Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 14 October 1939
Hitler has got his answer. The worst he can do is more tolerable than the prospect of a world made safe for Hitlerism. We did not enter this war lightly, and we shall not lightly recede from it. It is for Germany to decide how much longer she is to go on sacrificing to this Moloch.
If Hitler’s own estimate of German stupidity is sound, his lease is not yet out. What other man would have had the audacity to declare, as he did, that the German blood he shed in Poland was but a twentieth of what he expected to shed! The awful cost of Hitler to Germans alone, leaving out of account their wretched victims, already far exceeds the value of his services to that unhappy nation, and from this point forward he can bring them nothing but sorrow and bitterness. In France and England there are pacifists who, having failed to goad us into war with Japan, Italy, and Spain, and with Hitler after Munich, are now ready to make such terms with him as will ensure him every ill-gotten gain, and deliver democracy bound before evil triumphant.
But they do not speak with the voice of England or of France. In all true men and women to-day there is a simple faith and conviction that neither peace nor security are to be had until this monstrous tyranny is overthrown.
The shocking peroration to Hitler’s Reichstag speech, in which he breathed threatenings and slaughter against those who dared to deny him his vile victories and their infamous fruits, reveals the homicidal nature of the man. He pretends horror at the thing he means to do. He foresees apocalyptic massacres which he has the power to order and the power to prevent. He is ready to launch his armed might against the Western Front and to shower death and destruction on the people of Great Britain and France, knowing that in the very act he condemns Germans to all, and more than all, the horrors they can inflict.
Truly the Devil is loose in Europe, and no suffering and sacrifice will be shirked by those who have the vital task of enchaining him. No proposals of peace can have any validity, proceeding from such a quarter. When Germany is once more clothed and in its right mind, when Europe is rid of the evil spirit of aggression, summed up in the word Hitlerism, a durable and just peace will be possible. If Germany is to be saved from re- lapse into Communism, if she is not to go down once more into military defeat and economic chaos, she must choose quickly between her evil genius and reconciliation with civilisation. When the battle is fairly joined, it will be too late.