George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers
Towards Armageddon up to September 26th:
From September 26th to October 1st and the Munich Agreement
On April 24th, 1938, Herr Henlein, in a speech at Karlsbad on behalf of the whole Sudeten German population and his Party, issued the following eight demands. Not one of these demands was not originally guaranteed or implicit in the Memoranda presented by the Czech Delegation to the Peace Conference.
Henlein's Eight Karlsbad Demands of April 24th, 1938 were:
On the other hand the whole school of "anti-Realist" politicians of the Masaryk type, in their mad pursuit of illusions and secret ambitions, have suppressed and distorted facts in the service of a hypocritical morality, which has enthroned lies and calumnies and brought about war, famine, massacre, and tyranny in the name of international peace, plenty, and freedom. With pretentious scholarship and forged documents they have relied on general ignorance and emotional appeals in place of knowledge, judgment, and patient research.
Professor Masaryk in his summary of the aims of the Peace Terms in the New Europe, by which "the overthrow of theocratic dynasticism and the smashing of the Prussian militarism is to be achieved at the battle-field," described this as "driving out the devil by Beelzebub." It is of interest today perhaps to select for notice two of his catalogued 34 aims. The first may possibly represent his "moral" ambitions - for propaganda use - and the other the "real-politik," which must be kept very much in the background.
"Or," he might have added, "at any rate their existence officially denied."
Since Henlein's demands were made, every provocation was offered, every effort was made to force Germany to take action to rescue the Germans of Bohemia so that Hitler could be named the "aggressor," and in this way a general European war precipitated which would drag in Great Britain. Incidents were multiplied day by day. Czech tanks and armoured cars patrolled Sudetenland and shot down unarmed Sudetens for singing German patriotic songs. They were shot down on the frontier for trying to escape into Germany. The British Press maintained a conspiracy of silence about the conditions in Bohemia but espoused the case of the Czecho-Bolsheviks.
The crisis which developed with such rapidity in September and October over the ill-treatment of the Sudeten Germans in Bohemia followed close upon, and was connected with, the incorporation of German-Austria into the Reich on March 12th. Soviet secret diplomacy had hoped to find a cause of general war in the matured plans to Bolshevise Austria. Thousands of Austrian-German National Socialists had for months and even years before been in prisons and concentration camps and were not released until, at the invitation of Dr. Seyss-Inquart, the only National Socialist Minister in Austria, and the overwhelming majority of the population, Hitler marched, without a shot being fired, in triumphal procession to Vienna. I have already given a description of the treatment accorded to German-Austrians in Austria before the Anschluss.
Hardly a man in Vienna knew an hour before that their deliverance was at
hand. Yet, on that very day the Bürgermeister of Vienna,
Richard Schmitz, in close association with von Schuschnigg, the Austrian
Chancellor, and Ludwig Draxler, Finance Minister, sent armed Communists
on lorries round the streets of Vienna bearing aloft placards with the slogan:
"Fight for Schuschnigg and Moscow!"
The League of Nations Union immediately got busy organising propaganda on behalf of persecuted German and Austrian Jewish "refugees". In Vienna alone there is a population of about 176,000 Jews out of a total of 191,000 professing Jews in Austria. Hundreds of the wealthy ones besieged the banks, drew out money and valuables and drove frantically to the frontier, only to find it closed against them. The Union's Refugees' Committee was set up to agitate against and raise enormous funds in England on behalf of imaginary and non-existent "refugees" - that is, insofar as the term applies to persons not expelled from their country of origin.
It is difficult to state precisely who is a "refugee", and still more difficult to state why the favoured alien "refugees," on whose behalf enormous funds are raised in this country, should be given asylum and money, and should be given employment, or trained for employment, at the expense of English-born workmen of native parentage and English, Scotch, or Welsh descent. It is equally hard to say why "political refugees" of the wealthier classes should be allowed to displace Englishmen in their professions, in University posts, or to command English labour by reason of their privileged international connections in our economic and financial-credit system. It is, however, of the utmost importance to recognise that until this policy of "inviting the cuckoo to lay her eggs in our nest" is reversed, the effects of it are cumulative and likely to become increasingly irremediable. Some of these effects, in consequence of our grave unemployment problems and the already existing over-urbanisation of industrial England, are rendered much more serious by official recognition that this mass immigration of aliens, mainly avowing revolutionary and "anti-Nationalist" intentions, and neither being capable of owing, nor willing to owe, allegiance to any nation not directed from Moscow or a Zionist Empire of the future, is to be harboured permanently, and naturalised until such time as they can, in their leisure, find richer or more comfortable hosts elsewhere.
In a recent study of the question Sir John Hope Simpson explains:
This statement is made by the Director of a "Survey Report on Refugees," issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs - an institute which professes to be an unofficial and non-political body. It may safely be conceded that its politics, at any rate, are not national politics. It is very noticeable that in this "Survey," published by Chatham House, the compilers, while dealing at length with the situation in other European countries of refuge, are peculiarly reticent about the situation insofar as it affects England, which appears to be entirely ignored.
The definition of the term "refugees," according to the Convention Concerning the Status of Refugees Coming from Germany, signed at Geneva on February 10th, 1938, and implementing a resolution adopted by the 18th Assembly of the League of Nations, reads as follows:
1. For the purpose of the present Convention, the term, 'refugees coming from Germany,' shall be deemed to apply to
(a) Persons possessing or having possessed German nationality and not possessing any other nationality who are proved not to enjoy, in law or in fact, the protection of the German Government.
(b) Stateless persons not covered by previous Conventions or Agreements who have left German territory after being established therein and who are proved not to enjoy, in law or in fact, the protection of the German Government.
2. Persons who leave Germany for reasons of purely personal convenience are not included in this definition."29
It is, of course, quite clear that any remaining restrictions to Aliens Immigration are rendered illusory by British commitments under the Refugees' Convention, sponsored by the League of Nations, which in one form or another it has been Mr. Winston Churchill's object for years past to encourage. In 1903 Mr. Churchill led the attack in opposing the Aliens Bill. In 1906 he is thus reported in the Manchester Guardian, January 9th:
Has Mr. Churchill ever been accused of representing English interests?
During the next four months a Mansion House Fund and innumerable appeals on behalf of refugees from Austria, Germany and Czecho-Slovakia were broadcast from the B.B.C. and in the British Press. The League of Nations Union's Refugees' Committee co-ordinated and screened the activities of innumerable other propaganda bodies, whose revolutionary and internationalist aims were partly disguised under their philanthropic humanitarian titles. Represented on it were: The Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, The Council for German Jewry, The Jewish Refugees' Committee, The Save the Children Fund, The Armenian (Lord Mayor's) Fund, The Churches Committee for Non-Aryans, The Inter-Aid Committee for Children from Germany, The International Student Service, The Society of Friends (Germany Emergency and Austrian Committees), The Catholic Committee for Refugees from Germany, The Co-ordinating Committee for Refugees.30
The previous summer the League of Nations Union and the Cecil family had had the valuable assistance of a representative in the Foreign Office in the person of Lord Cranborne, then Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, under Mr. Anthony Eden, former Foreign Secretary. At the Assembly of the League in September, 1937, Lord Cranborne (United Kingdom) "made a determined effort to secure a decision regarding the work of continued assistance to refugees after 1938."29
At the 19th Annual General Meeting of the General Council of the League of Nations Union, in Minute no. 850, it was announced that "the Jewish race was suffering most acutely" and demands were made for extended facilities for Jewish immigration to England, the British Empire, to Palestine and the Mandated Territories and to the Crown Colonies. The Archbishop of Canterbury espoused their cause, and in June, 1938, led a deputation to the Home Office which "sympathetically considered the right of refugees to enter this country and receive employment and training for trades and professions.... The deputation was convinced of the willingness and desire of the Home Office to work in close co-operation with those great voluntary organisations represented on the Union's Refugees' Committee." The Archbishop's deputation was impressed that "the Government would welcome help in educating public opinion in that direction." (see Minute 850.)
By the time I reached Vienna, motoring from Poland in the beginning of September, 1938, mass migrations of Viennese Jewish "refugees" to England and other parts of the British Empire were well on the way. Approaches to the British Consulates in Vienna were blocked with thousands of Jews clamouring for British visas. A large quota were besieging the English Chaplaincy, applying for baptismal certificates in order to qualify for the special benefits and assistance in registering for employment in England under the schemes of the "Churches Committee for Non-Aryan Christians" and other associated bodies. By the unflagging and persevering efforts of the temporary English chaplain, the permanent resident English chaplain being on leave, hundreds of Viennese Jews were weekly being baptised at the improvised font in the "office-chapel" at the English chaplain's residence, which is situated opposite the English church.
The church, unfortunately, was not then available owing to its being closed for the annual cleaning and re-decorations. Through the courtesy of the temporary English chaplain I received personal assurance that the good work of "conversion" was proceeding with the utmost dispatch. I gladly undertook to testify to the work of this hard-pressed representative of the Church of England who, without other clerical assistance, succeeded in converting, preparing for baptism, and baptising so many hundreds of Jewish candidates for entry into the Anglican community, of whom not one in a hundred could speak a word of English. Qualifications for baptism were strictly laid down and complied with. Only those were accepted who were furnished with (a) a British visa, (b) an Ausweis or release from the Jüdischer Kultur-Bund, the Jewish congregation, and (c) the German police permit to leave the country - and not return. Of course, in addition, converts paid the moderate baptismal fees.
I am informed that it takes four days between application and baptism, during which time candidates are entitled to four hours' instruction in the tenets of the Anglican faith and in the Catechism. This, it must be admitted, is not too long a period for those who cannot speak a word of English. I am informed, also, that it is through the Anglican door of baptismal waters that alien Jews can most rapidly prepare for "assimilation and absorption" in their new English home-land, flowing with milk - canned in Switzerland and imported under arrangements of the Milk Marketing Board, and honey - imported from Russia under arrangements of the Board of Trade.
By an International Convention of February 10th, 1938, which came into
force on October 27th, signed by the United Kingdom, Belgium, Cuba,
Denmark, the Catalonian Republic of Spain, France, Norway, the
Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and
Czecho-Slovakia, German "refugees" are given the right to reside in these
countries of refuge. It provides for the issue of a "travel document" to take the
place of a passport. An additional protocol extends these benefits to
"refugees" coming from the territory which formerly constituted