London (Jun. 5)
Most of the London Sunday papers comment to-day on rumours of a revolution in Germany that were circulated with dramatic persistence all over Europe last night. A message was circulated to the press that “a revolt has broken out in Germany, that troops have been called out, and that news messages for abroad have been stopped”.
Though this message remained unconfirmed and denied, it reflects the state of unparalleled tension which has seized the German people, the “Sunday Express” remarks.
Anything, it says, may happen in Germany this week. In well-informed circles in Whitehall, it claims, the possibility of a revolution or a dictatorship or both was openly canvassed.
In German National circles it is believed, the “Sunday Times” says, that President Hindenburg will issue a proclamation on October 2nd., urging the election of the former Crown Prince. Official circles will, no doubt, deny any such intention on the part of the President, but confirmation of the report appears in an article in a Munich Sunday paper. This says: “Hindenburg will resign in the autumn, in favour of the ex-Crown Prince as Administrator of the Reich”.
The dismissal of Dr. Bruening from the German Chancellorship last Monday, and the prompt appointment of Captain von Papen to take his place, may mark the beginning of the end of the German Republic as it has existed under the Weimar Constitution since the end of 1919, Mr. Wickham Steed writes in the “Sunday Times”.
To those who believed in him, he proceeds, Dr. Bruening’s fall is disconcerting. To those who prefer to look facts in the face it is not unwelcome. They see the true features of a Nationalist Germany emerge, as in a dissolving view, through the smooth and debonair countenance of the late Chancellor.
Captain von Papen’s Cabinet of Junker barons and big industrialists confirms the impression, Mr. Mickham Steed says, that the new Government, which has been placed in power by the advance of Hitlerism, may be more reactionary than Herr Hitler himself. President von Hindenburg’s action in dissolving the Reichstag immediately shows that, in him, the feelings of an East Prussian noble have ended by triumphing over his scruples as constitutional guardian of the German Republic.
If the von Papen administration gives the impression of being strong and ruthless, the masses of the German people may follow its lead, for they love, above all, to be commanded and to be told what they have to do.
Mr. Garvin writes in the “Observer” of the astonishing and ominous change in the German situation. President Hindenburg has succumbed at last, he says, to dangerous advice. The coup d’etat decreed in the Reich is calculated, like nothing else conceivable, to increase uncertainly and to prolong it. For this there can be no cure until Germany returns to some sort of representative regime. A Nazi cabinet itself would be better than a junker-junta.
Better any Government, whatever its colour otherwise, with an undoubted claim to speak for the majority of the German people. Better for the Nazis to join hands with the Catholic Centrum both in Prussia and the Reich. Better still for both these elements to make a working compromise with the Socialists as well; so as to consitute in Germany a genuine National Government like our own, representing an overwehlming majority of the country.
Had his present action been foreseen, Mr. Garvin argues, Marshal von Hindenburg, who owed his victory largely to Dr. Bruening’s unsparing exertions, never would have been re-elected a few weeks ago to the presidency of the Reich.