Apropos new war

How fraudulent both the Nazis’ and Ross’s claims of global peace efforts were shows the referenced article, a report on Ross’s lecture in Hamburg after his return from the Spanish Civil War. Here, Germany’s full-blown militarization at the time left its mark on the review.

According to the report, Ross presented himself as an expert with military experiences from the Great War–as he was wont to do, see his article on the Second Italo-Ethiopian war (Welcoming a new war) or his lecture before the Anglo-German Fellowship (The war for England).1 He objected to the idea of the people’s right of self-determination, on which the League of Nations was based, and explained the breakdown of democratic governmental forms by referring to Europe’s general discomfiture and the erroneous belief in the equal rights of white and colored people (the most objectionable example being the mobilization of colored troops against Germany).2 Moroccan soldiers’  support for Franco, however, is explained as a natural effect of the Jewish-dominated Bolshevists and their antireligious ideas. Here, their mobilization against ‘white’ people drew no comment. Similarly, the peaceful efforts of his country seem to be tabooed, which attests to Ross’s quick shift to a war-friendly attitude. Moreover, in line with official Nazi propaganda, Germany appears as the only European country without any compromise between capitalist and non-capitalist powers [Q: what exactly are these “powers”?] contrasting to the “preposterous” unity between the two economic regimes [Q: You mean two countries here? if so, which ones.] against Germany. In this, Germany is the only powerand with principled politics, which Franco’s Spain might now join. The fruitfulness of the dictatorship is demonstrated by Ross’s slides, which depict villages destroyed by the Popular Front as opposed to the neat and tidy settlements (or “the liberated territories”) controlled by Franco’s troops. The closing remarks of the lecture, again in line with Nazi expectations, call for the unity of Germany that will face a second mass migration (Völkerwanderung), which includes both the threat of a “colored” flood to Europe and the possibility to conquer new territories to relieve Europe’s overpopulation.

Katalin Teller

Anonymous. Colin Roß über Spanien. Hamburger Anzeiger: 1936 Nov 19;  49 (272); [3].

Topic: The Great War
Case: Speaking engagements


1 See another report on his lecture, Anonymous. Colin Roß erzählt. Ein Frontkämpfer erlebt den spanischen Bürgerkrieg. Hamburger Nachrichten: 1936 Nov 19; 322. [5]. See Library. See also the radio interview by Reichssender Stuttgart, Gespräch mit dem Reiseschriftsteller Colin Ross über seine Eindrücke vom Spanischen Bürgerkrieg. Around 1936 Nov 20. See Library.

2 That this argument was at least as attractive on the right as on the left was demonstrated by a racial inspired open letter in 1914, signed by Thomas Mann, among others; see Manuel Menrath. Von “wilden Bestien” und fremden Freunden. Die Wahrnehmung farbiger Kolonialsoldaten in der deutschsprachigen Schweiz im Vergleich mit Deutschland, 1871–1940. In: Manuel Menrath ed. Afrika im Blick: Afrikabilder im deutschsprachigen Europa, 1870 – 1970. Zürich: Chronos; 2012; 123-150, esp. 126.

Scroll to page top