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Germans will feel that way about you when you miss an ending or use an incorrect verb tense. It actually has a great deal in common with English. If you apply yourself, you will soon discover that German is easier than you thought and that it also is fun to learn. Good luck! Believe it or not, German and English stem from the same ancestral language family.

Remember: The more effort you put into this project, the more your German will improve. This chapter gives you an idea of what it takes to master frequently encountered German phrases and words. When you think about it, studying German makes sense. When Only German Will Do In addition, many businesses, industries, and specialties such as medicine and science use German terms, particularly those with international markets or affiliations. So drop the golf club, the computer mouse, and the VCR remote control.

Get way ahead of your colleagues: Learn German. Hypochonder Der Teufel hol das Menschengeschlecht! Und kaum seh ich ein Menschengesicht, So hab ichs wieder lieb. I continually make firm resolutions to stop seeing people and to consign the whole nation to God and to itself and to the devil! And then I have only to see a human face and I love it again. The English version works about as well as using a sledgehammer to slice bread.

How Much German Is Enough? Take a moment to consider your motives:. Culture Shock Many medical and scientific words are easy to understand in German and hard to understand in English. Try saying that three times fast! Your knowledge of grammar will remain somewhat passive, outshined by your expansive knowledge German vocabulary expressing abstractions. Figuring out how German structures its sentences will help you develop the patience to wait for the verb. If you understand what you need from the German language, you easily can tailor this book to your needs and use it to your advantage.

You Could Look It Up Whatever your particular needs are, a bilingual dictionary is as essential to your learning as doublespeak is to a lawyer. What do you need to know to use a bilingual dictionary? Be forewarned: Using a bilingual dictionary is a little tougher than using an English dictionary. After finding the German translation for an English word, go ahead and take a moment to look up that new German word. The next thing you should do is figure out what the abbreviations used in the definitions mean.

Here are a few of them:. Prepositions are words such as above, along, beyond, before, through, in, to, and for that are placed before nouns to indicate a relationship to other words in a sentence. Intransitive verb. Transitive verb. Learning Parts of Speech, Inside Out Learning how to use a bilingual dictionary takes a little grammatical know how. For example, you should know how to use the basic parts of speech.

Take the word inside. Do you see how the meaning of the word changes in the following sentences when it is used as various parts of speech? He could feel it in his insides. Innerhalb, im Innern von or Gen. We will be home inside of two hours. He had inside information on the horse race. We go inside the cave. He hides the key inside the box. Because the possible combinations of nouns are practically unlimited, you can actually create your own compound words pretty much as you please by linking nouns together.

The ability to create words at will in German is one reason that this language has been so instrumental to many great thinkers. They have been able to express new concepts and ideas by coining, or making up, new words. The flip side to this flexibility is that these compound words are not easily translatable.

As a Rule Many German words in academic texts are compound words, and some of these compound words are not in the dictionary. A knowledge of basic German vocabulary will enable you to take apart those big, cumbersome compound words and look up their components one by one in a bilingual dictionary. The more you rely on and trust your powers of deduction, the easier learning a foreign language becomes! Although vocabulary correspondences are perhaps the most obvious, the two languages also share structural secrets—consider the way they form the.

Although these similarities seem fortuitous to the English-speaking learner of German you! Once upon a time, in fact, the Germanic languages were closely related to the following linguistic groups: Albanian, Armenian, Baltic, Celtic, Greek, Hittite, Indic, Iranian, Italic, Slavic, and Tocharian—all members of the Indo-European language family. Indo-European, spoken more than 6, years ago, was the predecessor language of English and most European languages, minus Finnish and Hungarian. But it took a German, Jacob Grimm, to figure out the sound correspondences between various branches of Indo-European and Germanic languages.

The Germanic languages can be subdivided according to geographical location: north, east, and west. North Germanic languages are Scandinavian, including Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese, Gothlandic, Swedish, and Danish; East Germanic is represented chiefly by Gothic, an extinct language preserved in a fourth-century Bible translation. So what happened to cause the rift between English and German? An actual shift. No, not of earth, but of consonants, which occurred in the southernmost reaches of the German-speaking lands sometime around the fifth century.

Linguistic Relates to language, and linguistics is the study of the nature and structure of human speech. The first shift circa B. You think you have it bad with German pronunciation? Consider the baffled Italian, Spaniard, or Rumanian learning English. What is this poor learner of English to do with threw and through?

German is what is called a phonetic language; German words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. In German it is always pronounced. This rule makes it easy to spell, as well. You need simply to learn what sounds are represented by the letters in German. Also, you should get comfortable enunciating every letter in a word. This chapter helps you figure out how to pronounce German vowels. Vowel a, e, i, o, and u are vowels. Umlaut The term for the two dots that can be placed over the vowels a, o, and u. Modified or mutated vowel A vowel that takes an umlaut is referred to as a modified vowel, incurring a mutation of sound.

Three German vowels—a, o, and u— can do a little cross-dressing. They are sometimes written with two dots above them. These two dots are called an umlaut and signal a change in the sound and meaning of a word. When a vowel takes an umlaut, it becomes a modified or mutated vowel. The vowel tables in this chapter provide hints, English examples, and the letters used as symbols to represent the sounds of vowels in German words.

Stress The emphasis placed on one or more syllables of a word when you pronounce it. Stress is the emphasis placed on one or more syllables of a word when you pronounce it. Foreign words such as Hotel, Musik, and Philosophie that have been assimilated into the German language do not follow German rules of stress or pronunciation, although they do acquire German pronunciation of vowels. Your Own Personal Accent Some people have no problem pronouncing new sounds in a foreign language.

They were born rolling their Rs, courtesy of genetics, and producing throaty gutturals. Some people spend their adolescence serving as conduits at seances for famous dead Germans, Russians, Spaniards, and Italians. Not all of us have been so lucky. Those intuitive skills you used to acquire your first language will enable you to learn a foreign language.

Heightening your linguistic awareness, you can teach your tongue to make new sounds the same way you would teach your muscles to make new movements if you suddenly decided to change your hobby from long-distance running to synchronized swimming. As an adult language learner, you are able to monitor your speech—comparing your utterances with your conscious knowledge and correcting yourself accordingly.

After you learn how to pronounce German words correctly, reading them will be a breeze. Additionally, this same alphabet represents consistent sounds in German. The Famous Umlaut Remember those versatile two dots we spoke about earlier? The umlaut, really just a writing device to indicate another vowel sound, alters the sound of a vowel Achtung and makes a meaning change.

Sometimes the change is grammatical, as in a plural form and in An umlaut can be added only to the comparison of an adjective, but most of the a, o, or u. It can never be added time the change is lexical—that is, it produces an to e or i. Around the year , resulting from a change in word endings, the vowel a, formed in the back part of the oral cavity, slid forward, approximating the front vowel i. This phenomenon of partial assimilation is visible in the Germanization of Attila to Etzel. By the eleventh century, the umlaut had, in general, spread to include other back vowels, such as o and u, and to diphthongs.

English has vestiges of the.

One of the differences between written English and written German is that German nouns are always capitalized. Compare this English sentence with the translated German sentence. Note the capital letters in the following sentences: Which famous German writer and philosopher said that pleasure is simply the absence of pain? The answer is Arthur Schopenhauer.

When it comes to the pronunciation of vowels, keep in mind that vowel sounds are organized into three principal types. These three types of vowel sounds are referred to throughout this book as vowels, modified vowels, and diphthongs. In German both of these groups can have long vowel sounds, which, as their name suggests, have a drawn out vowel sound like the o sound in snow or shorter vowel sounds, which have a shorter sound like the o sound in lot.

They begin with one vowel sound and end Diphthongs Combinations with a different vowel sound in the same syllable, as of vowels that begin with one in the words wine and bowel keep in mind that the vowel sound and end with a difsound of a diphthong in English can often be proferent vowel sound in the same duced by a single vowel, as in the word rose.

As a Rule Generally, a vowel is long when it is followed by an h as in Mahl mahl , an orthographic device thought up by fifteenth century spelling reformers. A vowel is also long when it is doubled, as in Meer meyR and Aal ahl , or when it is followed by a single consonant, as in Wagen vah-guhn. The vowel i is made into a long vowel when it is followed by an e, think Bier beeR. In general, vowels are short when followed by two or more consonants just as in English.

In the following pronunciation guide, each vowel appears in its own section. We try to give you an idea of how vowel sounds are pronounced by providing an English equivalent. Obviously, we cannot account for regional differences in either the German or English pronunciations of vowels and words. It may help to read the English pronunciation example first and then to repeat each German word out loud for practice. Say A as in Modern For the short a, assume a British accent and make the sound of the vowel in the back of your throat. Say: cast, fast. Now read the following German words out loud: Mann mAn man, husband.

The long a is a prolongation of the short a. Wagen vah-guhn car. Say E as in Bed Smile while making the sound of the short stressed e, and your pronunciation will improve. This shorty is always flanked by consonants. Bett bet bed. When the e is unstressed, as it will be at the end of a word, it is pronounced like the e in mother.

Bitte bi-tuh request. There is no exact equivalent of the German long e sound in English, but you can approximate it by trying to make the sound of the stressed e and ay at the same time be careful not to produce a diphthong. Try saying these words: Weg veyk way. Say I as in Winter The short i is easy. It sounds like the i in the English words wind or winter. Try saying the following words: Wind vint wind.

Say O as in Lord In German the sound of the short o should resonate slightly farther back in your mouth than the o sound in English. Mord moRt murder. Say U as in Shook The sound of the short u has just a touch of the sound of the long u in it. Mutter moo-tuhR mother. Achtung Remember, the German i sounds like the English e. Usually, the German e is soft, like the e in effort or the a in ago. Be careful not to run the two us together when pronouncing uu in words like Vakuum va-koo-oom and Individuum in-dee-vee-doo-oom.

In most cases the two letters are read as short us and are given equal stress. They should be treated as separate syllables, as they are in the English word residuum. In German an umlaut changes the way a vowel is pronounced.


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Many German words are consistently spelled with umlauts, but other words take an umlaut when they undergo some change in pronunciation and meaning. This guide treats each modified vowel separately, giving you hints to help you make the correct sounds. Focus on getting the sounds right one sound at a time.

Round your lips and say ew sound while tightening the muscles at the back of your throat. For example, a vowel or modified vowel is short when followed by two consonants. When either a vowel or modified vowel is followed by an h and another consonant, however, or even by a single consonant, the vowel is long. Diphthongs Diphthongs are not a provocative new style of bikini.

In English we tend to dipthogize vowels in words like sky, where the y is pronounced ah-ee, and go, where the o is pronounced oh-oo. Following the pattern of German diphthong formation, the o and. Whatever form they take, diphthongs are always made up of two different vowel sounds that change in the same syllable. How do you recognize a diphthong?

In German they are vowels that travel in pairs. Here are the diphthongs most frequently used in German. For other diphthongs, each vowel should be pronounced the same way it would be if pronounced separately: Kollision ko-lee-zeeohn , Familie fah-mee-leeuh. Think Bier beeR versus Wein vayn. The Diphthongs el and al To make the sound of these diphthongs, start with your mouth halfway open, end with your mouth almost—but not quite—closed.

Practice with these words: Bleistift blay-shtift pencil. You knit your eyebrows together and cry out in pain: Ow! Try making this ow sound as you say these words: Haut hout skin. All right, you can breathe a sigh of relief now. German friends or, in the absence of live, German-speaking human beings, German tapes from your local library would come in handy now.

You should try to listen to native German speakers, particularly because many of the modified vowel sounds do not have English equivalents. At this point, concentrate on getting the sounds right. Hiss, growl, coo. Start making vowel sounds way back in your throat. Practice making the umlauted vowel sounds, just as you would any new sound.

By now you should be able to make the correct sounds of vowels in German. What good is Astaire without Rogers; Penn without Teller; hamburgers without catsup, lettuce, a tomato slice, and a pickle? The good news is, the sounds of German consonants are not going to be as unfamiliar as many of the sounds you tried in the previous chapter. German consonants are either pronounced like their English counterparts or are pronounced like other consonants in English. In either case, it should be pronounced like an s. And it gets. Consonants All the letters in the alphabet other than a, e, i, o, and u.

Consonants are best described as involving some obstruction of the air stream, whereas vowels do not have any sort of obstruction. In August , Germany decided to implement a spelling reform. Regarding when to spell with the es-tset and when to use a double s, the es-tset is used after long vowels a concept introduced in the last chapter. Before you start stuttering out consonants, we should probably tell you a little about how this section works. The consonants in the following tables are not given in alphabetical order.

They are grouped according to pronunciation type. For each letter, we provide English examples of how German consonants are pronounced along with the symbols used throughout this book to represent the sounds. Keep in mind that the symbols consonants or combinations of consonants, lowercase or uppercase are not the standard ones used in the dictionary.

When you see these letters, just go ahead and pronounce them the way you do in English words. German Letter s. They are called plosives because of they way their sounds are articulated: with small explosions of air. At the beginning of a word. Utter a b sound with a hand on your throat where your vocal box is.

You should feel vibrations. Its counter sound articulated at exactly the same place in the mouth, in exactly the same way, but not involving the vocal cords is a p. Whisper, and you will not feel the vibrations in your vocal cords. This sound is heard in German at the end of a word yet is orthographically spelling-wise represented with a b. The English L is dark, formed with the tongue more relaxed. The German L—light, nearly as vibrant as the German R—is formed with the tip of the tongue just behind the upper front teeth.

German Letter. At the beginning of a syllable, g is pronounced the same as it is in English: Gott got God. The consonant g has yet another pronunciation, thanks to foreign infiltration. In certain words, usually ones that have been assimilated into the German language from other languages—namely, French, pronounce the g as in Massage mA-sah-juh. As a Rule When the letters -ig occur at the end of a word, they are pronounced the way ich is pronounced in the German word ich: traurig tRou-RiH.

But check it out! We have the same word-building suffix in English, derived from Old English into Middle English -lic, meaning like, as in childlike. Eventually, this same suffix doubled its purpose and became the standard way to form an adverb as in the Present Day English friendly or homely. Got a Frog in Your Throat? To approximate this sound represented in this book by the symbol CH , make the altered h sound you just.

Give this a shot: Yoh-hAn zey-bAs-tee-ahn bahhhh gargle and hiss like a cat simultaneously at the end. In general, when ch occurs at the beginning of a word, it is pronounced like a k: Chaos kA-os , Charisma kah-ris-mah. Exceptions occur, however, as in China, where the ch may be pronounced the same way it is in ich.

The ch has a fourth pronunciation: sh. In some cases, h is silent when it follows a t, as in Theater tey-ah-tuhR. Otherwise, the h is pronounced very much like the English h—just a little breathier. Think of an obscene phone caller breathing heavily on the other end of the line and try the following: hallo hA-loh.

As a Rule The English th sound does not exist in German. You produce glottal stops all the time, believe it or not, whenever you disagree, shake your head, and utter: uh-uh. That tiny pause between the syllables is referred to as a glottal stop! In English, the k is silent in words like knight and knot.

Think of it as a fun challenge for any tongue. Position your lips as if you are about to make the r sound but then make the gargling sound you made for the German sound represented in this book by the symbol CH. The sound should come from somewhere in the back of your throat. This book uses the same symbol R for both sounds. In German sp is a combination of the sh sound in shake and the p sound in pat. Four consonants in a row! Tsch is pronounced tch, as in the word witch. A breeze, right? You will readily recognize these, as English has borrowed them from French, as well!

Pronunciation Guide When you are further along in this book, you may not have time to flip through page after page looking for the letter or the symbol you want to pronounce. The following table is an abbreviated pronunciation guide of vowels, modified vowels, diphthongs, and consonants that differ in pronunciation from English consonants.

Practice Makes Perfect Have you practiced all these new sounds? If you have, we are willing to bet that you have succeeded in making most if not all of the sounds you will need to pronounce German words correctly. Now, practice some more by reading the following sentences out loud. Ich spreche Englisch.

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Ich habe gerade begonnen Deutsch zu lernen. Die Aussprache ist nicht so schwer. I speak English. I just started to learn German. German is a beautiful language. So, once you link a letter with a sound, you can pronounce a word 18 syllables long! What seems peculiar in written German will soon become familiar to you, and soon— particularly if you listen to the German being spoken on a tape or by a native speaker—you will begin to associate letters with their corresponding sounds.

Just click on a sound or word and hear it produced. Kitsch, Wind, Mensch, Angst, Arm, blond, irrational—the list of German words you already know is longer than you think. The reason you know so much German is because many words in German are similar to or exactly like their English counterparts. These words are called cognates. In addition, many German words have been used so much by English speakers that they have been swallowed whole, so to speak, into the English language to become a part of our vocabulary.

Many other German words are so similar to English words that you can master their meanings and pronunciations with little effort. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to put together simple but meaningful sentences in German. She has been living and teaching in Berlin for as long as you can remember, and so you are surprised when you find the invitation in your mailbox.

You have a thousand questions you want to ask her. What has it been like living in Berlin? Has she learned to speak German yet? Cognates Words in German that are similar to near cognates or exactly like perfect cognates their English counterparts—similar in form and in meaning. When the day of the show arrives, you go to the address on the invitation.

Shortly after you push the door open and step into a noisy, crowded room, you conclude that something must be wrong. Everyone around you is speaking in tongues. Just as you are about to turn and leave, your friend pushes through the crowd and grabs you by the arm. You are in the right place. Almost all of her admirers are Berliners, she explains, and what you are hearing is German. You stay close to your friend all night. You listen to the conversations she carries on with other people— auf Deutsch ouf doytsh. You are able to pick up on certain words: interessantes Object, gute Freundin, phantastische Party, modern, blau, braun.

Clearly, a new language—a hybrid, perhaps, of German and English—is being spoken, possibly even invented by this sophisticated crowd. How else would you be able to make sense of so many words? Both languages like to borrow words from the same places—namely, Greek, Latin, and other Romance languages.

But back to words that have the same meaning and similar form—the really great part about cognates is that they have the same meanings in German and in English. Pronunciation does vary, of course, but most of the time, these words are familiar to us. Perfect Cognates: Identical Twins The following table lists by article perfect cognates—words that are exactly the same in English and German. As a Rule In English, we have only one definite article, indicating specificity—a certain something is familiar and recognized in the referred to situation: the.

Grammatical gender is arbitrary—unpredictable, in fact! Remember: In German all nouns are capitalized. How do we recommend that you practice pronouncing these new words? Note: Ist expresses is in German. Close, but No Cigar The following table lists near cognates, words that are spelled almost—but not quite— the same in English and German. Although their spellings differ, their meanings are the same. Now would be a good time to recall the consonant shift that led to the separation and distinction of English from German. Consider, for example, the correspondence between the German t and English d.

Practice pronouncing the German words correctly. What Do You Think? Only one other person is sharing your compartment, a very attractive traveler, you are pleased to see—who alternates between reading a book and staring dreamily out of the window. You were tired when you boarded the train, but now sleeping is the farthest thing from your mind. Use the adjective and noun cognates and near cognates you have learned to engage your neighbor in conversation.

The weather is good. Is the book interesting? The author is popular. The perfume is attractive. The wind is warm. The character is primitive.

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The heart is wild. The infinitive form of a verb does not refer to a grammatical ghost that floats around in German sentences for all eternity. The following table is a list of verbs that are near cognates in their infinitive form. You can probably already read and understand the following fun and fanciful German sentences: 1. Der Onkel trinkt Wein. Der Tiger und der Elefant schwimmen in dem Ozean. Der Film beginnt in einem Supermarkt. Rey-lee-geeohn o-duhr kah-os? Ayn moh-deR-nuhs pRo-bleym, zAkt deyR yoon-guh, in-tey-lee-gentuh ou-toh.

Infinitive form The unconjugated form of a verb. In German the infinitive form of verbs end in -en or, in some cases, simply -n. Verbs are listed in the dictionary in the infinitive form. We utilize this infinitive form when using helping verbs such as had. Das Baby liegt in den Armen der Mutter. Mein Bruder hat eine Guitarre. No shortcut is without its pitfalls. In language as in life, false friends are misleading. What are false friends in language?

They are words spelled the same or almost the same in German and in English that have different meanings. As you can see, these two words, which are spelled exactly the same, have totally different meanings. A word of caution: Cognates can be of help to you in learning German, but false friends can trip you up. The following table lists some common false friends. Ready, Set, Go! What are idioms? He arranges for you to have breakfast at the hotel with his mother the following morning. The following morning at breakfast your motherin-law asks you how you managed to get through the night without her son.

Without realizing it, you have used the German idiom for having a one-night stand. Idiomatic expressions are speech forms or expressions that cannot be understood by literal translation—they must be learned and memorized along with their meanings. Most differ greatly from their English counterparts in meaning as well as in construction, but perhaps an even greater number differ only slightly. Idioms make a language colorful. Idiomatic expressions tend to be culturally specific because the lexical items a certain language relies on to express nonliteral meanings generally have significance in that culture.

Well, mustard does play a rather prominent culinary role in German, so take a guess. After all, would you rather have some mustard to go along with your Wurst, or two pennies? To help you get a clearer idea of what idiomatic expressions are, here are a few in English: sell down the river. The following table lists some German idiomatic expressions that correspond, more or less, with their English equivalents. As they tend to be frozen in form, they tend not to change, and hence are very much worth learning.

The following table lists a few commonly used German idiomatic expressions, their corresponding English meanings, and their origins—the premise here being that knowing the source of these idioms will help you remember them. Idioms Fixed phrases whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meanings of the individual words. They tend to be frozen in form and thus do not readily enter into other combinations or allow the word order to change.

You are at a loss for words. What you need are some expressions for travel and transportation. Look at the following table for some suggestions. Use the preceding table to fill in the blanks of the following sentences with the correct German expressions. I walk to the university. Sometimes it means tomorrow, sometimes in 10 years. Many time expressions have a wide range of interpretations, whereas others are more grounded and specific.

The following table has a few time expressions you should know. What German idioms of time would you use in the following situations? When your partner leaves on a business trip for the weekend, you say: 2. When you say goodbye to a friend you will be seeing later that evening, you say: 3. If the movie begins at 5 P. If you watch TV every now and then, you watch it: 7.

Anke Waldmann Contributor. Am Ende des Wie kann Freihe Am Ende des Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. Published May by Independent Bookworm first published More Details Original Title. Waldmann Family Saga 1. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Engels Freiheit , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Cahan, who was associated with the old guard of conservative American socialists, hated Norman Thomas and disliked Vladeck, his subordinate at the JDF, who represented the younger generation of Jewish labor leaders.

Thus, when the Austrian first visited the US in , Cahan felt insulted that he should fraternize with the likes of Thomas and Vladeck. Cahan may have been a tool of foreign interests in this case, but in reality, he did not need any encouragement. Sollmann was a journalist and SPD member of the Reichstag, as well as minister of the interior under Stresemann. Although he was on the executive committee of the SPD before , but did not hold any official position with Sopade. Despite preparing the way with a glowing introduction written by a friend in the New York Times , [] his trip also resulted in failure.

By , whether or not they acknowledged the fault of their hubris, the Sopade chiefs recognized the practical necessity of a stable base in America from which they could directly court the labor unions and private financiers. In spring , the Sopade sent its third delegate to the United States , Friedrich Stampfer, to seek the sponsorship of the American Federation of Labor and the Jewish Labor Committee for a permanent American delegation.

While Stampfer was in fact a member of Sopade, and of its exclusive inner-circle led by Otto Wels at the Prague bureau, Katz never had any such official position with the organization. He was a jurist in Germany until , when he fled to Paris fearing persecution for his Jewish ethnicity and socialist politics. He then served the League of Nations briefly as ambassador to Nanjing , China. In he emigrated to New York, where he joined a Columbia University think tank and founded the German-language weekly journal, Neue Volkszeitung , which would become the chief publicity organ of the GLD.

Katz also directed both the Rand School of Social Science, which was a pamphlet publisher affiliated with the American Socialist Party, and the The New Leader , a liberal anti-Communist magazine in existence since Max Brauer and Albert Grzesinski were two of its leading figures. Katz became executive secretary, probably the most powerful position in the group. The GLD disliked Karl Frank, his elite band of radical New Beginners, and their sycophantic cult of American supporters, largely from the liberal intelligentsia.

It proceeded to mount a vicious slander campaign against them, which included a bevy of newspaper articles and a whispering offensive in the US and abroad led by Stampfer. Thus, the German Labor Delegation quickly aligned itself against the AFGF in what would become a bitter rivalry that reproduced in New York a microcosm of the same conflicts that had riddled the German socialist exile community in Europe.

At the same time, AFGF supporters considered their own group as having exclusive ties to the underground resistance movement inside Germany. The Americans in the AFGF viewed this coalition and its partisans now in New York as the only people truly connected with the underground resistance movement.

The battle for primacy in American public opinion had been waged between the Sopade and the New Beginning group since , when Frank made his first fundraising trip to the US at the invitation of Vladeck and the Jewish Labor Committee, effectively beating the Sopade to the punch.

Yet, no evidence of embezzlement exists. David F. Seiferheld, a socially-conscious American textile executive, was treasurer of the American Friends of German Freedom after Adolph Held, and, while a sympathizer of the group, he had no reason to conceal irresponsible or criminal accounting. At the very least, the accounting of Frank and his friends was considerably more responsible and public than that of the Sopade in Prague. He hoped to thereby clear his reputation of a number of damaging rumors that had been trailing him ever since his break with the Sopade years earlier—among other things, that he was a Stalinist agent, an opportunistic swindler and a political adventurer.

He believed that the resolution of his individual case would have a healing effect on the great divisions within the European labor movement, making possible more unified action. Unfortunately the result was far from what he expected. Representatives from the GLD and AFGF agreed to form an investigative committee consisting of six members—three nominated by each side—presided by a neutral chairman. For the nonpartisan position of chairman, the two groups decided initially on Paul F. As a replacement, the two delegations selected Serafino Romualdi, an Italian anti-fascist and member of the Social Democratic Federation.

It was also agreed that Rudolf Katz could sit on the committee but not have a vote. The investigation would summon witnesses to testify on seven questions distilled from the accusations made by Stampfer, Seger, Cahan and Gaidies. Hearings began in June and continued fairly regularly until November.

At that point, in an effort to break the deadlock between the intransigent AFGF and GLD factions, the chairman Romualdi proposed the expansion of the committee by two additional presiding chairs. The committee could not make a decision on this proposal and meetings adjourned indefinitely. To be clear, the hearings were closed to the general public, but interested parties stayed informed.

The following April, Frank wrote a letter to Romualdi informing him that he had decided it would be best to officially conclude the investigation in light of the fact that it had been adjourned for six months and had no prospect of reaching a verdict. Probably not by coincidence, the letter was dated the very day before Romualdi left for South America on a long-term mission for the US Office of Inter-American Affairs—the chairman likely did not read it for some time.

The loss of yet another chairman is somewhat indicative of the amount of importance that neutral observers accorded the proceedings, i. The best anyone could hope for was a joint statement agreed upon by both factions. Buttinger had negotiated privately with Katz to produce such a statement some weeks before. An investigation needs the good will to conduct it fairly and people who have slandered someone unwittingly must be willing to repudiate such slander.

This is not the case at this time. Neither Stampfer nor Seger nor Gaidies ever appeared before the committee, despite repeated summonses. We regret that the members of the presiding committee. From the beginning, their attitude was passive. An investigation, not seriously pursued and not concluded, would in this way, simply be another factor in a factional fight, which in the long run can only discredit the entire emigration. The GLD faction received copies of this correspondence and reacted with two rather vicious pieces published simultaneously in the Neue Volkszeitung.

The GLD faction felt as if it had been the victim of a sort of coup de cour. Taking the statement of the AFGF faction as precedent, the authors finish with a tripartite statement of their own:. It is uncustomary and inadmissible that three members of a seven-member investigative committee—the very three selected by the accused—should state unilaterally explanations and judgments on the putative conclusion of an investigation that is not yet even remotely settled.

We take this as our basis in including here a factual and objective comment on the previous results of the investigation. The investigation proceedings are exclusive, and the petitioner [Frank] broke them off without sufficient reasons. The investigation can continue as soon as its regular operation is no longer hindered by certain obstacles that are by no means insurmountable. Whether and which conclusions will be drawn from the fact that some acting on their own authority abruptly prevented any further investigation, does not undermine our passing of a resolution.

The second piece, however, is another shot in the salvo initiated by Stampfer, Seger and Gaidies over a year before. He fought keenly against the Weimar Republic during the entire time of its existence with all legal and even some illegal means. Karl Frank was for 10 years a member of a totalitarian party [i. This man is nothing but a political adventurer, a special product of our corrupt times, a man who swims first with one then with another political current, whatever the present situation demands. Paul Hertz, a former member of the Sopade who had supported the New Beginning group since its inception, was called several times as a witness before the committee investigating Paul Hagen.

The declaration contains each question exactly as it was asked, followed by his reply. This piece serves as a guide for navigating the labyrinthine paths of German exile politics. Herein Hertz, who reflects with short hindsight upon these controversial issues that plagued Karl Frank in particular but also the exiled socialist movement as a whole, provides the historian with a more useful and concise perspective than the nearly impenetrable transcriptions of testimonies compiled from months of frustratingly futile hearings. The questions were lettered by the investigative committee.

Question A: Is it true that during the years Hagen carried out conspiratorial activity against the Executive of the Social Democratic Party of Germany; that he bribed an employee of the late Party President, Otto Wels, for the purpose of obtaining confidential correspondence of the Party Executive?

This question refers to the events surrounding the split of the Leninist Organization the Org. But the supposed radical new direction did not provide a basis for practical discussion among underground labor groups, as Neu Beginnen had done. The Sopade bureau chiefs, however, felt that their authority would be threatened by further collaboration with leftist groups, and especially with the Communists, as that seemed to them the logical consequence of such a strategy.

At the same moment that the representatives of the SPD disenfranchised the group, the Leninist Organization was reborn under new leadership as Neu Beginnen. In summer , news reached him that someone at the bureau had ordered the composition of a memorandum that listed the names and locations of many underground resistance fighters within Germany. Such a document was profoundly dangerous should it fall into enemy hands, and, moreover, it was completely unnecessary for the Sopade to have such a centralized registry of people over whom it exercised no direct control.

Frank felt that he must somehow acquire this memo before it fell into the wrong hands. His suspicions focused upon a certain Reinhold Schwabe, a Sopade office assistant whom many believed to be a Gestapo agent. Their suspicions were soon confirmed. The bureau fired him, and after his return to Berlin in , a wave of arrests followed that Hertz believes were the result of information from the memo given by Schwabe to his Gestapo superiors.

He too suspected that Schwabe was working for the Nazis. Neither Frank nor Adler ever had possession of the document. He confronted the assembled Sopade executive committee—among them Hertz—with the knowledge of the dangerous memorandum and asked for confirmation that the document did in fact exist. All claimed ignorance. According to Hertz, after Adler left, Wels and Hans Vogel admitted to him that they had lied, and that the memo was real.

Nothing further came of the incident. Charney Vladeck was perhaps the most important of these contacts; on him the second question bears:. Again, Hertz answers no. The third question also seems to rest upon a fictitious accusation; however, it leans a bit closer to the truth:. Sollmann was a Social-Democrat journalist and labor leader in Cologne who served briefly in the cabinet of Stresemann. In April he joined the executive committee of the SPD, only to be forced shortly thereafter to emigrate to Saarland , where he edited the anti-Nazi paper Deutsche Freiheit.

Sollmann repeatedly denied the accusation and it soon became a dead issue—that is, of course, until resurrected by the GLD. The article in question was in the March issue of Gegen den Strom and was one of the slanderous pieces that prompted Frank to ask for the formation of the investigative committee. Gaidies was a suspicious character who apparently hung around the Prague bureau with hopes of becoming an official in the socialist exile community. On one such attempt, Gaidies became convinced that Frank had denounced him as a Gestapo agent and had thus further tarnished his reputation in the Sopade.

Like the memorandum incident, this too had little effect on the exile community—it only fueled the general distrust of Gaidies and prompted the latter to slander Frank a few years later.

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His organization, the New Beginning group, garnered suspicion in equal measure. Every clause of this question betrays the sort of sentiment prevalent in the German political emigration, especially those in the United States. According to the adherents of the German Labor Delegation, the Sopade was the only legitimate body representing the German labor movement. Thus, they branded any such group as subversive and opportunistic. Its weak political apparatus, a nascent coalition government unprepared for the unified and decisive leadership necessary to guide Germany through the world economic depression, consisted of an SPD majority until They never considered the possibility that defeat was their own fault, because such an admission would mean that a complete revision of German socialist ideology and organization would be necessary.

The best that can be said of the latter is that it is forgotten in Germany , it has no authority there. The seventh and final question acts as a summation:. Question G: Is it true that in light of all the facts concerning his past and his activities Paul Hagen can under no circumstances be deemed a trustworthy political personality; that he has no mandate whatsoever to act in the name of German Social-Democracy, of the German Labor Movement or of the democratic and republican movements of Germany; that he is merely a political adventurer wholly and completely unworthy of support from any American groups who wish to assist the Social-Democratic Labor movement of Germany?

Here the chief motive of the accusations from which these questions arose becomes clear. This mandate was thus a double-edged sword: it both allowed for the preservation of the old SPD apparatus and thwarted all attempts at progressive reform within the party. Karl Frank never held any mandate, real or imagined, nor did he want one. His various past political affiliations could imply a fickleness of character, opportunism, or political adventurism—as his critics claim—but they also could indicate a progressive realism, a recognition that the party line rarely is in touch with the necessities of the moment.

His younger friend and fellow New Beginner Gerhard Bry recalls,. He was, no doubt, a man with very high qualities as a political leader. He was, as probably most political leaders, more intuitive than analytical, and his type of analysis ran often more in terms of power configurations, political leverage and organizational problems, than in terms of the categories of political science. Karl was skeptical of theoretical deductions as a guide to policy. Some highly theoretically inclined comrades regarded his procedures as crass pragmatism and thought that they did not offer sufficient guidance for setting a policy.

The pattern of his organizational activities in New York, which was to start organizations then leave them to friends and supporters to run—e. He sums up the quarrel in It pleases Messrs. Katz and Seger to poison those American liberals who are in favor of our efforts, with a systematic campaign which if it has not done more harm has at least encouraged the Vansittartites and discouraged certain sections of the American government to give us some of the facilities which we would have needed to be more successful in our difficult job.

That is how they understand their self-assumed guardianship for the rebirth of a democratic labor movement in Germany. It is no wonder that he made enemies in the exiled Social-Democratic camp because internecine conflict was precisely the sort of business with which they were all, including Frank, most familiar. The common foe was the growing trend among British and Americans to condemn Germans in toto for the crimes of the Nazis.

This argument was not limited to a condemnation of the current generations of Germans who either explicitly or tacitly supported the Nazis, but rather was one that denounced the German race throughout all time as a barbaric proliferator of violence and civil discord. These anti-Germans traced nearly every war and problem of the modern age to historical German aggression, going as far back as Frederick Barbarossa—a convenient blanket allocation of blame common to all brands of racism. The leading proponent of this way of thinking was Robert Vansittart, former chief diplomatic adviser to the British government.

In , he published a transcript of a series of broadcasts that he made for the BBC Overseas Program. Called Black Record: Germans Past and Present , the pamphlet traces the roots and manifestations of German aggression throughout the last two millennia. I have observed that some critics. I have said explicitly the opposite. I have said that the good exist, but that they have hitherto not been numerous enough to turn the scale. I have merely said that Germans have continually and copiously killed their neighbors, and how, and why.

I hope to help in preventing them from doing it yet again—a rather laudable object, I should have thought. In view of what follows, these statements have an air of apology. What else could I be? My whole policy has been based on that principle, and has therefore proved itself correct. For Vansittart, there is no significant difference between Germans and Nazis, just as there is little difference between Kant and Hitler.

Poor France , poor Belgium , poor England , he laments—for centuries they only desired peaceful coexistence with their fellow Europeans. That is because the British Empire stirs Germany to envy. It is very important to recognize this. What would these Pirates and Pledge-Breakers do? Hate does not need much of a reason anyhow.

If you study the butcher-bird and his larder you will soon be convinced that you cannot possibly make honourable terms with a butcher-bird. It will always insist on eating you. If he were not so serious, the work would make a fine parody. No more chances for Germany , chides Vansittart. Capitalism may be the cause of other evils—not this one. Socialism may be the cure of other evils—not this one. In a Churchillian call to arms, he speaks for all true Allies:.

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I speak for all the oppressed peoples of Europe when I declare that none of them will for a moment tolerate being tied to any Germany in any form after the war. We will have no more headers into philanthropy; she [ Germany ] cannot expect them. All these pleas and devices will be rejected. Last time [after WWI] the German end was indeed jerry-built. Clearly, in the face of such incorrigible enemies as the Germans, the Allies could show no mercy.

The target audience of this pamphlet was not only his fellow British, who amidst the Blitz needed little encouragement, but for the Americans whose country had not yet entered the war. Vansittart dedicated the work to Dorothy Thompson and had it published in Toronto , from where it easily could reach the American public. It is unclear precisely why he chose Thompson as his dedicatee—they were acquaintances from the time she was Berlin foreign correspondent for the New York Post —but one possible reason was to focus his propagandistic aim on one prominent American who often supported and sympathized with German exiles, including Karl Frank.

He observes that,. The German refugees in the United States and here [ England ] continue to sit pretty, and I do not blame them. They could not anyhow flock back to nothing: the underground movement in Germany has produced no substantial evidence of its existence. Those who endeavour to multiply the just men of the modern Sodom are reduced to concocting bogus lists of names [the ERC? The front cover of the pamphlet shows a graphic of the traditional German eagle crest—used as a symbol by the Weimar Republic —superimposed on a large swastika. No man living was better qualified to say these things.

They needed saying. They cannot be ignored. Frank quoted several pages of Lessons of My Life in the appendix of his second book, Germany after Hitler His rebuttal follows, first distancing himself somewhat from the stance presented in the pamphlet, Der kommende Weltkrieg , which argued for the centrality of a German revolution to defeat Hitler—Frank and his friends had shifted their support to an Allied military victory and a more general European revolution—and then accusing Vansittart of horribly misquoting it anyhow. On the contrary, those responsible for the pamphlet belong to that section of German anti-Nazis which is opposed to puppet governments.

In wartime, they are pure poison. In it, he charges that Vansittart and his followers seek to sterilize the German race. But I shall not have the effrontery to join their little firing squad! Some Americans were eager to participate in this Vansittartist anti-German campaign.


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  • Chief among them was Rex Stout. Rex Stout is best known as the writer who created the popular detective character Nero Wolfe. His life was a model of progressive liberalism, including the initiation of public school reform in the s, serving as an original board member of the ACLU est. In , he worked with the group Friends of Democracy to spread propaganda in the US in support of an immediate declaration of war on Japan and Germany ; this group distinguished itself in the use of smear tactics against its critics. The group consisted of thousands of authors and journalists nationwide with the purpose of fostering American patriotism and supporting the war effort.

    Nazism is merely a recent manifestation of Pan-Germanism, which for a century has been the prevailing political doctrine in Germany and has determined the attitude and purpose of German foreign policy. The two basic characteristics of Pan-Germanism have been and are a the belief that the Germans are a master race, and b the conviction that the master race [of] Germans should and will dominate the world. The Nazis differ from other Pan-Germans only in method both strategy and tactics , not in fundamentals of doctrine and objective. The board did not limit itself to generalities, but took care to disguise its personal attacks with innuendo.

    They attempt to appeal to the American love of justice and fair play in order to prevent the complete victory of the United Nations [i. Pearl S. Buck and others did not sign the June statement. We hope that the day will come when they will be numerous enough to control the policies of their nation.

    Founded in early , the Society represented the collaboration of several anti-German groups in the United States. This new group pandered to the widespread fear among Americans that Germany would rise again, even after defeat in the current war, to initiate yet another, a third world war. The remaining nine directors were all emigrants from Europe , most having arrived in the US before the s. Incidentally, they might have known each other briefly at the University of Vienna in , when Frank was a first-year student and Foerster was a professor of ethics and social science.

    He was a philosopher, educator and pacifist who published a book, Europa und die deutsche Frage [ Europe and the German Question], in , which anticipated many of the pan-Germanism arguments used by Vansittart. Someone from the Society had delivered a batch of Friedrich T. Luckily for Frank, some of his supporters at the UAW office stopped the mailing at the last minute. Men like Hagen, [Hubertus? The Germans who wrote it ought to be shot. Foerster had made similar criticisms of the Americans who had historically supported the likes of Frank, saying,.

    The resurrection of Germany after the first World War is due, to a large extent, to the systematic activities of powerful pro-German groups in America, which have exerted a growing influence on the political, economic, and cultural life in the United States ever since the end of the last century. Without the political, economic and ideological backing given to her in America , Germany would never have been able to prepare so thoroughly for World War II. Will foreign Christians please heed him. The unrelated Mann, a Viennese like Frank, had immigrated to the US in and lectured extensively throughout the Midwest on European cultural and political topics.

    Catholicism played an important role in his conception of pan-Germanism and in his no-surprise attitude toward Nazism, as it did with Foerster. In a speech of August 9, , to the Kiwanis Club of Des Moines , Iowa , [] Mann embarks upon the same historical odyssey favored by Vansittart, demonstrating that Frederick the Great was not a great liberal, but a great tyrant. Mann invokes the bogey of continued Nazi survival even after a German defeat, and his kicker:. Twenty-five thousand selected trustworthy Nazis [. They will claim that they have been true to their political faith throughout the time of the Nazi regime.

    They will demand to be placed in key positions in the reorganization of Germany. If this fear were to take hold, one need not trust a German ever again. They are to undermine the morale as well as the morals of the armies of occupation. Yet, they saturated the public with their propaganda, by both direct and underhanded means, and vigilantly opposed Frank and his supporters at every turn.

    He needed official support for many of his endeavors, not the least of which was the procurement of visas for the ERC. He had several New Beginning friends who worked for the OWI, but only director Elmer Davis had enough clout to save his reputation in that office. Two Books. What you read here may not be what you are hoping for; it is not altogether what Hagen is hoping for either. Herein, Frank paints a picture of Germany with blood, grease and soil—the front, factories and farms finally appear in a realistic light uninfluenced by the pervasive Nazi propaganda.

    Or so we are led to believe. Hunter College president George N. Frank and the New Beginning group had originally supplied those Sopade reports, known as the Green Reports , during the s, so the implicit claim to exclusivity is somewhat justified, assuming that the sources for the information remained the same. Frank was picking at objective scraps. But it is natural for any expert to exaggerate the scope and depth of the information available to him. With this lack of direct reports, the work of Frank and his supporters became very difficult—no longer were they merely a mouthpiece for sources within, simply letting the information speak for itself with little to interpret.

    Rather, the exclusivity claimed by Frank was now solely the product of the assiduity and comprehensiveness of his staff at the American Friends of German Freedom. It is difficult to imagine a general public audience reading this book. This was of course his American modus operandi. But Will Germany Crack? With an introduction by Elmer Davis and endorsements by Reinhold Niebuhr and popular newscaster Quincy Howe—all rather influential literary promoters—the book had all the necessary qualifications for insider success.

    All the right people knew about it and read it. Operation Torch, the US landing in North Africa , was the first engagement of American ground troops in the Western theater, and it would not take place until November. Thus, in June, the Third Reich appeared virtually impregnable and its armies unstoppable. The book demonstrates instead that if there were legitimate sources of active opposition within Germany , then, due to the enumerated weaknesses of the regime, they would actually have a great chance of success should there be a rebellion. Thus, American authorities should attempt to induce the German masses to rebellion through any available ideological and financial means.

    Another AFGF publication was In re: Germany , a regularly-updated bibliographic index of primary and secondary source material on the resistance movement and conditions within Germany. The image of a prosperous Germany dissuaded one from believing in its weaknesses, a condition that hindered any appeal to aid the underground and that perpetuated the dangerous condemnation of the entire German people for the crimes of the Nazis: a population without dissent that is thriving on economic and military success appears complicit in the actions of its government.

    As evidenced by the success of Vansittart and his followers, the belief in collective German guilt jeopardized any hope among exiles of enlisting Allied support for the underground or for a democratic postwar reconstruction. To combat the astronomical unemployment rate in the early s, Hitler enacted a comprehensive drive to stimulate industrial production, mainly through rearmament—more production obviously yielded more employment.

    Hitler had effectively created a war economy in Germany before there was actually a war. Also, many Germans, not just Nazis, hoped their country might through war achieve its rightful place as chief among European nations and avenge the perceived betrayal of Versailles. The war question had figured prominently in the New Beginning debates of the mids. The fall of National-Socialist power in particular, considering the atomization of the labor movement, could only be the direct or indirect result of a war in which the Nazi Reich was overthrown by democratic countries. That the war would be instigated by Nazi Germany was without a doubt.

    Instead of advocating or rejecting the war on sentimental grounds, the New Beginning group simply recognized its necessity as the only means to bring about the defeat of the Nazis. What he seeks in Will Germany Crack? Discipline, conformity and determination are the required characteristics of the totalitarian wasteland.

    Limit your luggage to absolute essentials. Say your good-byes before you come to the platform. Make up a team in your compartment, with the traveler who has been there the longest as. Do not shove with your elbows, and if anyone shows lack of discipline, reprimand him. Overwork, fatigue, and losses to the military were the causes. At a certain point, the government elected and supported by the German people led its nation across the Rubicon of defeat—or perhaps it was the Rhine —where dissent became rare and rebellion became unthinkable.

    Of course, this does not mean a revolt is imminent. It would be an illusion to expect atomized masses to be able to resist the machine. There is also this dilemma: The Nazis themselves have made it clear to the German people that they will perish in case they are defeated.

    Goebbels used this fear as an effective propaganda device. Frank articulates this idea more clearly in a September piece in Common Sense :. One thing, and one thing alone, holds [the German people] together in semblance of unity under Hitler. That thing is fear. Fear of the German Army and police apparatus, so long as the armed forces remain unbeaten and in being. But more important and quite unnecessarily so fear that defeat will mean unchecked vengeance, division into hopelessly uneconomic units, perpetual occupation and perhaps even extermination.

    Fear was certainly a common denominator among the German masses, but so too was apathy, which grew steadily after three long years of campaigns, bombardments and food shortages. This common feeling precluded any hope of revolution. Only in his second book, Germany after Hitler , published in January , does Frank finally acknowledge the impossibility of rebellion from within.

    The odd paradox—the closer the Allied victory came, the farther the hopes of the German resistance—is the grander manifestation of the particular paradox which came to define the political life of Paul Hagen: his relevance would dwindle shortly after the fall of Nazism. In , despite his disintegrated contacts with the underground movement and the dimming prospect of a labor rebellion, these thoughts were far from his mind.

    This strange fascination with high treason and powerful men of honor acting on their consciences to rid the world of a terrible dictator gripped the public mind at the time and has continued to hold the attention of resistance scholars since—easily more than half of the books and articles written about the Widerstand in the past half-century have centered upon Admiral W.

    Canaris, Adam von Trott zu Solz, and above all, the July 20, plot to assassinate Hitler in his East Prussian headquarters, which involved members of the aristocracy, the General Staff and various other collaborators: Carl Goerdeler, Wilhelm Leuschner, Julius Leber, et al. The romantic appeal of gallant men defending their Fatherland was and still is enchanting. Even if a clique of generals had the ability overthrow Hitler and the Nazi Party apparatus, such an action would hardly be in its own interests.

    Unless the Allies were to forcibly dismantle the bureaucracy, infrastructure and ideology of the Nazi State so completely as to essentially destroy Germany itself, a Generals Revolt would only perpetuate the system of totalitarian oppression and racial hatred that had methodically snuffed out every flame of democracy for the past decade. The only way to destroy the Nazi system was through a crushing military defeat. In an apparently unpublished commentary on the recent Hess flight to Britain , Frank writes,.

    Hitler sent Hess to England. Hess had no brainstorm. Hess flew to Scotland in a situation in which it would be of decisive importance if English perseverance, although strengthened by the prospect of increased American aid, could be demoralized with the help of an unusual ambassador. It is useless to speculate about the exact nature of this plan. Anything that Hess may say in the future to explain his escape and attest to his love for humanity is no longer of any importance.

    Frank tells his reader that these questions are useless. But where was the greatest potential for resistance and democratic ascendancy in Germany? Not in the bureaucracy, not in the churches, not with the businessmen and certainly not with the military—it was instead, naturally, with the socialist labor movement. Thus, the book Will Germany Crack? To extend the metaphor, one might liken Frank to a cautious antiques appraiser examining an old piece of porcelain—distress marks here; might break; be sure to take extra care—except he wanted the item to break.

    For example, the following two passages:. Farmers have been sent to prison because they were caught secretly milking their cows in the night before the inspectors came so that the cows would not seem to give much milk. Hitler effectively liquidated the petite bourgeoisie of artisans, shopkeepers and tradesmen; his intention, which was largely realized with a series of decrees in severely regulating independent business, [] was to reduce the middle class to proletarian status.

    Investments of astronomical proportions await business: industry is to be reorganized according to peace purposes [i. Wages will be kept low and credit high, economic regimentation will be largely reduced and state supervision made less bureaucratic.