The ultimate demon

How desperately Ross tried to demonize, or at least depreciate, the enemy and the rhetorical devices he used is exemplified in the referenced article. Its core statements remained constant elements in Ross’s lectures devoted to Nazi propaganda (see Mobilizing the correct terminology).

The prelude of the article recalls Abraham Lincoln’s comment upon his first encounter with Harriet Beecher Stowe, the writer of Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”1 According to Ross, Stowe construed the story of the emancipated black slave merely from hearsay (mediated by “emigrants”, by “runaway blacks”) rather than on the basis of direct experience and factual knowledge. This is exactly how America’s President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, according to Ross, would assess Nazi Germany and promote war.2 Only because of Roosevelt’s support did the Western powers attack Germany in 1939, while his intention to enter the war hindered the rapprochement between Germany and Great Britain.3 So if the war, despite its merely European character and despite Germany’s restraint, escalated into a global war, it would be Roosevelt’s fault alone.4 Ross’s intentional misrepresentation of both current  and historical developments recalls a statement by Bukharin: “In effect, geopolitics flatly denies all history.”5 In Ross’s view, the President’s aspirations offset his disappointing, domestic policy of the New Deal, measures mainly supported by the “international Jewry”. As a correction of the analogy ‘Stowe and Roosevelt’, Ross acknowledges the President’s power to unleash a global war, but it is this power (“betrayal”) that makes America’s population believe in Roosevelt’s (erroneous) politics.

Ross’s hate speech should not only  be seen as blind opportunism. It may well be an indirect criticism of the national socialist government’s misguided judgment of America’s role on the global stage in response to his being passed over for a position as foreign policy expert.6

Katalin Teller

Colin Ross. Der große Verrat. Die Hintergründe der Roosevelt-Politik. Hamburger Anzeiger: 1941 July 16; 54 (164); [1–2].

Topic: The Great War
Case: Speaking engagements


1 On the apocryphal origins of this anecdote see Daniel R. Vollaro. Lincoln, Stowe, and the “Little Woman/Great War” Story: The Making, and Breaking, of a Great American Anecdote. In: Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association; Winter (2009); 1 (30); 18-34,;view=fulltext [accessed March 2, 2017].

2 A re-published version of the article carries the subtitle The little man who caused the great war, see Colin Ross. Der große Verrat. Der kleine Mann, der den großen Krieg verursachte. Münchener Zeitung: 1942 Aug 29; 207; 1–2. See Library.

 As far as our evidence shows, Ross welcomed the idea of Sudetenland’s occupation (see among others Colin Ross. Die Lüge vom tschechoslowakischen Nationalstaat. Hamburger Anzeiger: 1937 Apr 3; 50 (77); [1–2].), but did not at all comment on the blitz of Poland. See Library.

Great Britain as the war’s prime mover has suddenly become irrelevant (see War guilt).

5 N[ikolai] Bukharin. Imperialism and Communism. Foreign Affairs: 1936 7;14 (4); 563-577, 564.

6 Bodo-Michael Baumunk. Colin Ross. Ein deutscher Revolutionär und Reisender 1885-1945. (unpublished ms.). rev. edn. Berlin; 2015 [1999]; 114-117. See Library.

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