JF Ptak Science Books Post 2464
Until today I had never considered the idea of alcohol as a propagandistic weapon in war until I read Hitler is in Favor (1943), a slim pamphlet that turns out to be an anti-anti-Prohibition statement from the Repeal Associates (of Washington D.C.). The statement "Hitler is in favor" seemed more an interogatory or than a declarative, and the issue of what he was in favor of seemed to be pretty open-ended. Alcohol was not on the suspect list.
From what I can tell the pamphlet is a declaration against an earlier pamphlet written by R(overt) Hercod (b. 1876), who was a prominent international figure on the prohibition scene, general secretary of the International Bureau Against Alcoholism (Laussane, Switzerland), and also active in organizations like the Swiss Total Abstinence Federation and other such groups. He wrote (necessarily) on the evils of alcohol and the need for the reintroduction of prohibition, while recognizing that Hitler was against alcohol, and trying to distance his views from those.
This however is not achieved in high relief.
For example in 1939 Hercod observes in a pamphlet purchased and distributed by the Board of Temperance of the Methodist Church that "(Hitler) knew Prohibition was a good issue for starting up trouble" by trying to cause a wider division between wet/dry forces in the U.S., which I've never heard of before as a tool in the Nazi propaganda toolbox.
Things get more problematic for the Hercod pamphlet, as the author of Hitler is in Favor points out the "Dr. Hercod has a kind word for Nazi sterilization law, although agreeing that it cannot have much effect in bringing about temperance". This sterilization law must have been a subset of other sterilization laws in Germany, this one being the sterilization of "serious cases" of alcoholics which could prove to be a "danger...for the race".
Hercod identifies the German government in 1938 and 1939 as "benevolent", at least in regards to its participation in organizations like the International Temperance Union, which seems to be an extreme example of single-issue politics.
Another positive influence seen by Hercod is in Hitler Youth, where even though they "are not required o take a pledge of abstinence...they are expected to abstain from alcohol and tobacco..."
Then this nugget: "As to the future of alcohol in German, Dr. Hercod does not believe such a drastic step as prohibition is in the offing".
The sterilization part is a very sobering insistence that this weird intellectual effort is not without its fair share of bizarre, real-life implications, and that there was an overall positive if not foggy interpretation of National Socialism, with everything weighed in terms of prohibition.
But then the stiffener comes at close of the pamphlet--an incredible statement made in 1939 that no doubt demanded the consumption of an obscuring potion by the writer. The anonymous author notes that Hercod relates "how active German Jews were in temperance movements) in 1939, but then "without promulgation, so far as we know of any special decree to this effect, the Jews disappeared from the temperance societies (when the authorities took control of these societies) where they had often occupied an important place".
In the pursuit of an alcohol-free world Hercod overlooks the Nazi plan for the Jewish-free world. Being in neighboring Switzerland it seems impossible that Hercod could have missed the previous six years of bitter race laws instituted in Germany (including the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935), but it seems as though he did. He also does not seem to have been affected by the Austrian Anschluss, either. Or any of the other Hitler stuff that wasn't playing out so nicely in 1939. (I can only assume that all this was written before September, 1939, but...)
And so that is the end of the tour of this very brief but deeply troubling nine-page pamphlet. It is difficult to understand the thinking that makes such extreme disgusting myopia possible, though I think it is helpful to surface such a brew as this to appreciate a part of the low wavelength thinking that contributes to making monstrous social licensing possible.