A VETERAN chief of the Associated Press bureau in Berlin, with a background of twenty years of residence in Germany, which ended with a period of internment at Bad Nauheim, Louis Lochner is obviously a man with a story of Hitler’s Third Reich which is worth hearing. His book is naturally primarily a newspaperman’s story, a record of the striking and important events which he has observed, interspersed with personality sketches of the Nazi leaders, brief sketches of the blitz campaigns against Poland and France, descriptions of the hardships of daily life under the pressure of rationing and accounts of the anecdotes, or satirical stories, which arc the only means of expressing popular criticism under a totalitarian regime.
One of the most valuable features of the book is the extensive citation of the secret instructions which are given out every day from the Propaganda Ministry to the German newspapers and which prescribe minutely how every item of authorized news is to be handled. On the basis of personal contacts with dissatisfied Germans, whose identity is, of course, carefully camouflaged, Mr. Lochner is more optimistic than most observers about the existence of discontent with the Hitler regime. He found some Germans who recognized their moral obligation to repair the damage of the air raids, others who longed to see Germany become again a “Rechtsstaat.” He believes that convincing radio appeals to these “decent Germans” must and should go hand in hand with the military drive to bring about Hitler’s downfall. W. H. C.