[...] In Europe their colleagues are even more
active. Hitler has now become the symbol of the
return of German militarism. Even before he managed to
obtain supreme power there was speculation as to his
financial backers. Obviously they included German
industrialists fearful of socialism, communism, and the
labor unions, nationalists smarting under the "insults"
of the Versailles treaty, and a host of other
discontented folk. But on the list of these contributors
supplying funds to the Hitler movement were the names of
two capitalists Von Arthaber and Von
Duschnitz directors of Skoda, the great armament firm
of Germany's neighbor and enemy, Czechoslovakia.
Interlocking directorates are a familiar phenomenon in
the United States. The real controller of industries is
frequently found in the most unexpected places. In Europe
the same system prevails. And so it appears that Messrs.
Von Arthaber and Von Duschnitz represent a firm which is
controlled by still another firm. The head of this
holding company is neither German nor Czech. He is a
French citizen, M. Eugene Schneider, president of
the Schneider-Creusot Company which for a century has
dominated the French arms industry and which through its
subsidiaries now controls most of the important arms
factories in Central Europe. Some of Hitler's financial
support, then, was derived from a company owned by a
leading French industrialist and arms maker.
Arms merchants also own newspapers and mold public
opinion. M. Schneider is more than just president of
Creusot. He is the moving spirit of another great
combine, the Comite des Forges. This French steel trust
through one of its officers has controlling shares in the
Paris newspaper Le Temps, the counterpart of the New York
Times, and the Journal des Débats, which
corresponds to the New York Herald Tribune. These two
powerful papers constantly warn their readers of the
"danger of disarmament" and of the menace of Germany.
Thus M. Schneider is in a position to pull two strings,
one linked to Hitler and German militarism, the other
tied to the French press and French militarism.