Staendische (guild) basis. He borrowed the idea from a papal encyclical, the Quadragesimo Anno of 1931, wherein Pope Pius XI pleaded for the end of social strife and urged the adoption of a corporate organization of society as a "cure" for class war.
411 The government charged Dr. Otto Bauer and Col. Julius Deutsch, the two leading socialists, with being Bolsheviks. The fact was that their brand of social democracy saved Austria from Bolshevism in 1919 when both Bavaria and Hungary succumbed to communist regimes.
415 Orthodox Seconde Internationale socialism was, in 1934, as old-fashioned as horse-cars. Flattened between the opposites of Fascism and communism, the socialists became, instead of a revolutionary party, a party of the middle. They represented workers in work ; and after some years of comfortable, almost bourgeois living in the Engels Hof or the Goethe Hof they lost a good deal of revolutionary fervor; they were not so anxious as before to man the barricades.

Austria Socialists Lose Because They Reject Dictatorship of the Proletariat
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415 Socialism lost out in Austria because of its own decency. The socialists hated bloodshed and violence; they could not believe that their enemies were capable of ruthlessness and treachery; innocently they believed the lies of their opponents, because their own characters were grounded on probity and truth. "Tactically, the socialists were
415 "Tactically, the socialists were in a hopeless position," Frances Gunther wrote at the time. "As socialists, they believed in the dictatorship of the proletariat. As democrats. they believed in the tolerant rule of the majority. Through the gap between these two stools they crashed. They socialized some of the luxuries of life, but none of the necessities. Back in 1919 they had a chan-e to acquire the Alpine Montaneesellschaft, the pivot of Austrian industry ; they let it go, and instead built lovely swimming polls and fardens for Vienna kiddies, by means of taxes which were just and therefore doubly intolerable to the former upper classes. Militarily, they succeeded in arming themselves as socialists. But as
democrats, they failed to disarm their enemies.

Hungary
=======
418 As long as Horthy and Count Julius Karolyi live, the squabbles of domestic politics in Hungary do not mean much because the inside leaders are all members of a secret society, heritage of the civil wars and White Terror, called the "Double Cross," in reference to the Holy Apostolic Cross of Hungary. It was founded by Horthy and his cohorts when they organized a provisional government at Szeged in 1919 to fight the communists then ruling in Budapest. Every Hungarian prime minister since the counter-revolution has been a member of the Double Cross.
447 Some officers, drunk and cheerful, talked bloodthirstily about Bolshevik atrocities. Horthy remarked: "Words, always words ! And never any action I" So the officers, including men who later became infamous as wholesale sadists, went out and that night murdered sixty Jews and communists. This was the beginning of the White Terror. When members of a British labor delegation investigating the atrocities complained to Horthy that the officers responsible had not been punished, the admiral replied in naive indignation, "Why, they are my best men I"
448 Beyond doubt, much more than Horthy, he was responsible for the White Terror in which at least several thousand innocent Jews and communists were tortured and murdered.
448 The Hungary of that time was the worst dictatorship in Europe. In it were Magyar traces of all the Fascist tendencies we know to-day: violent economic nationalism, hatred of Jews, and vigorous suppression of liberals, pacifists, socialists alike.

Czechoslovakia
==============
459 Two events of great importance occurred. One was the sudden and powerful rise of a disguised Nazi party under the former gymnasium instructor Konrad Henlein. In the 1935 elections this party, representing the bulk of Czechoslovakia's minority of 3,300,000 Germans, polled 1,247,000 votes and became overnight the second largest party in the country, rising from zero seats in the chamber to forty-four.
459 The first plank in his policy was the alliance with France, the second the presumptive solidarity of the Little Entente-Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Jugoslavia. But as the German menace mounted and Czech relations with Poland grew steadily worse Dr. Benes saw that he needed something else, and so be went to Moscow and signed a mutual assistance pact-not merely a "non-aggression" pact which is the form such treaties usually take-with the U.S.S.R. Czechoslovakia became the military link between France and the Soviet Union as defense against Germany and the other revisionist states.

Romania
=======
476 (2) Not only is anti-Semitism very acute in Rumania, but there exists a German minority of 8oo,ooo Saxons ; these naturally feel the swastika itch. Besides the Iron Guard there are at least three Fascist parties in Rumania. (3) Rumania's

Poland
======

Pilzudski
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510 He was not, for instance, a man of the people like Mussolini or Doll fuss or Kamal Ataturk; he was born (in 1867 on an estate near Vilna) of an aristocratic Lithuanian family. But passion for Poland drove him to revolutionary activity. Hatred of Tsarist Russia, on nationalist grounds, dominated his life.


Anarchists
==========
484 Cranks and anarchists, who seek out and kill statesmen to satisfy some mysterious personal grievance, are usually psychic invalids as a result of some unhappy experience in childhood ; often-like the anarchist who killed the Empress Elizabeth of Austro-Hungary-they are illegitimate. The assassins are living out some infantile conflict. The assassinations they perform are supreme efforts at self-justification, to make up for the miseries of thwarted youth. No one commits suicide, says Dr. Stekel in a famous essay, unless he has a tendency to kill some other person. Conversely, no one commits murder unless he has a tendency to suicide also. Most assassins are desperate enough to perform the act of murder because they are disappointed in life;
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AgentSonya
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Post by AgentSonya »

Reading through this at the moment. Such a good read.

Amazing what beginning of Ww2 looked like at the time and not years later propagandised through a shitlib lens
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Isabelle
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Post by Isabelle »

Is TemperedSteel still active here?

I miss his contributions! 😔
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JoeySteel
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Post by JoeySteel »

Labour Aristocrats
------------------
309 Even the poorest of the poor are loyal, Visitors from abroad to the Tyneside and Durham are incredulous that poverty of such miserable proportions does not produce revolution. There are two ·millions of unemployed in England, and of them perhaps a million can never hope to get jobs again; but not only is the thought of revolution an absurdity, but a good proportion of the unemployed vote conservative instead of labor. One reason is the fear of the middle classes that labor is not "experienced" enough to form a successful government. Anoth~eis the social insurance and paternalistic legislation of modern England ; the country buys off unrest by paying $10,000,000 per week to sup the unemployed.4
God fucking dammit
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