Background: “Mungo” was the pen name of Valentin J. Schuster (1900-1945), an Austrian satirical writer who in 1939 was happy to be a German. He had a rather unsavory career. This essay, a satire on Jewish emigrants, comes from a collection of pieces the title of which translates as “The Martians Are There!” Various pieces satirize the British, the Jews, and those who do not fully support National Socialism. Should you be interested, here is a more accurate account of the voyage of the St. Louis. Schuster committed suicide shortly after the war.
The source: Mungo, “Die Panic Party,” in Die Marsbewohner sind da! Politische Satiren (Berlin: Carl Stephenson Verlag, 1939), pp. 50-62.
The Panic Party
Ships sail the blue oceans around the globe. Jews sit in the bright recliners on the sun deck. They have turned their backs on Europe. They point confidently over the horizon to the world that awaits them. Liberal newspapers encourage them, report on German barbarism, and speak of the promised lands that are doing all they can to eliminate the disgrace we have committed against the Jews.
One of these ships was the “Saint Louis,” fully loaded with Jewish hopes and accompanied by the blessings of the better world that waved white flags at them as they threw off the land lines.
The parting sorrow that friendly England and France felt was really rather brief and rapidly overcome, and some of the Puritans breathed a sigh of relief, but only after a quick look around to be sure no one was looking. And so the ship pointed its bow in the direction of Cuba to bless that happy isle of rum-drinkers.
The Cubans are liberal and fond of the Jews, or so the English newspapers said. But the Cubans have strict laws and the harbor commissioner shrugged his shoulders in regret as the Jews attempted to land.
At first they were insolent. When that did no good, the panic party appeared on deck. Women messed their hair, children ran all over, a Jew had to be held back by five others to keep him from leaping overboard. The harbor commissioner was deeply shaken, the Cubans on the pier extraordinarily moved. Words were said about barbaric Germany, but, alas, the laws prohibited the Cubans from welcoming the Jews and handing over the rum trade to them.
The “Saint Louis” became a “Flying Dutchman.” It sailed from harbor to harbor, and despite the wonderful work of the panic party no one was willing to relieve it of its pitiable freight.
Soon there were more “Flying Dutchmen.” They sailed the South Seas, circled Australia, took on fresh water in Shanghai, tried to land at Samoa, and complained their way across half the world.
Old salts cross themselves when they meet such a ship. The shrill shouts of slender Jewesses resound across the ocean’s surface. Children howl like foghorns and five men are still holding a sixth, who is trying to leap into the sea to end the shame that has been done to him.
It is all quite a test of nerves for the better world of cultured people. Their faces grow red with excitement, and only with difficulty are the men kept back from enlisting to fight the Reich. Fortunately, as carriers of culture they are pacifists, and the unwritten rules of the liberal Knigge [the German equivalent of Emily Post] prohibit them from bearing arms. And the written laws of their land prohibit them from accepting the Jews, so the “Flying Dutchman” must sail over the horizon, accompanied by the hope that they will somewhere find a country where the Jews can lay their tired heads in the laps of a new home.
But the work of the panic party is not entirely unsuccessful. One Jew races across the border to Holland and throws himself down, heedless of his good trousers, before a fine representative of the Dutch army. The Dutch soldier was on Sumatra for twelve years where he encountered headhunters and members of secret cults who fed young girls to the holy tiger. But what the Jew told him froze his blood. The poor refugee had seen violence done to his own daughter by the rude National Socialists! They even made him put his glasses on so that he would miss no details of the horrors inflicted on his wife. The Hollander was amazed, reached into his pocket, and gave him a Dutch guilder. Were the Jew the proprietor of a bar in America’s wild west, he would have framed the coin as a memento of his first success. But he put it in his pocket and moved on to tell the same story of his family elsewhere.
Another Jew came up with a different plan. As he arrived in Jew York he displayed neither his hacked off hands nor the empty sockets where his eyeballs had been. Instead, using his powerful elbows he forced his way off the ship and amazed the Americans by falling on his belly and kissing the street, which was captured by two waiting press photographers. The reward was a lifetime subscription to the newspaper in which the picture appeared and a chewing gum distributorship for Minnesota and Albana [sic]. The legend grew that he kissed the free earth of Roosevelt’s USA after escaping the Medieval torture chambers of Greater Germany.
Europe is a sinking ship that the Jews are fleeing along with women and children. They sail the high seas with pain in their hearts, hoping to find a rescuing coast with friendly people ready to receive them.
There is some sense to England’s attempts to save Palestine for the Jews, whatever the cost, for what would the Jews be without the Wailing Wall? Their whole history is a cavalcade of the Panic Party. They boast about having lived for centuries in the Ghetto, holding this for great heroism. What nation ever let itself be cooped up in a ghetto? It would prefer to die in a hopeless struggle instead! The Ghetto is no invention of barbaric nations. It is a piece of genuine Jewry, just as criminals inevitably result in prisons.
So they wander complaining through the world, pretending suicide to awaken pity, and let children and women scream to arouse sympathy. They fall on their knees begging Dutch soldiers to shoot them, expecting a guilder for their cowardly comedy. They kiss the pavement of New York to be able to travel around as a chewing gum salesman. They do things that anyone else would find humiliating, but they see it as heroism instead.
Howling and chattering, they wander about the world showing their cowardice and pointing their dirty fingers our way. They are vermin who attempt to prove that their parasitic existence is God-ordained. So deep is their cowardice that they never dare to say who it was who really sent them out into the world.
Was it we who sent them off to Cuba? Was it we who denied them the right to work in France? Is it our fault that Australia, Canada, the U.S.A., Sumatra, and God knows who else refuse to let the Panic Party land?
No, it was the democratic nations who are using the Jews in a game of political chess against the Reich. The democratic world, the better world, encouraged the Jews when the ancient German Ostmark [Austria] was still separated from the Reich. They encouraged those in Czechoslovakia to wage a war of hate against Germany, assuring them that democratic guns would speak if we dared to do anything about it.
The Jews complain about us? They should thank the democracies that put them in their admittedly unpleasant situation! Where are the democratic nations ready to receive them without condition?
As far as we are concerned, they can wring their hands in their lifeboats until they look like old washer women. We do not care if ships sail the oceans and find no harbor. Ahasver [the legendary Wandering Jew] has been moving around the world since a bit longer than 1933 without finding rest. Did we send him on his way?
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