Background: This is the next-to-the-last issue of the Redner-Schnellinformation at the German National Library. It has two parts. The first expresses outrage at English Lord Vansittart’s statements about re-educating Germans after the war. The second discusses Allied carpet bombing of German cities.
The source: Redner-Schnellinformation, Mitte Februar 1944.
New British Arrogance
Vansittart on the Re-education of Germany
The well-known Lord Vansittart gave a special interview to the London correspondent of the Svenska Dagbladet.
According to the Svenska Dagbladet Vansittart is thought to be England’s best expert on Germany. Now he is on a crusade — a word he himself uses for his activities — from city to city in England, speaking about the fate of Germany after peace. Whatever one may think of his ideas, the Svenska Dagbladet writes that he has great influence on English public opinion.
In answer to the question of how long the military occupation of Germany (in the event of an English victory) should last, Vansittart answered that this period should be long and dependent on developments, but presumably 20-30 years. This depends on success in re-educating Germany.
Asked about the problem of re-educating the German people, Vansittart said: There will be very few reliable teachers in Germany after the war is over. He fears that all of the textbooks and perhaps most of the current teachers will have to be replaced. New textbooks can be written in a relatively short time, but it will certainly be difficult to find new teachers. Until they can be found and trained, Germany be forced to accept a lower level of education.
In coming meetings and mass meetings, we have to talk about the outrageous arrogance of claiming that the English have to educate the Germans. The English are a typically uneducated people who have not produced a single musician, and only one writer of stature (as is well-known, little is known about Shakespeare as a person; his name first became known in Germany; Bernhard Shaw is Irish). Painting is a foreign art in the country — not even to mention sculpture and architecture — and it has contributed very little to modern European intellectual life. It is outrageous for it to imagine itself teacher to the most cultured people in the world.
That is outrageous insolence on the part of this people of unemployment and slums, of social and moral decay, a people that has distinguished itself in history only by developing methods of exploitation, that given current population trends in thirty years will not even be as big as Romania, and whose rate of venereal disease is climbing tremendously.
In response to the claim that there will not be enough suitable teachers and textbooks for the British educational program in Germany and that the German people will have to accept a lower level of education for a period, one can only say: Only a British lord could say something so fatuous and stupid.
We know well enough that the British only want to conceal something. If they suffer a few blows at Cassino or Anzio and experience a few major air attacks, they come up with such things and arrogantly say: “And that brings us to the teacher question!”
Our repeated claims that Anglo-American air gangsters are aiming only at residential areas where the German civilian population lives is confirmed by Collin Bendall, the air force expert of the Daily Mail. According to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, he said that carpet bombing is the only effective strategy for a long-term bombing offensive. Over the course of the war, precision bombing has been replaced by carpet bombing. The Americans, too, who before coming to England planned to implement precision bombing using instruments have had to give up on the idea and now use the carpet bombing called for by Lord Cranborne. This is the only form of bombing that justifies the high cost of the air war. (!)
The Sunday Chronicle wrote along similar lines on 13 February: “During nighttime it is simply impossible to distinguish between industrial areas and the homes of workers.”
The opponent, therefore, is no longer interested in attacking individual factories, thereby damaging our war industry, but rather wants to destroy entire sections of cities by carpet bombing, that is, to murder defenseless women, children, and old people who have nothing to do with the war. Thus the name “Murder Corporation.” In this war, they are attempting through carpet bombing to do to German cities and the civilian population what they brutally did to kill people in India, South Africa, and in the Opium War.
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