Sunday, October 26, 2014

H.L. Mencken, at his most vitriolic, on USA anti-German WWI propaganda, with a mention of propaganda tsar Creel.

From H. L. Mencken, "Star-Spangled Men," The New Republic, Vol. 24, Issue 304, pp. 119-120:
For the grand cordons of the order, e.g., college professors who spied upon and reported the seditions of their associates, state presidents of the American Protection League, alien property custodians, judges whose sentence of conscientious objectors mounted to more than 50,000 years, members of Dr. Creel's committee of American historians, the authors of the Sisson documents, etc. -- pensions of $10 a day would be enough, with silver badges and no plug hats. ...

Mencken image from

The man who invented the story about the German plant for converting the corpses of the slain into soap did more for democracy and hence deserves a more brilliant recognition, than a thousand uninspired hawkers of ordinary atrocity stories. ...
But what of the vaudeville actors, the cheer leaders, the doughnut fryers, the camp librarians, the press agents? I am not forgetting them. Let them be distributed among all the classes from the seventh to eighth, according to their deserts [sic]. And the agitators against German music? And the specialists in the crimes of the German professors? And the collectors of funds for the Czecho-Slovaks, the Armenians, the Syrians, the Lithuanians, the Poles? And the eagle-eyed scientists who discovered ground glass in pumpernickel, arsenic in dill pickles, bichcloride tablets in Bismark's herrings, pathogenic organisms in aniline dyes? And the editorial writers and the headline writers? And the authors of books describing how the Kaiser told them the whole plot in 1913, while they were pulling his teeth or cobbling his shoes? And the ex-ambassadors? And the Nietzchefresser? And the Chautauqua lecturers? And the four-minute men [see]? And the reverend clergy? Let no grateful heart forgive them.

No comments: