The Germans in Argentina

by SPRUILLE BRADEN

GERMANY laid eyes on South America nearly a century ago and found it good. One of the first to raise his voice against Pan-Germany’s early board of strategy was President Domingo Sarmiento, Argentina’s great democrat. In 1882 when most of the world was still unaware of what was in the minds of the Prussians, Sarmiento reviewed Germany’s overseas ambitions and warned that the German settlements getting a foothold in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil would one day become powerful and dangerous colonies of men and women devoted not to their new land but to the Fatherland.

Twenty-five years later Professor Walther Sievers of Giessen University said: “If the German Empire proposes to reconquer the position of a ruling power in the world . . . then let its aim be to acquire a decisive influence in the region where such influence is still possible, namely, in South America, and this not merely by occupying territory . . . but by forming there a base of operations, of a financial, politico-commercial, industrial and even — in case of necessity — military nature, for the State of South America, against the increasing avidity of the United States.”

German settlements and German expansion on the American continent proceeded slowly, methodically, in effective application of the German plan. Nothing was left to chance. Money was freely spent, merchandise was moved, ground was tilled, schools were built, travel was encouraged, techniques and studies were exchanged until German blood and German brains became dominant in many strategic areas. In time actual German provinces came into being in these localities of South America, each province with the language and the tradition of the Fatherland. If they seemed to be exotic foreign colonies to the Latin Americans living near them, they were only normal extensions of the German soil so far as their industrious inhabitants were concerned. Thus there took shape a kind of tenuous German dominion reaching from the Brazilian coast south of Rio de Janeiro to the Chaco, hard against the Andean foothills; another embracing southern Chile; and smaller but economically important centers from La Paz to Buenos Aires. There were others farther north.

Copyright 1946, by The Atlantic Monthly Company, Boston 16, Mass. All rights reserved.

The organization of German immigrants into strong points for a transatlantic Germany went forward without much effort at concealment. A special law was passed at home for the settlement of emigrants in South America. Industries, banks, research centers, schools, and clubs were organized frankly for the purpose of penetration. Germans going abroad were taught that they belonged to a superior race whose destiny it was to rule. In the German mind and in German official action the Latin population of South America to a large extent was ignored. Only where policy made it practical did the Germans acknowledge that they were guests, although they lived within the borders of American nations already established in their own traditions and institutions.

When the German dream of empire, feeding on itself, burst over the world in 1914, it was understood in Berlin that South America would become one of four German colonies. There seems little doubt that a German victory in the war would have presented Latin Americans with Teutonic masters. Richard Tannenberg, the apostle of Greater Germany, had already proposed conquest of the territories of “ backward” peoples by the “superior” races. His famous blueprint called for the inclusion of twelve million Latin Americans into a German Empire. It was largely for such an empire that Germany fought World War I.

Immediate German influence over South America dropped sharply during World War I. Commercial, political, and cultural ties were broken. The movement of capital stopped. German colonization came to a standstill. The United States and her allies took advantage of this situation to improve their own positions, and for several years were oblivious to the fact that the Germans were quietly moving again toward their dream of colonizing and controlling South America.

The world was interested in reconstruction after the First World War, as now. People wanted to forget the fighting and its causes. There was forgiveness in the air, then mellowness. But the minds of the German empire-makers never rested. There was a new science called geopolitics. To the philosophy of von Clausewitz, who held that Germany’s sacred task was to “civilize” other peoples, was added a kind of scientific jargon that fascinated the beer-hall rowdies now beginning to call themselves Nazis. The triumphant Nazis took such easygoing institutions as the Pan-German League, the various Overseas Institutes, and the German diplomatic corps and breathed into them the fire of their ideology. The Nazi Party gave von Clausewitz vigor and direction, turning what had been a cumbersome reaching outward from Germany into a real spearhead of penetration with the assault power of a Panzer army.

Rudolf Hess, Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, General Wilhelm Faupel, and other Nazi leaders organized an agitation for “the protection of German minorities, abroad” and for the militant incorporation of emigrant Germans into the National Socialist Party. They created new Gemeinschaften to organize Germans overseas, browbeating, threatening, blackmailing those who resisted. Franz Fahnemann exclaimed excitedly in a journal designed to discipline Nazi schoolteachers: “Thirty-five million Germans live outside the German Reich’s borders as German minorities in foreign countries. Therefore, we are not a nation of sixty-five million people; we are a nation of one hundred million!” As the homeland steeped itself in emotion it pointed again to Germans in South America — this time with sharp, sinister intent. Race hate replaced race intolerance. Terror replaced persuasion. All German life abroad as well as at home was forced into uniform to be made a weapon of aggression. A startling conception of force was born: the political, industrial, military Nazi state.

2

TITLER’S Pan-German strategists found British and American business interests well intrenched in South America. They found also a new, enlightened United States policy beginning to bring the countries of the Hemisphere together in the sense of its common purpose and common destiny.

The Third Reich moved. It brought its colonies under discipline. It appealed to every susceptible local prejudice, fanned every flame of narrow nationalism, bribed and bullied in an effort to create chaos in South America. The Reich increased its business methodically until it became an important part of the economy of many key countries. Chemical companies, metal industries, electrical firms overshadowed British and in some cases even American business. Nazi Germany extended its control as far as it was able, and where it could not control, it opened a vicious propaganda campaign against the Yankee, with the aim of marking him as the power to be feared.

German colonies in Latin America were brought under the control of the Nazi Party by means of various instruments, the most effective of which seemed to be the “Overseas Branch” of the Party. This organization operated its own police system, its own intelligence service, its own collection agencies and strong-arm squads. German employees were forced or persuaded into the Party labor front. If they didn’t belong they couldn’t work for German firms. That would have meant starvation for most of them.

Housewives, school children, teachers, technicians, farmers — all had their choice of joining the Party and doing its bidding, or facing Party discipline. Some were brutally beaten. If they had relatives in Germany, they were reminded of that fact. If they failed to coöperate immediately, they were cut off from German consular services, they were social outcasts, their businesses were boycotted. If this sounds strange to those familiar with less aggressive German communities in the United States, remember that in parts of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina only German is spoken, only German business is done, and in some cases a local German postal service carries the mails.

Since Nazism itself was spawned in social and political confusion, and since its best chance of duplicating itself in the guise of a domestic movement lay in creating confusion within the various American nations, it early began the labor of political agitation. Using local nationalist mouthpieces, it screamed for revolution or reaction, justice or injustice, with equal fervor. It used the same techniques and to some extent the same individuals it had found effective in Germany and in neighboring European countries earmarked for conquest. The classic Quisling example has had its counterparts wherever the Nazi system reached.

The most cynical methods were employed without hesitation. Belligerent patriotism was encouraged in countries the inhabitants of which Germany had held in almost official contempt for generations. Races stamped by German empire-makers as inferior were persuaded to assert themselves to the damage of the domestic peace. Some of this agitat ion was delicately subtle. Some was crude. Dilettante audiences discussed a mystic falange mission in the Gothic Spanish tradition while, outside on the street, gangs of hoodlums, paid out of the same Nazi till, broke shop fronts. Nothing was left undone to persuade wealthy South Americans that their investments and savings were endangered by a wave of bolshevism sweeping the “decadent democracies”; at the same time the young, the landless, and the desperate were organized to take what they could by force. It was a thorough campaign of confusion full of unconfused purpose.

At about the time Hitler brought the Nazi Party triumphantly into power in Germany a boundary dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay broke into war. The Chaco quarrel had sputtered for years like a fuse alongside a powder keg. When the flame appeared, the United States, in concert with other nations of the Western Hemisphere, moved to extinguish it. Before it had exploded the tense republics surrounding it, the war was brought to a close by mediation, and finally settled by arbitration. A peace treaty was signed July 21, 1938; and the final disposition of the boundary was left to the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay as “arbitrators in equity.”

Agreement was reached despite obstacles thrown in the path of peaceful settlement by German and Italian diplomats. Even ridicule was brought to bear on the peacemakers. A disastrous general conflict had been avoided, the kind of war that Germany had hoped would rend the Hemisphere asunder and make impossible the nearly united front with which she was later faced. At the settlement, Secretary of State Cordell Hull sent word to the Argentine Congress: “There is . . . no other single event that could have had as beneficial and happy an effect on inter-American relations.”

3

BUT there were other factors playing into Germany’s hand. From the earliest days of German emigration, the temperate climate, the tolerant democratic institutions, and the solid European background of Argentina made it a favored land. It is not by accident that the heavy German settlement in the very heart of subtropical Argentina is called by the emigrants El Dorado. More Germans lived farther north in the Brazilian provinces, but in a much larger total population they exercised slightly less influence. Argentina was a rich and friendly country. German business prospered. German society spread its wings. German culture found appreciative devotees. German technical efficiency, industrial and military, found enthusiastic imitators. German military instructors returning home from tours of duty with the Argentine Army spread through Germany the fame of Argentina, and Argentine military students and observers with the German Army returned the compliment. There grew an association that bore inevitably its fruit.

Like other basically democratic countries, Argentina has developed slowly toward political maturity — sometimes clearly and consciously with wise leadership and enthusiastic teamwork, sometimes obscurely under trying conditions. It is hard to say how much confusion here was the result of natural development — growing pains — and how much stemmed from the twin evils of Fascism and Nazism in Europe. But the result is obvious. Despite the appearance of men of strong democratic ideals like President Roberto Ortiz, whose influence had hardly begun to be felt when he died, Argentina presented a political atmosphere perfectly suiting the purposes of German Nazis, a counterpart of the international atmosphere cleansed by the Chaco peace.

President Ortiz, aware of the menace with which he must deal, outlawed the German National Socialist Party in Argentina by presidential decree in 1939. Streets no longer echoed with the boots of marching storm troopers; the cry “Heil Hitler!” was stilled; the swastika banners came down. There was silence—an ominous silence. The Nazi Party had gone underground. In 1941 the Argentine Chamber of Deputies discovered a German block, cell, and strong-point system in their country in full operation under Nazi discipline. The 164 organizations in Argentina controlled by the German Nazi Party through its overseas channels continued in the same offices, under the same Berlin-appointed leaders. The Nazi Party had become the Circle of German Benevolent and Cultural Societies.

It was a change in name only. The deception is important. First, it demonstrates the tenacity and resolute purpose behind the German penetration of South America. And second, it indicates the contempt in which Nazi-inspired Germans held the people of Argentina and their institutions. With amazement and a sense of frustration, those people watched one proscribed German organization after another appear under a new name. Some of the disguises have been ludicrously thin. The German paper Deutsche La Plata Zeitung, banned comparatively recently, actually appeared on the streets again as El Zeitung. Were it not for the tragic consequences in American and other lives lost, in aid and comfort furnished a deadly enemy, and in a nation turned against its own best traditions, this chapter might be almost comic.

4

IT HAS been determined by investigations made by the Argentine government itself that the Nazi framework erected in Argentina by organizers from Berlin included powerful commercial and financial institutions, a vast and enterprising propaganda system, social and cultural centers, more than two hundred schools, military liaison with the Argentine armed forces, and an efficient intelligence system. These activities were financed partly from Berlin through the German Embassy in Buenos Aires, partly by contributions extorted from German businessmen in Argentina, partly by voluntary contributions and by the natural surplus of well-conducted commercial affairs in good times in a prosperous country. They were directed partly by attachés of the German Embassy sent to Buenos Aires for the purpose, partly by special agents of the Nazi Party and the Wehrmacht commuting between Berlin and Buenos Aires by German-Italian airlines and neutral steamship lines, partly by agents and directors disguised as legitimate business representatives. They utilized the services of thugs and bravos recruited from the Nazi-dominated German colonies of Argentina. In the beginning there was some resistance among local Germans, as there was in the old German diplomatic corps and among managers of old German business firms. This was overcome by persuasion or by more drastic means.

The amount of money being spent by the German Embassy for political bribery became a scandal in Argentina, resulting in a limitation by law of the funds any foreign embassy could handle. When that limit was imposed, new techniques of extortion were employed in the German colony and new methods for the payment of agents were devised. Heinrich vollberg, purporting to represent the German Chamber of Commerce, admitted that he collected a quarter of a million dollars for a “relief fund” in the fiscal year 1940-1041 and turned the money over to the Embassy. No German dared refuse to contribute to these funds.

During the same period Vollberg’s office spent hundreds of thousands of dollars printing a German propaganda newspaper, El Pampero, the front page of which was devoted day after day to libeling President Roosevelt, sneering at Pan-Americanism, gloating over Axis military successes, and demanding the rise of a militant Argentine nationalism to put an end to the pretensions of decadent democracy. The money was out of Nazi pockets, the theme out of Dr. Goebbels’s vial of poison. There is legal proof that El Pampero was financed by the German Embassy, but it takes no lawyer to trace the origin of its journalistic vitriol.

The twin themes of German propaganda in Argentina— the menace of Yankee imperialism and the benevolent power of the German Wehrmacht — served twin purposes: first, to arouse the natural patriotic emotions of the Argentine people and to twist them into unnatural hatred of their neighbor in the north; second, to persuade the Argentine people to accept the world leadership of Nazi Germany. It succeeded in doing neither, but it reached the unbalanced and the ambitious with its dangerous doctrines. It comforted and it kept active those who through long contact with Germans and German things felt a sentimental inclination to forgive Germany her adventure into military conquest; and it fired the zeal of those who were at heart with the Nazis.

In sum, German power lay in the manpower of the German colonies, in the political force of the Nazi and Pan-German ideologies, in the strong personal and political influence exerted by the two together on Argentine society, and in the German economic empire extended into Argentina. The names Siemens, Bayer, Mannesmann, Schering, Merck — some of them enterprises of the far-flung and sinister I. G. Farbenindustrie — were as familiar on the streets of Buenos Aires as the trade names of North American industrial and commercial giants in New York. In addition to the considerable investment represented, Germany exerted an influence on the Argentine economy out of proportion to the money involved — this through technical and managerial domination in many fields. Real-estate holdings and capital investment of all kinds cannot be accounted for completely because of a diverse and complicated system of cloaks for hidden ownership developed in the years of economic warfare around the globe.

The strength in this German economy reached a peak in the fourteen months prior to February, 1943, when, at the height of the common danger of complete Axis military conquest, the Argentine government itself let contracts amounting to millions of dollars to German-owned or German-controlled firms and forced Allied concerns to deliver goods and materials to these Germans. This action was taken by the government in spite of the resolutions participated in by Argentina at the Rio de Janeiro Conference of Foreign Ministers in January, 1942, recommending severance of relations with the Axis and the establishment of a common continental defense against Nazi Germany.

As German strong points in Argentina developed the deception of operating under cultural and charitable labels, and as German firms in Argentina learned to do business under the cloak of respectable names, so the Argentine government seemed to its neighboring republics to be dealing with the enemy on the side at the same time that it participated in consultations on mutual defense.

5

MEANWHILE, Argentina was moving toward a military dictatorship. President Ortiz had in 1941 turned over his administrative duties to Vice President Ramón Castillo, a provincial doctor of jurisprudence. Castillo was unable to give leadership to a country swept by emotions and confused by propaganda.

The Argentine Army is largely German-trained. Many of its ranking officers have seen service with the German Army or have gone to German military schools. By and large, it admires German efficiency and strategy. German equipment is its ideal. German technical assistance has helped it build a formidable munitions industry. General Wilhelm Faupel left Germany to teach in the Argentine military school, then became adviser to the Argentine Army. He returned to Germany to organize the military assistance to General Francisco Franco in 1936 and 1937, when that assistance broke the back of the Spanish Republican Government. Then as director of the Ibero-Amerikanische Institut, Berlin, he was principal contact man between the Nazis and the Argentine officers under their influence. When Allied armies approached Berlin, he killed himself.

A clique of Faupel-dominated officers controlling the Argentine Army was annoyed at Argentina’s official pledges to participate in the defense of the Hemisphere against Germany. It was annoyed at the government for staying within the formal structure of American coöperation. It was annoyed at a great many things.

Early in 1943 there was circulated among the officers of the Army a notice that the time had come to strike in the name of Argentina’s national destiny. The words of Hitler’s Mein Kampf were paraphrased to prepare for the strike. The circular reached a pitch of patriotic emotion, calling for the establishment not only of military dictatorship in Argentina, but of an Argentine-dominated South America as regional counterpart to a German-dominated Europe. This was von Clausewitz come to life on American soil.

The regularly constituted government of Argentina was overthrown by military action. The Army seized the institutions of democratic procedure and closed them. The military junta that assumed administrative responsibility included a preponderant number of admirers of the Nazi Germany that was at that moment scientifically eliminating the weak and the defenseless at Dachau.

The people of the world are rightly concerned with the events leading up to the seizure of power by the Argentine Army, and with the consequences of that seizure. The people of Argentina themselves have shown again and again that they, too, are concerned.

Despite a jockeying for power within the Army, no plan to occupy the government matured until doubt of German military invincibility began to appear with the turning of the tide in Russia, followed by Allied successes in North Africa. If Axis conquests had moved to completion, those in Argentina who believed in force over principles would have inherited the government naturally, without effort. It is quite possible that they decided to seize power only when serious doubts began to arise about the ability of the Axis to deliver them that power. That would account for the swift move of the Army in the spring of 1943. Whatever the strategy, the assumption of control in Argentina by military elements and the abandonment of democratic government gave the Nazi ideology a firm base of operations in the American Hemisphere.

As long as there survives the possibility of a renewal of military aggression, the German politicoeconomic system in America will be full of dangerous meaning for those of us concerned with the security of our families and our neighbors’ families.

During the war German airlines flying from the Panama Canal to Patagonia had to be grounded. German submarine supply points and intelligence systems had to be eliminated and supply routes to Germany had to be cut. The job of rooting out and neutralizing the system of German commercial and industrial firms, propaganda agencies, and espionage networks was like a delicate but extensive surgical operation. It was absolutely essential to our survival. What is essential to our continued survival is the eradication of both the will to kill and the means — both the ideology that requires military action, and the machinery and materials for making the weapons of war.

This is the age of atomic destruction, a time when nobody knows what power may be created in what quiet laboratory, capable of closing out our civilization. It is easy to recognize and raise our voices against the philosophy of violence that tolerates the use of that power. What is difficult but increasingly our task is to create and maintain the atmosphere of democratic processes everywhere as the best protection against aggression.

There seems to be no doubt in the minds of any of us that we have come through a war that was at the same time an episode in the evolution of mankind toward the light. It may be said that we fought for the survival of the right to develop without interference. The collision of philosophies of living was more fundamental than the collision of armies.

After the conclusion of the Chaco peace, representatives of the various nations involved in reaching a peaceful settlement of the Paraguayan-Bolivian war sat down to a formal dinner at the University of Buenos Aires. The entire diplomatic corps in Argentina was invited. One of the guests was the German Ambassador, Edmund Freiherr von Thermann, a German diplomat of what is called the old school. Ambassador von Thermann had just returned to his post after attending the great 1938 Nazi Congress at Nürnberg, where nearly a million frenzied individuals in the shadow of massed war banners celebrated the First Parteitag of Greater Germany in commemoration of the German-Austrian Anschluss. The imperial regalia of the Holy Roman Empire had been transferred from Vienna for the occasion. Ambassador von Thermann was still full of the color and the emotional meaning in his German heart. As he dined with us modest citizens of another continent who had achieved a happy peace without violence or bitterness, he turned to me and said: “The Nürnberg spectacle was magnificent. It celebrated a peace made as Germans make it. We use a different method.” I believe he had no conception of the significance of what he said.

6

WE HAVE long known that the two concepts of life can’t live side by side. One must triumph. Most Latin Americans recognize not only this basic conflict but their own individual responsibility toward it. Adolfo Lanús, a member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies before the Chamber was dissolved by military order, said in 1942, when German arms were still triumphant: “If Germany wins, I thought, the children of the men who have taken a stand against her barbarism probably will never play again. My little boy would never play again. But then I said to myself, if Germany triumphs and the world is subjugated by her dictatorship, not only will my son never play again even though I have not taken a stand against Nazism — but all the children of the world will cease to be children.”

This is a pretty clear statement of the individual and philosophical problem involved, and it was made by a public figure whose life would have been worth nothing if the German advance then in progress continued unchecked. Shortly after it was made, a military dictatorship closed out democratic government in Argentina and suspended civil liberties and the public expression of democratic principles. Lanus was imprisoned on charges yet unknown to him.

Just as aggressive war is an admission of moral bankruptcy, the nullification of civil liberties is an admission of defeat. It is a reluctant recognition of the essential virility of the people on whom it is imposed. The orderly, serene operation of government with full coöperation of the people from whom it derives is a manifestation of health and strength not even to be imitated by threat and parade of force. When the military dictatorship of Argentina deprived the citizens of that commonwealth of their civil rights, it took from them the thing for which millions of fellow Americans were fighting on every battlefield they could reach by ship and plane. At the Rio do Janeiro conference, Argentine representatives offered lip service to the principles of democratic government and to the defense of the Hemisphere, but in practice they denied them.

The policy of inter-American consultation, the antithesis of aggressive force, brought together the nations of the Hemisphere in March, 1945, for a common decision on military, economic, and political problems arising from the impending war’s end. Argentina, still held prisoner by dictatorship, was asked to participate. It did so, and shortly after that secured admission to the United Nations, which was then a kind of heroes’ circle of those who had stood against the Axis terror. This admission has been defended on the grounds that the democratic tradition of the Argentine people had earned it for them and that a denial would have been a denial of the very principle of common action on which our security must rest.

In the same spirit, as the United States Ambassador, I presented my credentials to the President of Argentina, General Edelmiro Farrell, on May 21. It was necessary to make clear to the Argentine people that my arrival was not, as some had been persuaded to believe, notice that we preferred to deal with dictatorships “because we could get more from them than from democracies.” Not only would such an endorsement of the dictatorship have been a betrayal of Argentine citizens hoping and working for better days, but my mission to Argentina would have been futile had I not immediately cleared the air. At my first press conference I plainly stated that my arrival as Ambassador was no such endorsement. I said: “We have fought a war all over the world for democracy and we mean just that. We want to see democracy everywhere.” Had I remained silent, my silence too would have been interpreted as an endorsement of what had been done to the Argentina people.

One of the most significant declarations made by an outside reporter on what was happening inside Argentina was delivered by Don Pedro Cué, owner and manager of the Havana newspaper, El Mundo, on July 6, the day he left Buenos Aires, to a representative of the Santiago, Chile, newspaper, El Diario Ilustrado. Chile had just finished a tremendous demonstration in honor of the independence of the United States. Cue arrived in Santiago after an interview with Colonel Perón, Vice President and War Minister in the military dictatorship of Argentina. Cue reported: —

“Colonel Perón said he did not know when elections would be held, because the political parties were completely disorganized, and he could not see how they could be reorganized as they are divided on issues. When asked what he thought of the present government of Argentina he said: ‘It is a government that is trying to save the Argentine nation . . . but without consulting the Argentine people.’”

This was justification for imposing upon a people the conditions of a “state of siege,” a legal phrase covering suspension of representative government, the rights of assembly, of expression, of freedom of the press, and all other civil rights. It gives any swaggering officer license to beat citizens who refuse to hail the “leader.” It protects the hoodlum who uses brass knuckles on the face of a young girl because she cries, “Long live democracy!” It licenses mounted policemen armed with sabers to ride down men, women, and children. It encourages arrest without charge and without redress. It encourages torture.

Although “popular demonstrations” were engineered by the “colonels” for purposes of publicity, genuine, spontaneous demonstrations by the people were ruthlessly smashed. It seemed never to occur to the Army junta that a world was watching and that they must inevitably be called to account.

7

THE record of Argentina’s compliance with its pledges at Mexico City has not been impressive. One of its greatest, derelictions has been its failure to deal promptly and forcefully in closing out the German business houses waging economic warfare against the United Nations and harboring Nazi agents of every kind. Another has been the spirit of impartiality in which the Argentine government closed out the prodemocratic newspapers when it could no longer withstand the pressure forcing it to close the Axis propaganda sheets. Again, it did not seem to penetrate the minds of the colonels that the world was sitting in judgment, and that the conviction was growing that government by principles will some day make all government by passion and threat obsolete.

With the defeat of Germany, Argentina remains under the bare dictatorship of uniformed men who drink at the same fountain where drank Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco. As long as the people of Argentina live under the heel of this dictatorship, indeed as long as anybody anywhere in the world lives outside the community of free peoples, none of us can sleep soundly nights. Either the Hemisphere is united or it is broken. Either the idea of the rights of man triumphed or it was defeated. There is no room anywhere for middle ground. I say this with no intention of discriminating against the Argentine Republic. I cannot express strongly enough my admiration for Argentine courage and patriotism as exemplified by students and workers, among others. The people have been brought low by a series of circumstances, not the least of which is Argentina’s own wealth and consequent strategic importance. But people everywhere have suffered and have learned how to survive and become their own masters.

The conditions by which her neighbors expect Argentina to live are the conditions imposed by a few very simple principles learned by the race from its own spiritual and practical experience. The responsibility of living by them lies on all of us equally.

It is not simply that the willful men guiding Argentina to chaos must go. The seeds of war must be rooted out of the soil. The peoples of the world are learning to live together by a growing concept of mutual understanding and mutual sacrifice. If an economic practice enriches us but impoverishes our neighbors, we shall have to learn how to give up that privilege. If a military tradition cannot be disciplined to keep within the bounds of the peaceful association of peoples it will have to be eliminated. These and other changes in our evolution from savagery to social association can come the easy way or the hard way, depending on our grasp of the problem. Germany and Japan are learning to get along without marching songs and adoration of a “leader.” They are learning the hard way. In some Spanishspeaking countries it has suited the purposes of ambitious men to revive the caudillo idea of military leadership. It may prove to bo a hard lesson to learn, that the human race can no longer afford the luxury of these men. It might have been learned long ago if men had kept their minds alert.

The men who helped betray Argentina are named in a “Blue Book” recently issued by the government of the United States for purposes of consultation with other nations of the Hemisphere. Their names and the evidence of their complicity were found in official Nazi German records. A large number of them are military men who seized control of the Argentine government in 1943. Among them are President Edelmiro Farrell, President Pablo Ramírez, General Domingo Martínez, Colonel Juan Perón, Colonel Enrique Gonzales. Among the activities that have now come to light was a conspiracy with Nazi officers and espionage agents to provide the Argentine Army with modern German materials of war. Only an effective Allied blockade prevented delivery.

To prevent the kind of international anarchy these men represent, the American republics have met in a series of conferences for our common defense. At Lima they said: “Each state is interested in the preservation of world order under law, in peace and justice, and in the social and economic welfare of mankind.”

But neither high principles nor determination ends the matter. There is yet the labor of application. It is in the field of application that the qualities of leadership, patience, and determination are required to a high degree. The American republics because of their material strength are in a position of leadership and now must call on the wisdom of all their people to assert that leadership in the direction of our collective destiny. Once their spokesmen have made it clear that the rights of men are paramount to every other consideration in public affairs, suspicion and fear will die. There will come a time when human aspirations will take precedence over the ambitions of the organizers of aggression as already they are beginning to take precedence in enlightened law over economic privilege. This is the light by which we live.