Chronicle of a Downfall: Germany 1929-1939 by Leopold Schwarzschild

By Leopold Schwarzschild

Few figures of interwar Germany have been as influential as Leopold Schwarzschild, the bright editor of the liberal journal 'Das Tage-Buch'. within the doubtful years of the Weimar Republic, Schwarzschild grew to become recognized for his perceptive political analyses and critique of the industrial guidelines of successive governments within the twilight of Germany's first scan with democracy. while he used to be pressured to to migrate in 1933, following Hitler's upward push to strength, he pursued his research of advancements in Germany from Paris, the place he resumed ebook of his magazine below the recent identify 'Das Neue Tage-Buch', whereas additionally mounting a livid assault at the eu powers taken without warning by way of the Nazi ascendancy. 'One factor is already past query today...', he wrote within the spring of 1933, '...part of the hot period is an unremitting descent into a few form of army conflagration'. Winston Churchill, a good admirer of Schwarzschild, made considered one of his later books required studying for the battle cupboard, but his campaigning journalism hasn't ever earlier than seemed in English. In bringing his writings to an English-speaking readership, Chronicle of a Downfall will fix Leopold Schwarzschild to his rightful position as probably the most poignant chroniclers of the autumn of German democracy and the descent of Europe into international struggle II.

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It is not only his inability to tolerate dissent that recalls Wilhelm II; not only his uncontrollable urge to have a finger in every pie; not only his tendency to get carried away with his ideas which, based on inadequate knowledge and poor logic, spring from impulse rather than reason. Comments such as ‘Blood must flow, sooner or later’ contain more concrete similarities. Incidents such as the interview he gave an English newspaper at the end of 1927 which, when it appeared in the Viennese Neue Freie Presse a few days later, had already become so absurd and grotesque that even he had to declare its publication ‘completely unwelcome and not appropriate to the times’ – such incidents are a compelling reminder of those dark days when the whole of Germany rose in a fury of despair against the interview given to the Daily Telegraph by their divinely appointed lord and master.

He knew that they had settled the question of sanctions but had not raised his other ‘private’ points at all. While on 31 December he might well still have believed that he, albeit without authorisation, could perhaps lead the way for the authorised German representatives, on 13 January he knew that his unauthorised private ‘conditions’ were in complete contradiction to the official position on these negotiations. He could still take them back. He could still explain that he would convey his personal opinions to the ministers, but that naturally the final decision would rest with them, the sole plenipotentiaries.

Will we have to put up with him until then? Will the Reichsbank cabinet remain the focus of the stultification of the nation, the corruption of public opinion, the disruption of business, conspiracy and agitation, just as von Tirpitz’s Navy Department was the focus of the infection that spread across the whole of Germany? The better the country gets to know this phenomenon, the more difficult its machinations will become, the less use it will be as a public face. Anyone who has sensed that this man represents the most terrifying danger for Germany, the new Wilhelm, the new Tirpitz, the new Ludendorff, the new Hugenberg, anyone who has come to see that the policies he represents are sending us at breakneck speed into the most grandiose, most undeserved plutocracy in the history of the world, must pass on the warning, in speech and print, from armchairs and rostrums.

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