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862.00/3425 1/2

 

The Consul at Berlin (Geist) to the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Moffat), Department of State

 

BERLIN, September 15, 1934.

DEAR MR. MOFFAT:

 

. . . With regard to the German public, observers are generally unanimous in the belief that the German nation, while anxiously regarding the present state of affairs, is content to be led on the political paths marked out for it by the National-Socialist Government. The National-Socialists have so strongly organized their position and so completely dominate the situation, that there is little possibility that anything serious will happen within the councils of the party or among the leaders of the Government. It is apparent that such men as von Neurath have agreed that the only hope for Germany's regaining her position in the world is along the lines laid down by the present regime, namely that Germany must first of all recover her military prestige, and then it may be seen what can be obtained from the rest of the world. They hope to be in a position

 

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to assert themselves on the basis of their military strength, which of course is a dangerous and a disquieting outlook. Mr. Goering is known to have said a short time ago that after the 1st of April 1935 nobody will have anything to say in the air, and from reports which I get I am convinced that the German rearmament is concentrating upon two points; first, power in the air, and second, motorization of any attacking forces. There is nothing conservative or traditional in their present policy. Many of the young Nazis are enthusiastic with regard to the military prospects. They speak of gas war, of bacteriological war, of the use of death-dealing rays. They boast that airplanes will not pass the German frontiers. Their ideas of Germany's invincibility and Germany's power in "the next war" are really phantastic. It is to be concluded, however, from these remarks that a good deal of lively talking is going on in the Nazi circles and they are really thrilled in contemplating Germany's future tremendous victory over her enemies.

It is a significant fact in estimating the present situation in Germany, that into the youth is being inculcated an unprecedented, conscious and deliberate love of militarism and all that it stands for. It is one of the amazing things of modern history that the Government of a great power should definitely teach its children to cherish ideas of valor, heroism, self-sacrifice, unrelieved by any of the virtues which modern civilization has come to place above brute force. Primarily owing to the international political situation and the disposition of the great powers in Europe to consolidate a defense position, war may not be imminent, but it is very difficult to foresee how the bellicose spirit here can be restrained and directed into permanent channels of peace towards the end of this present decade.

Very sincerely yours,

RAYMOND H. GEIST