Onward Christian Soldiers
This new version of Onward Christian Soldiers that I’ve compiled consists of the original contents published by Noontide Press in 1982 plus the “missing” text that, for reasons explained below, was in the Swedish version published in 1942.
I’ve also included some supplementary texts here giving the history of the missing parts of Day’s book. Also book reviews by Revilo Oliver and Amazon readers (see Part 1).
Maps of Northern Europe & the Baltic States
THE REST OF DONALD DAY by Paul Knutson — 1984
EDITORIAL NOTE by Liberty Bell
The Resurrection of Donald Day — A review by Revilo P. Oliver. The Liberty Bell — January 1983
TWO KINDS OF COURAGE by Revilo P. Oliver. The Liberty Bell — October 1986
ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS
Permit Me To Introduce Myself * (all new)
1 Why I did not go Home *………………………………. 1
2 The United States *………………………………………. 7
3 Latvia ………………………………………………………… 21
4 Meet the Bolsheviks *………………………………….. 41
5 Alliance with the Bear *……………………………….. 53
6 Poland ……………………………………………………….. 63
7 Trips ………………………………………………………….. 85
8 The Downfall of Democracy * ………………………. 93
9 Jews …………………………………………………………… 101
10 Russia *………………………………………………………. 115
11 Lithuania * ………………………………………………….. 131
12 Danzig ……………………………………………………….. 145
13 Estonia ……………………………………………………….. 151
14 Sweden ………………………………………………………. 159
15 Norway ………………………………………………………. 169
16 Finland ………………………………………………………. 183
17 England *……………………………………………………. 197
18 Europe *…………………………………………………….. 201
19 Epilogue *…………………………………………………… 204
Index of Names ………………………………………………….. 205
* Contains new material (dark blue text) missing from original Noontide edition.
of Northern Europe 1920s (click to enlarge in new window)
of Baltic States 1920s (click to enlarge in new window)
LIBERTY BELL PUBLICATIONS
THE REST OF
Donald Day, who had been for many years the foreign correspondent of the Chicago Tribune in northern Europe, wrote a record of his observations, Onward, Christian Soldiers, in 1942. His English text was first published as a book in 1982. It was printed by William Morrison and appeared under the imprint of the Noontide Press of Torrance, California, As Professor Oliver pointed out in his review of that book in Liberty Bell for January, 1983, the text had been copied, with some omissions and minor changes, from an anonymously issued mimeographed transcription of a defective carbon copy of the author’s manuscript, which had been brought to the United States in someway, despite the vigilance of Franklin Roosevelt’s surreptitious thought-police.
That was not the first publication of Day’s book. A Swedish translation, Framat Krististridsman, was published by Europa Edition in Stockholm in 1944. (That paper cover, printed in red, green, and black, is reproduced in black-and-white on the following page.)
Copies of this book still survive in Sweden and are even found in some public libraries. There may still be a copy in the Library of Congress, where, however, it was catalogued and buried among the very numerous books of a different Donald Day, a very prolific writer who midwifed the autobiography of Will Rogers and produced book after book on such various subjects as American humorists, the folk-lore of the Southwest, the tourist-attractions of Texas, and probably anything for which he saw a market, including a mendacious screed entitled Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Own Story. By a supreme irony, the Library concealed Framat Kristi stridsman in its catalogue by placing it between the other Day’s Evolution of Love and his propaganda piece for the unspeakably vile monster whose millions of victims included one of the last honest journalists.
The Swedish translation contains some long and important passages that do not appear in the book published in California and are not found in the mimeographed copy. By translating these back into English, I can restore Donald Day’s meaning, but, of course, I cannot hope to reproduce exactly the words and style of his original manuscript. I can also restore from the Swedish the deficiencies of the mimeographed transcript.
It seems impossible to determine now whether the parts of Day’s work that are preserved only in the Swedish were deleted by him to shorten his text when he sent a typewritten copy to the United States or were added by him before he turned his manuscript over to the Swedish translator at about the same time. At all events, the Swedish now alone provides us with some significant parts of bay‘s book and many Americans will want to have Day’s Work complete and entire.
For the convenience of the reader, I have, by arrangement with the publisher of Liberty Bell, included corrections of the printed English text where it departs, through negligence or misunderstanding, from the mimeographed text from which it was copied. I have passed over obvious typographical errors in the printed book, and omitted small and relatively unimportant corrections. For example, near the end of p. 44 of the printed book, the sentence should read, “All reported that the officials of the Cheka, later known as the GPU and NKVD, were Jews.”
Day did not use footnotes, so the reader will understand what all the footnotes [indicated by the symbol *] on the following pages are my own explanations of the text.
The supplements below are arranged in the order of pages of the printed book, as shown by the note in the small type that precedes each section, The three sources are discriminated typographically thus; Italics show what is copied from the printed text to give continuity.
Ordinary Roman type is used for what is in the mimeographed copy but was omitted from the printed version. This, of course, is precisely what Day wrote in English.
What I have translated back from the Swedish appears in this style of type. These passages, as I have said, convey Day’s meaning without necessarily restoring exactly the words he used in his English original, from which the Swedish version was made.
With the foregoing supplements, we have at last as accurate a text of Donald Day’s Onward, Christian Soldiers as we are likely to have, barring the remote possibility that the manuscript Day gave to his Swedish translator may yet be discovered.
The Swedish translation is pedestrian, as indeed is Day’s English style, but a comparison of the Swedish with the extant parts of the English assures me of the translator’s general competence. In one passage, which we have only in the Swedish, in which Day reports his refusal to become a well-paid and dignified member of our Diplomatic Service with a “little Morgenthau” as an “adviser” to tell him what to do, the translator was evidently confused by the irony of some English phrase such as “executive for a Jew” and reversed Day’s obvious meaning;, this was corrected in the foregoing text.
The mimeographed version is evidently a transcription from Day’s carbon copy, with only such errors as only the most expert typists can entirely avoid. There is, however, one very odd error in the mimeographed version corresponding to our printed page 4 above; it reads “the Great Rocky mountains of the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.” That is geographically absurd, of course, and the Swedish (stora Rijkiga Bergen) shows that Day wrote “Great Smoky mountains,” as we have, printed above. It is probably only a coincidence that the Swedish word for “Smoky” could have suggested, to a person who knew no Swedish, the error made by the typist in California who copied Day’s carbon copy.
When Day relies on his recollection of what he was told years before, his memory is sometimes faulty, and we have naturally made no changes in what he wrote. He makes an obvious error on our page 4, where he says that the Cherokees were driven from their lands and moved to Indian Territory “toward the end of the last century.” Actually, the expulsion of the Cherokee Nation by an American army took place in 1838. The Cherokees, by the way, were the most nearly civilized of all the Indian tribes in the territory that is now the United States and Canada, and it is true that their expulsion from the lands that had been guaranteed to them by treaty inflicted great hardships on them: they lost most of their property, including their negro slaves, and large numbers of them perished as they were quite brutally herded from the Appalachians almost half way across the continent to what is now the southern border of Arkansas.
Ethnologists who have made intensive studies of the Indians of North America (e.g., Peter Farb) regard Sequoyah (Sequoia) as perhaps “the greatest intellect the Indians produced.” He was the son of a Cherokee woman by an unidentified white trader, and, growing up with the mother’s people, regarded himself as a Cherokee. He, however, was an exception to what Day says about half-breeds. Day may have been confused about the date of the expulsion because a few of the Cherokees succeeded in hiding from the perquisition in the wilds of the Great Smokies and were eventually given the small reservation they now occupy east of Bryson City in the toe of North Carolina. There was some agitation about them “near the end of the last century.”
The circumstances in which Day’s carbon copy was smuggled into the United States remain obscure. When the mimeographed transcription was made and first issued, it contained a prefatory page on which an anonymous writer said,
“It is my understanding that this book was published in; 1942, and then merely made an appearance at the book-sellers, when all copies were immediately withdrawn and destroyed without a single copy escaping the book-burners, I was also told that Mr. Day died shortly after this incident.”
The page was presumably withdrawn when its author learned that Day was still alive at that time and an exile in Helsinki, since the Jews who rule the United States would not permit him to return to his native land.
It is curious that the man who made the transcription, which did effectively preserve Day’s work for the future, and who was evidently a resident of California, had heard a somewhat less plausible version of the rumor that was current in Washington in 1943. (See the review by Professor Oliver in Liberty Bell, January 1983, p. 27). It is quite possible that the source of both rumors was an effort by the apparatus of the great War Criminal in the White House to prevent the publication of the Swedish translation, which, as Day tells us in the last item in our supplements, was delayed in the press for two years by a “paper shortage” and it is noteworthy that the paper for it was finally obtained in Finland, not Sweden,* Until the book was finally published in 1944, the enemies of mankind could have imagined that their pressures on Sweden had effectively prevented Day’s exposure of one phase of their activity from ever appearing in print.
[* Day’s book was published by Europa Edition in Stockholm, which, however, had to have the printing done by Mercators Tryckeri in Helsinki. Although copies of the Swedish book have been preserved, Day’s work would not now be generally known — and would be supposed lost by Americans who heard of it — if the anonymous gentleman in California had not issued his mimeographed transcription.]
KATANA — The Liberty Bell article continues with a list of text to be added or amended to the Noontide edition. All these changes (indicated by the dark blue text) have been entered in this expanded version of Onward Christian Soldiers.
Word Totals for the Additional Text
Introduction – –
Permit Me To Introduce Myself – 5,738 (all new)
Chapter 1 – 23
Chapter 2 – 307
Chapter 3 – –
Chapter 4 – 653
Chapter 5 – 1,225
Chapter 6 – –
Chapter 7 – –
Chapter 8 – 408
Chapter 9 – –
Chapter 10 – 907
Chapter 11 – 6
Chapter 12 – –
Chapter 13 – –
Chapter 14 – –
Chapter 15 – –
Chapter 16 – –
Chapter 17 – 2,167
Chapter 18 – 1,179
Chapter 19 – 89
Total words in original = 85,311
Total additional words = 12,702
Total words in expanded version = 98,013
1920-1942: Propaganda, Censorship
and One Man’s Struggle to Herald the Truth
Suppressed reports of a 20-year Chicago Tribune
correspondent in eastern Europe from 1921
With an introduction by Walter Trohan,
former chief of the Tribune’s Washington bureau
THE NOONTIDE PRESS
The human mind has a peculiar characteristic. When a normal person looks back on the past, the first things that come to mind are the pleasant memories. That is why “the good old times” are so often mentioned. We regard persons who recall the unpleasant things as misanthropic and neurasthenic. They are in the minority. But perhaps it would be better for many of us to widen that view into the past and make comparisons. So let us review the short life of the Baltic countries. They can teach us much.
One of the attractions of living in the Baltic States was their size. You could compare it with life in a city like Chicago with life in a small town. I became personally acquainted with the presidents and ministers. I knew the leaders of the different political parties, the leading churchmen who also meddled in politics, businessmen and industrial leaders. As a fisherman I made trips into many parts of these countries and talked and lived with the farmers. I had the honor of being invited to state functions and festivals. I made friends in all walks of life. In fact, if I had died there, I think I would have had a respectably sized funeral.
In many respects Latvia was the most remarkable of the three Baltic republics. For in Latvia you could find many of the problems which troubled Europe. Of these the minority problem was outstanding.
The ill-fated League of Nations, which degenerated into a Jewish club before it expired, made a special point of trying to protect the minority populations of Europe. In all nations where national minorities existed, the Jews tried to lead and utilize these groups to obtain special privileges.
So instead of promoting international concord, the League fostered and sharpened national differences. During the early days of its existence its influence was great and its rare decisions commanded respect. But as Jewish and capitalistic influence grew, its power waned.
Latvia did her best to live up to the policies laid down by the League.
But Latvia had too many minority groups. The government was supporting Latvian, German, Russian, Ruthenian, Polish, Estonian, Lithuanian, Yiddish and Hebrew schools and handsomely subsidized a French lycee and an English institute. Most of those minority schools were concentrated in Riga, although there were a few in provincial centers.
In the autumn of 1934 when I returned to Riga from Warsaw and visited President Karl Ulmanis, who called himself Vadonis, or leader, we talked through the afternoon and, incidentally, I asked him how he expected to produce good citizens when the government treated the children just like the ranches in our Western states handle their cattle. He asked me to explain. I told him how each spring the ranches held their roundups and the cowboys drove in the cattle from the hills and each calf was given the same brand as its mother. In Riga the same method was used. When the children grew up they were placed in schools teaching their mother tongue. As each minority group had adopted a different colored school cap for the pupils the children were marked for life. I asked the Vadonis why Latvia didn’t adopt the American school system where they could receive some hours of instruction each day in their native language, but at the same time they would have some hours of study together in the Lettish language. Studying under one roof they would learn to play together, quarrel together, grow up together to be Latvian Citizens.
[Image] President Karl Ulmanis
Ulmanis said the country did not have sufficient money to build such a chain of modem schools and admitted the minority school problem was one of the most serious confronting the country. I suggested that for a start all the colored school caps be abolished since this would help to prevent the many street fights which occurred daily between schoolboys of different nationalities. A few weeks later this action was taken and I know of boys who went bare-headed for weeks rather than wear the plain black cap which had been prescribed for all children.
Of course this measure didn’t solve the problem, far from it. In Latvia, just as in all Europe, school teachers consider it of supreme importance not only to educate their children but to make them fervent patriots. In these multi-language schools the teachers were not so much concerned to make good citizens as they were in making good Letts, Germans, Russians, Poles, Jews, etc., of their pupils. The children grew up hating one another. What applied to Latvia also applied to every other country with minority groups. It even applies to the United States where the national minorities maintain their own schools.
Here I again must recall something which happened in America.
During the first years of the world war Henry Ford announced his firm had established a minimum wage of SS per day for the many thousands employed in his factory. This unprecedented step created a sensation in capitalistic America. The Chicago Tribune, in an editorial, denounced Ford as an anarchist. Ford sued The Tribune for $300,000 libel and The Tribune faced trial before the federal court in Chicago. During the trial Ford took the witness stand and in the course of cross examination he admitted a meager schooling. Questioned about some points in American history, Ford exclaimed “History is the bunk.” (Bunk means claptrap.) The Tribune headlined this statement by Ford the next day, but Ford won the case and The Tribune was ordered to pay him five cents damages. It was a moral victory for Ford and The Tribune’s check for five cents is framed and hangs on the wall of Ford’s office in Detroit. How many of us laughed at this statement of Ford but it was only after I lived for some years in Europe that I realized that Ford knew what he was talking about.
Some years ago an English journalist, a Riga friend, paid a visit to Paris. One Sunday afternoon he and his wife boarded a train to visit a French provincial town about sixty miles from Paris. Walking through the streets they passed a local museum and he halted for a moment to read a placard placed over a cannon. There, he said, he got one of the greatest shocks of his life, for he read in French that this cannon had been captured from the British army in battle. They went into the museum where he was stunned to see a large collection of British flags and banners captured by the French in their wars. Back in Riga, he told me that then only he realized the deficiencies of English education, for in school he never had heard that the British had lost battles. His studies had been confined to those they had won.
His experience gave me the idea to read the history books of the multilingual Riga schools. The contents of those books explained the hatred with which the small boys in their different colored caps fought fresh battles on the streets. What happened in Riga was happening all over Europe. The danger embodied to international relations contained in the children’s history books was first recognized in the Scandinavian countries where, since 1919, a movement has been under way to revise history textbooks. Public educators from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark met and agreed to collaborate in removing from their school books all material which might lead to the development of hatred or bad feeling between their countries. It was hoped this action would help to bind the four Nordic countries more closely together. The war interfered with this development. The platonic friendship between these countries was not strong enough to unite them when danger threatened.
In making their pupils into enthusiastic patriots the teachers in many European countries also succeeded in developing enthusiastic and bitter hatred. The blame must be shared by schools, churches and synagogues.
And during my investigation of this problem an idea came which some day may prove of some use. Why not take one or two leading historians from all European countries and bring them together at some pleasant, but isolated health resort and provide them with facilities to fulfill their assignment:-to evolve a history book for primary schools which would deal with European history objectively and ignore those national claims and aspirations which are so largely responsible for hatreds and antagonisms.
This assembly of professors might be informed they would be confined to the grounds of this hotel until the book was completed. In order to prevent this from degenerating into a life-time job they might further be informed that for the first six months they would be privileged to eat three good meals each day. The second six months they would be limited to two meals per day and after the first year of deliberation they would be limited to one meal per day until the book was completed. The finished book would have to have the approval of two thirds of those compiling it and it would be adopted by all European schools. If the authors succeeded they would receive a life pension. Some might suggest that a weak point in this plan would be possible dissenters but there is an effective way to deal with them. During their confinement the historians should be left strictly to themselves and no publicity of any kind should be given to their debate and discussions. Deprived of the ability of self-advertisements the theatrical element would be lacking and the participants might further be influenced by a ruling that not one of them would be permitted to write anything about the proceedings after they were concluded. In this way a practical and fair-as-possible history of Europe might be evolved which could be used to educate the youth of Europe without causing or engendering national hatreds. A utopian plan, perhaps, but it might help to speed up the discussions which began in Scandinavia soon after the world war.
It seems a disgrace to religion that churches and synagogues have utilized history and national and racial hatred to bind their followers still more closely to their religious organizations. Two of the chief offenders in this respect are the Roman Catholic and Jewish religions.
Future Europe will have occasion to bless the present revolution which in very many countries has divorced the church from politics. Clerical and rabbinical politicians are no better than politicians representing other parties and, as a whole, politicians are among the most egotistical of humans. First they must think of their own careers. Second comes the interests of their small selected personal following. Third comes the interests of their party organization. Fourth, the frequently selfish interests of their electorate. The interests of the nation come in a poor fifth.
In a way politicians are like actors. Both are in love with the sound of their own voices. But the actor is more honest, for he plays a role which is not himself.
There are many countries in Europe where the parliamentary system survives today. In Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland the form of government had not changed, chiefly because the dry rot of political corruption has not spread far enough to destroy the faith of the voters in their government and the parties are still willing to place national interests above those of the party. In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and other European governments where party interests became paramount the parliamentary system collapsed.
Latvia was a Europe in miniature. This little country contained many parties and many quarreling minority groups. For an American who had heard much propaganda in his own country about the desirability of intermarriage and amalgamation of various racial stocks to form a new United States nationality, the little “melting pot” of Latvia seemed to indicate the impossibility to merge and obliterate nationalities, at least in a country where one nationality did not have an overwhelming superiority to the others. On one occasion the hundred delegates to the Latvian parliament represented 24 political parties, a European if not a world record. Among the delegates were Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox archbishops, a Lutheran bishop and a Jewish rabbi.
So long as the economic situation in Latvia continued to improve and it was possible to create new wealth, this transplanted improvisation of the French proportional system of representative government managed to function; even the cabinet succeeded cabinet in rapid succession and the resources and policies of the country came under the control of political groups of widely different interests and opinions.
For a short time Latvia realized that continuity was necessary in her foreign policy. Sigfried Meirovica remained as foreign minister despite cabinet changes. The dissension among the Latvians, the German Balts, the Jews, Poles, Lithuanians, Russians and other national groups handicapped progress. It seemed as though they were unable to agree on anything, not even upon matters of vital national interest. In 1923, with the enthusiasm of youth, I sought a solution.
Approaching Meirovica I suggested that in order to advertise Riga and Latvia around the Baltic and to attract visitors, business and capital to the country, a committee might be formed and a fund created to purchase an unusually desirable prize to be given for a yachting race in the gulf of Riga. I suggested when the committee be formed the nationality question should be ignored. Aside from a small original subsidy from the government to get the project started the remainder of the needed funds should be collected from all classes and sections of the inhabitants of Riga. This was necessary to develop a keen civic interest in the event. The prize should be named after the city of Riga, and be competed for each year by all yacht clubs around the Baltic Sea. If the inhabitants of Riga could be persuaded to act together and cooperate in holding a great annual yachting regatta this might be the start for cooperation on other questions and problems, I argued, remarking that yacht owners are generally well-to-do businessmen and if several hundred could be attracted to spend a week in Latvia each year considerable business for the country might result.
Meirovica thought the idea a good one and asked what I expected to gain from it. I replied: nothing, that I would be glad to help in the organization and publicity without recompense. He thought this strange but suggested I draw up a complete prospectus and hand it to him for submission to the cabinet.
Knowing how such projects are organized in the United States where there is intense rivalry between cities I prepared the plan, going into details, especially how the money should be collected from as many different firms and individuals as possible to strengthen public interest in the event. Meirovica read it through, pronounced it excellent and told me he would do his best to persuade the cabinet to adopt it.
The next day he called me in and said the cabinet had rejected it. I asked what possible objection could be raised and he said some ministers were afraid some person living in Riga who was not a Lett might win the prize. At that time most yachts in Riga were owned by German-Baits and Scandinavians. So the project collapsed and during the following years no attempt was made to achieve any spirit of unity among the many different belligerent nationalities in Latvia, and Riga continued to be a town with a stunted civic spirit.
The Latvians have many admirable characteristics and they are also Nordic people. They are personally very clean. On hunting and fishing trips all over the country I have eaten and slept in many farmhouses and never once encountered vermin. Like the Estonians and Finns the Latvians also have their saunas and love their vapor baths.
It was the ambition of every farmer to send at least one of his children through the university. Many of the farmers spoke Latvian, Russian and German, while all older people knew at least two languages well. There was almost no illiteracy.
They are also a hard working people. Those farmhouses I visited during the early years of national independence were plain and simply furnished.
But each visit I noted that some new expensive piece of farm machinery had been purchased, there were more pigs in the sty, more and better cows in the pasture.
I recall how one summer afternoon a farmer’s wife ceremoniously and proudly brought out six new silver teaspoons when she served us tea with her fresh baked bread, butter cheese and honey. From the way she handled those teaspoons I sensed that soon every housewife in the district would have to have six silver teaspoons. It was only after the farm itself was well equipped with machinery and thoroughbred livestock that the farmer’s family began to purchase more comfortable furniture for their homes and little luxuries for themselves.
The Latvian government knew the importance of having good roads and keeping them in repair. If farmers came more often to town they would see more desirable things to buy. They would return to their farms determined to work a little harder, to raise an extra pig, increase their milk output, place another hectare to the cultivation of flax, that back breaking crop which demands more hard work than any other plant grown in the North. So Latvia prospered. So did Finland, Estonia and Lithuania.
Their advancement between the years 1919 and 1939 was absolutely amazing. Those who followed fortunes believed those countries would have a wonderful future if peace could be preserved. But it so developed that only one of those countries, Finland, was willing to fight for its life.
Searching for an explanation one must return to the farming population. The governing class of all three Baltic nations was only one, at the most two or three, generations removed from the farm. They were too busy with their own internal problems to realize that the super-nationalism engendered by the world war, fostered by the League of Nations and utilized by themselves for their own selfish aims was swiftly carrying Europe towards catastrophe. These people had but little experience in administration and still less in statesmanship.
A few Baltic leaders recognized the necessity of forming a close military and economic union between their countries. But neither Latvia nor Estonia were interested in Lithuania’s claims to Vilna and Memel. Lithuania was too intent upon pressuring her emigrants in the United States to send more money home by keeping alive her perpetual squabble with Poland and Germany to regard with favor a Baltic Union. Estonia managed to get along favorably with her small German-Bait minority. But it seemed the Latvians were mentally and spiritually unable to cooperate with their minorities. There were many reasons for this and one of the more important ones was the fact that Riga, the capital of the Letts, was a city built by Germans. There was nothing Lettish about it. This attitude made the Latvians vulnerable to intrigues coming from Moscow. Estonia and Lithuania both feared a customs union would lead to the concentration of trade and industry in Riga, the natural center of the Baltic States.
The Latvians and Estonians had sent few emigrants to America but they had sent many to Russia. The average Latvian and Estonian was a much better man than the average Russian. They were more efficient workers, more capable organizers, better educated and more intelligent.
They occupied many important positions in Russia and under the old Imperial regime had found life there both easy and pleasant. They liked the easy-going, hospitable, broad-natured Russians. For that matter, so did the Germans, English and Americans who came into contact with the Russians.
Talking with many of the older generation in the Baltic States during these years, I found they had never thought their nation would be so fortunate as to achieve independence after centuries of vassaldom and oppression. Up to the end of the world war they considered themselves as great Russians, a term which also embraced many Finnish and other tribes residing in North Russia. As a matter of fact the real Great Russian is a mixture of Finn and Slav. The blond hair and blue eyes came from Finnish blood for the Slav is dark haired and brown eyed.
However, the Estonians and Latvians harbored a different feeling towards the Baltic Germans. Most of the lands in the Baltic States are in the hands of baronial families. This developed an acute land hunger among the inhabitants. The descendants of German colonists, the German-Baits were determined to keep as many as possible of the administrative posts for themselves. They were defending their German culture and Lutheran religion from the infiltration of the Slavs and the Russian Orthodox Church. For them the peril of being completely assimilated into Russian life outweighed all other considerations. Oddly enough, they were also loyal Great Russians as the world war proved. The Russian aristocracy and ruling class contained much Nordic blood. Modern history proves it is the best blood strain in Russia.
But these Baltic Germans made a great mistake. Instead of assimilating the Estonians and Latvians into their own ranks they put a special ban on mixed marriages. They did something more short-sighted. They learned the local Latvian and Estonian languages in order to be able to speak with the local inhabitants in their own tongue. German was the “ruler’s language” and reserved for intercourse among themselves. German Balts took actual pride in trying to have a better knowledge of these languages than the natives themselves. Many were remarkable linguists.
They made many great gifts, especially cultural and spiritual, to these nations but they refused to accept them as equals. Some of this spirit would be attributed to the danger the German-Baits faced in the ever threatening assimilation into Russia. Some was due to the instinctive feeling that the Germans had a higher culture and were afraid of being absorbed by the lower-cultured but more virile Estonian and Latvian nations. Some was also due to the very human spirit of selfishness which desired to keep everything they had acquired in the Baltic regions for themselves.
Time did not help the German-Bait element. Their blood got stale.
Many families, noticeably those of the nobility, became degenerate. A study of the history of East Prussia where the German conquerors absorbed completely the Borrussians (a Lithuanian tribe) and brought in colonists from Holland and many sections of Germany who were better able to till moors and swampland than local people, reveals that mixture of kindred bloods has greatly contributed to East Prussia’s greatness.
An observation made in Danzig is worth noting here. I was the guest of the President of the Senate, Dr. Sahn, a tall distinguished man who had a charming wife with whom I spent a memorable evening. President Sahn’s head was so square that I imagined it could be fitted into a square box without leaving much empty space. It was the same type of head one sees so frequently in East Prussia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. It is strikingly different from the round head of the Slavs. The incessant quarrel between the Poles and Germans in Danzig I once described to my paper as a war between the round-heads and square-heads. Ethnologically northeastern Europe contains many different racial strains but the square-heads will be found to constitute a large proportion of the ruling class everywhere. Lithuania is an especially happy hunting ground for a phrenologist. I once saw a company of newly mobilized recruits from a district near Mariampol whose freshly shaven heads revealed many of the men were descendants of the ancient Huns for they all had that peculiar bump on the rear top of their skull which is a feature of that nation.
In their hearts the Estonians and Latvians felt they were superior to the Russians and for that reason they liked them. But in their hearts they also felt inferior to the Germans and therefore disliked them. So when they started their national existence they turned their faces towards England, hoping that somehow, someway Great Britain would help to safeguard their future national independence. They willingly complied with British requests and demands only to discover in the end that the British policy was quite as selfish as their own. Finland also had a similar experience.
When the Baltic States and Poland decided to discontinue the study of Russian in the lower schools and give English first place among the foreign languages, I interviewed the ministers of education of these four countries. They all said the Russian language today represented an outlook on life which was more Asiatic than European, that it represented a new type of pseudo-culture dangerous to the future of their countries, that it would be desirable and advisable that the present generation growing up in these countries should forget the Russian language entirely, that if someday Russia should again turn her face towards the West and adopt a civilized code of honor, ethics and morality permitting intercourse between this country. and her neighbors, then children could again be taught the Russian language, but not before.
When I asked these ministers why English was preferred to German, they voiced the hope England would become their friend and protector.
None of them liked Germany because they had all obtained German property and belongings when Germany was weak and unable to defend herself. They wanted to keep what they had obtained by confiscation, nation limitation and putsch and not pay for it. Estonia was the only one of these four countries who came to an agreement with Germany about payment for confiscated land of the Baltic barons. Of these four countries Estonia had the highest sense of honor.
Although I have many friends in Latvia, to be fair I must report that the Latvians have one extremely disagreeable national characteristic. They are an envious nation. I have always told this to their face. They did not envy their neighbor nations. They envied each other. Latvian men and women, who through exceptional ability and hard work made careers and gathered wealth for themselves were the object of envy. This is an unpleasant side of the Latvians which counter-balances many fine sides of their character. It is not so evident in the countryside as in the town.
One of the most miserable and disgusting developments which took place after the Red Army occupied the country was that most members of the Latvian Soviet Government, whose formation was directed and controlled by Moscow, were members of the staff of the Jaunakas Sinas. This newspaper had one of the most remarkable circulations in the entire world.
For many years its circulation averaged between 150,000 and 200,000 daily. Now the population of Latvia was less than two million and if the minorities were deducted and the average Latvian family was calculated to include five persons, then every other family in the country read this paper.
Janis Benjamin and his wife were the founders and sole owners. They kept their paper clear of party politics, employed the best of writers and authors in the country, and the result was success for the newspaper and great wealth for themselves. I happen to know they paid high salaries.
Many Latvian diplomats, whose salaries were small and allowances modest, earned needed pocket money by acting as correspondents.
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin bought a beautiful estate and made their villa on the Riga seaside, one of the show places of the beach. When King Gustav arrived in Riga for a visit they quarreled with the government because they desired to have the King as their guest in their villa. For a time success appeared to have gone to their heads. But when Mr. Benjamin died, his wife, who was the undisputed leader of Latvian society, became a changed person and instead of having a few friends she had many. When the Bolsheviks established themselves in Latvia she was one of the first to be dispossessed. Her newspaper properties were nationalized. She would also have fled abroad, but like all Latvians, she deeply loved her country. She was obliged to go and live with friends.
At three o’clock one morning the GPU autotruck halted in front of the house and Mrs. Benjamin, carrying a small parcel and dressed in her summer clothes, was one of those who were driven away to the Riga freightyard and placed in a barred freight car and sent into Russia. I had another friend living in the same building, Liebrecht, a businessman, and for many years president of our fishing club. At the last minute Liebrecht, who was arrested on the same night with his wife and son, received permission to return to his apartment where he collected all his fishing tackle to bring into exile.
Professor Kirckenstein, for many years a member of the staff of the Jaunakas Sinas, was appointed by the Bolsheviks president of Soviet Latvia. Willy Lacis, for many years managing editor, became minister of the interior and collaborated with the GPU. Other well paid employees of Mrs. Benjamin were ministers and high officials in the new Red government. Not one attempted to protect or help her. This can only be attributed to that spirit of jealous envy which I previously mentioned and which I encountered in all classes of society. It weakened Latvian morale. It handicapped and prevented a real spirit of national unity. And I believe, that more than any other single factor, it contributed to the downfall of the Latvian nation. If such a trait is excusable then the excuse must be found in those centuries when the Latvians went hungry under German rule. It will take more than one generation to breed out this weakness. It is a failing more easy to condemn than to remedy. But it would be wrong to ignore it in considering Latvia’s terrible fate.
Ulmanis, Latvia’s first and last chief of state, was one of those square-headed men I have previously mentioned. Born of farmer parents his education carried him to Switzerland and later to the United States, where he became lecturer at the University of Nebraska. He was one of the founders of the republic and became leader of the farmer’s party.
Ulmanis enjoyed the frequent elections for he was an unusually successful campaigner, and had adopted methods employed by Nebraska congressmen who, when they went out to speak to the farmers did not forget to take along a few musicians and a humorist. His election meetings were widely attended because he provided entertainment and was a good speaker himself. I think I can safely report that his morals were somewhat higher than those of the average politician, for no matter what his enemies may relate, Ulmanis may have grafted for his great cooperative CONSUMS and for his party, but he did not graft for himself, and although he had the opportunity to acquire a personal fortune he did not do so. This naturally added to his popularity.
In 1934, when internal political quarrels and party corruption had brought Latvia to the verge of bankruptcy and chaos, Ulmanis took charge. He was not the originator of the bloodless putsch which placed him in power. One of the men who persuaded him to take over the leadership of the country was Janis Kissels whom I first met in 1921 when he was an ordinary policeman in the small country district, Ugale. This was where diplomatic hunts were staged and Kissels helped, so efficiently in their organization he was promoted to become chief of a precinct in Riga. He often called on me. He thought if the League of Nations was to have a real future then someday it must organize an international police force and his ambition was to obtain a post on such a body. To this end he teamed one language each year and was able to speak, read and write eleven European languages at the time he persuaded Ulmanis to seize control of the government. The putch was cleverly arranged. The French minister was giving a large reception which was attended by most members of the government and political leaders. Policemen were stationed outside the legation and as the visitors left they were placed under arrest and carted off to jail. Their wives were permitted to go home.
Ulmanis was both practical and clever. He sent his prisoners to an improvised concentration camp in Libau. There they were given much liberty and many privileges. They ate four meals daily and the best cooks procurable were provided by Ulmanis who also ordered the delicacies of the season be included in the menu.
He told me about this later. When he had asked and I had told him about the cruel and heartless regime of the Bereze Kertushka concentration camps in Poland, where Pilsudski imprisoned his opponents. UImanis said this was not the way to treat political prisoners. He was proud that all his captives had gained considerably in weight during their confinement. He said: feed a man well and get him fat and he gets lazy and contented with life. That is what I tried to do with my enemies. When I thought they had got fat enough I sent them word if they would go home quietly and forget party politics and behave themselves I would guarantee they would be paid pensions equalling the salaries they had received at the time of their arrest. Practically every one of them agreed to this proposal.
Up to the putsch Ulmanis had been intriguing and fighting for the Latvian farmers. Now he found himself in a position where he was compelled to consider the needs and aspirations of all sections of the population. He did a good job and under his short rule Latvia made great progress. Agriculture was nationalized and Latvia became one of the most efficient and productive food exporting countries in Europe. Ulmanis secretly admired and studied closely developments in Germany. His policies benefitted the Latvians but penalized other nationals. There were more than 350 Scandinavians in business in Riga when Ulmanis putsched power in 1934. In 1939 only forty remained. Most of the branches of business in which they were engaged had been nationalized.
In the autumn of 1934 I asked Ulmanis to explain why, when all other European countries were importing war munitions, freight cars and steamers coming to Latvia were filled with agricultural machinery and fertilizers. The Vadonis said if war should develop between Russia and Germany there was nothing that Latvia might do now that would save the country. He said he believed the Latvian’s best hope for future national existence was to try and bring their living standard and culture to such a high level that it would never be forgotten by the people who, no matter what happened, would always keep those memories in their hearts.
But, I replied, if there is a war Latvia will be forced to choose sides and who will you choose, Germany or Russia? Ulmanis laughed and said: Of course we will choose the winner. At that time Ulmanis thought war could be avoided. He met the end of his regime bravely. I heard him address the Latvian nation over the radio for the last time, telling them to remain calm, maintain order and stay at their posts, as he intended to stay at his, until the last. His fate is unknown. He was the greatest man his nation ever produced.
Even great men have their weaknesses and Ulmanis’ weakness was that he could not judge men. He permitted himself to be surrounded by sycophants, many of whom were incompetent careerists. With many powers interested in Latvia’s foreign policy, Ulmanis’ personal popularity never became great enough for him to announce and carry through a clear-cut foreign policy.
His closest friend was Wilhem Munters. I first met Munters in 1921.
He was then clerk in the foreign office and, unshaven and unkempt, he lead a demonstration of Latvians who gathered before the American mission to cheer the decision of the American government to recognize Latvia de jure. Munters spent much time with Ulmanis. At Vecaki, a small seaside resort where I owned a villa, the two men came to spend their vacation in a distinctly fourth class hotel, the only one available in this secluded place. They avoided outside company and took long walks together in the forest.
Munters was half Estonian and half German-Bait. His gift for languages and intrigues were qualities which enhanced his career as a diplomat. He became a Mason and Ulmanis made him foreign minister in his cabinet. Munters willingly joined the British efforts to encircle Germany and once, when he was received by Hitler in Berlin, he had an inaccurate report to the Latvian cabinet which caused the government to reject Germany’s offer for a pact which might have spared Latvia and the rest of Northeastern Europe untold misery and suffering.
Munter’s marriage was one of the greatest mysteries in Latvia. He suddenly became the husband of the wife of a notary public called Suna.
This woman had been married once before and her first husband had been a Bolshevik. Suna, her second husband, had suspicious connections.
Her marriage to Munters was a still greater surprise when the new Madame Munters spent her honeymoon in the company of her divorced husband. Munters did not take her with him on his journeys around Europe because he was informed she would not be acceptable as a guest in the capitals he visited. While he was away from Riga, his wife lived with her divorced husband. She made no secret of her complicated marital relations and frankly told acquaintances her former husband needed her to manage his household.
The minister and his wife were frequently seen in public with members of the local Soviet legation. Influential members of the government tried to warn Ulmanis that Munters was under Bolshevik influence. Ulmanis would not listen. His intimate friendship with Munters continued, although he refused flatly to have anything to do with Madame Munters.
In July, 1940, shortly after the Red Army had completed the occupation of Latvia, the American minister John C. Wiley telephoned me to report he had been the guest of Munters at their villa in Sigulda, a Latvian resort. Upon his return to the legation he said Munters’ maid had telephoned saying immediately after the minister had left for Riga, two automobiles with GPU men had driven up and abducted Munters, his wife and their two children. A few weeks later Mrs. Munters returned to Riga and packed their belongings which were transported to Moscow.
Munters is now an official of the Soviet Commissariat of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.
I had little to do with Munters. I instinctively mistrusted him from the first time I met him. I had Latvian friends who occupied high positions and who had been friends of Ulmanis long before the Latvian Republic had ever been dreamed of, but not one of them could fathom the hold which Munters had upon Ulmanis or the power which Mrs. Munters exercised over her husband. I leave you to draw your own conclusions, although all indications point to Munters as an arch traitor who sold his country to Moscow.
Another man who seemed to have an unusual influence over Ulmanis was Rabbi Dubin who was chiefly responsible for the growth of the Jewish minority in Latvia. It was Dubin who succeeded in persuading Ulmanis to give permission for many thousands of Russian Jews to enter Latvia. He also aided the influx of additional thousands of other Jews when the uprising against the Jews began in Germany and spread to other countries. It was these proletarian revolutionary Jews who conducted a hilarious wake over the coffin of the Latvian Republic. It was the Jews who were delirious with joy when the Red Army tanks rolled into Riga. It was the Jews who participated in the introduction of the Red Terror against the very Latvians who had given them refuge and shelter from countries which had vomited them forth. I saw all this happen.
Even though some of them seemed too envious, the Latvians were real and sincere patriots who loved their country deeply. I know of only one who fled from Riga. I did not hear of others trying to escape. The fugitive was Alfred Bersunsch, minister of labor and propaganda, who most certainly would have been one of the first to be executed had he remained. Ulmanis and the remaining leaders of the Latvian people remained even after they had been deposed and were hourly expecting arrest.
I met Police Inspector Kissels on the street in civilian clothes shortly before I was given 24 hours to leave the country. One of the first actions of the Bolsheviks when they occupied eastern Poland was to exterminate all police officials. In Latvia and other Baltic countries the first action of the Soviet GPU was to recruit the hooligan element of the population who were armed and furnished with red armbands and detailed to “help” the local police. Kissels and the other higher police officials had already been forced to resign. I urged him to flee to Sweden. I happened to have enough dollars with me to finance his journey, and offered them to him.
He refused, saying he could not run away. A few weeks later when the GPU called to arrest him, he shot himself. He was a brave man and a patriot.
There were plenty of motor driven fishing boats and Sweden was not far away. Some Latvians owned large and sturdy motorboats which could have made the journey. But aside from President Smetona, his family and clique, who fled from Lithuania, and Minister Bersinsch who fled from Latvia I do not know of any other escapes, or attempts to escape of government people from the Baltic countries. There were a few unimportant people who managed to cross the Finnish gulf to Finland and most of these immediately volunteered to serve with the Finnish forces.
The subconscious sometimes has the faculty of making things difficult for us. In writing about the Baltic States my heart seems to tell me they are dead. The Baltic nations are not dead. But their governments are.
They died most horribly.
Can you picture groups of men and women and children being forced to crawl on their hands and knees through the streets to the railroad station where they were herded like animals, the men into one row of freight cars, the women and children into another? They these trains with their human freight leaving during the night on journeys lasting for many days eastwards? From one distant station to another till the secret destination was reached? Families separated forever on this earth? Farewells which turned into moans of utter despair? This happened in Kaunas (Kovno) the capital of Lithuania.
Can you picture autotrucks night after night rumbling through the streets carrying their loads of arrested men and women to secret prisons?
Of tiny torture cells in which the prisoner was unable to lie down or even sit down? Of actual physical torture to obtain confessions of acts never committed, or of information concerning the whereabouts of fugitives from the communist class war.? Of men flayed alive, castrated, with their faces beaten until their noses and jaw-bones were smashed and broken?
All this before the communist executioner with a single shot in the back of their head put them out of their misery? Of Christian women and girls being violated by Jewish Chekists? All this happened in Riga, the capital of Latvia.
Can you picture men, women and children being placed in freight cars and being kept there two and three days without food, without water, without facilities to perform natural functions? The men in one line of cars, the women and children in another? Of agonized screams for help from both lines of cars? Of indignant crowds of people gathering wishing to rescue them? Of platoons of GPU troops rounding up these people and marching them off to forced labor on fortification works? Of trains finally disappearing into the night, also eastwards to exile and death? AU this happened in Tallin (Reval) the capital of Estonia.
These unfortunates were families of army officers, government officials of all kinds, businessmen, factory owners, lawyers, doctors, dentists, writers and journalists. Only one section of the educated class seemed exempt from this extermination policy. It was the engineers and building contractors. They remained to operate the confiscated factories and to supervise the construction of fortifications.
There is plenty of gruesome evidence concerning the short bloody reign of Bolshevism in the Baltic States. All three countries have published books containing photographs and sworn testimony. For one who has lived in the Baltic States twenty years and who was personally acquainted with many of the victims this material is agonizing. There are many groups of photos of the same person. First you see a businessman or public official you know in peacetime. Next to it is his picture found in the archives of the GPU. He has become haggard, unshaven and his unkempt clothing reveal weeks of imprisonment. His hopeless face is lined with suffering. Beneath this is the picture of his horribly mutilated body. His distorted swollen features are almost unrecognizable. Yet it is undoubtedly the same man.
Destroyed towns and shattered buildings can be replaced. The best strains of a nation’s blood are irreplaceable. The destruction of literally tens of thousands of the best families, not men alone, but entire families, of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, not to speak of similar slaughter in Eastem Poland, Polish Ukraine, Bessarabia and Butovina have left scars on these nations and communities which will take generations to efface.
The Red Terror, as it is called by the Communists themselves, was introduced as a matter of course in those countries annexed by the Soviet Government. Red Terror is the liquidation by execution and exile of all classes except the proletariat. The GPU in the Baltic States employed the same methods used during the early years of the revolution in Russia.
The sadistic barbarity which the GPU used against the outlawed classes is a practical and effective method of terrorizing into inaction any element of the population which might resist.
Compared with the mental and physical torture methods of the Jewish GPU of Russia, the guillotine of the French revolution was a very pleasant form of death. Chroniclers tell us how hoi polloi of Paris screamed with sadistic delight when a dripping head with blond hair was held up on the scaffold for their inspection. This suggests the victims of the French revolution included the Nordic element. This instinctive racial hatred manifested itself in the Russian revolution where the upper classes were also of the Nordic race. Racial hatred also played a role in the actions of the Jewish GPU in the Baltic States.
You notice I say Jewish GPU. This is correct. From the very beginning of the Russian revolution the terrorists branch of the government was in the hands of the Jews. Felix Djerjinski, a Pole who first headed the Cheka. had Menshinski and Jagoda as assistants. He was succeeded by Menshinski, who was followed in succession by Jagoda, Yeshov, Akulov and then Berija who now heads this terror organization. All of these men are Jews. All the testimony gathered from survivors of the Red Terror in the Baltic States confirms that the GPU leaders were, almost without exception, Jews. And so long as the GPU holds supreme control in Russia, the Soviet Government must be regarded as a Jewish controlled regime. I might mention here that I have reported this phase of the communist revolution many times during the past 22 years to The Chicago Tribune which, together with other American newspapers subscribing to our press service, has published these articles.
But not always. There have been some exceptions.
On Sunday night, 16 June 1940, the Latvian government capitulated to an ultimatum from Moscow demanding a change of government and the right for the Red Army to occupy Latvia’s chief centers. In a tragic address President Ulmanis informed his countrymen over the radio of his government’s decision. It was the last time they heard him speak.
Large Red Army garrisons had already been established in the vicinity of Riga. The inhabitants had become accustomed to seeing groups of Red Army officers in the streets. They would not look you in the face. They ignored the salutes of the Latvian officers and soldiers. The salute was introduced for the first time in the Red Army a fortnight later.
The first Soviet tanks rumbled over the bridge from the Mitau road late Monday afternoon. As they clattered along over the cobblestone streets to take positions before the railroad station, a crowd of some 3,000 poured out of the Moscow suburb and Marien street to welcome them. They cheered the tanks wildly. I followed the tanks and watched the crowd. It consisted of more than ninety percent Jews, representing all strata of Riga’s Jewish population.
A small detail of police attempted to maintain order but as more tanks arrived, the enthusiasm of the Jews got out of control. Some tried to mount the tanks and embrace the Russians. A Latvian policeman was attacked and tossed over an embankment. Shots rang out and I saw another policeman fall dead. At this point one of the Soviet tank officers shouted a command. A machine gun was trained on another group of Jews who were attacking a policeman. There was a short burst of fire and several Jews were wounded. Rioting continued sporadically, despite a curfew clearing the streets at ten at night. The Latvian police, who had been disarmed upon the demand of the Soviet minister in Riga, were unable to restore order and both the Latvian army and the occupying forces of the Red army sent out squads to assist the police. Many Jews were arrested and later released.
I had discovered, that for some unknown reason, there was no censorship on my messages after midnight. Early Tuesday morning I dictated my report to our office in Amsterdam and it appeared in The Tribune the same morning. It was not until many weeks later, when I was in Finland covering the inter War, that I received the clippings of my stories which my office forwards to me each month. My report of the riot was published under the headline:
RIGA REDS BATTLE POLICE TEN SLAIN AS SOVIETS OCCUPY LATVIA.
I had emphasized in my report that it was the Jews and not the Latvians who had welcomed the Red Army tanks in Riga, that it was the Jews who attacked the Latvian police, that it was the Jews who had been arrested for rioting. But the word ‘’Jew’’ did not once appear in the story. This is regrettable for it was very misleading. The reader obtained the impression that it was a Latvian crowd who welcomed the Bolsheviks. I had also reported how I questioned the Jewish demonstrators and asked them why they were so happy and how they replied:
“Now the Germans will never come here.”
The fact that the first act of the Jewish rioters was to attack and murder unarmed Latvian policemen speaks for itself. The Jews greeted the Soviet usurpers as liberators. The other inhabitants greeted them with horror and fear.
I was not expelled from Riga until a month later. The Tribune gave me permission to leave immediately but I telegraphed my office that I had never heard of a newspaperman running away from a good story and I was not going to be the first one to do so.
* Images (maps, photos, etc.) have also been added that were not part of the original Noontide edition.
Knowledge is Power in Our Struggle for Racial Survival
(Information that should be shared with as many of our people as possible — do your part to counter Jewish control of the mainstream media — pass it on and spread the word) … Val Koinen at KOINEN’S CORNER
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 1: Reviews; Background Information
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 2: Introduction; Permit Me to Introduce Myself
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 3: Why I Did Not Go Home; The U.S.
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 4: Lativa
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 5: Meet the Bolsheviks
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 6: Alliance With the Bear
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 7: Poland
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 8: Trips; The Downfall of Democracy
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 9: Jews
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 10: Russia
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 11: Lithuania
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 12: Danzig; Lithuania
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 13: Sweden; Norway
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 14: Finland
Click to go to >> OCS – Part 15 (last) : England; Europe; Epilogue; Index of Names
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