Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Adolf Hitler 1939

In 1939 many in the neighbor hood had gathered on th Mc Clelland front porch there on Robinwood Road. There was a conversation going on about whether there would be layoffs or not in local industry. One young couple were really concerned. He had recently gone to work at Owens Yacht co. down at the end of Stansbury road . Being a new employee he would be among the first to go if there was a layoff.
“What you doing down there Roy,” my father asked
“Well I run a wood shaper most of the time. But sometimes I drill holes in plywood. You stack up about 10 sheets of plywood and then you take this fixture they supply and you put it on top. It's got holes every inch in both directions and them holes have steel bushings in'em. You take an electric drill and you drill holes all over them sheets of wood. They make the boat ceilings out of them.”
“Well if they lay you off let me know we have a wood shop over at the Western Electric. They might take you on there, seems like business is picking up there.”
“That won't happen Mr. Harman injected. The hole countries going right back into another depression. Yep it's going to be even worse this time. Roosevelt ain't going to be so lucky this time.” he said hand on knee his head shaking side to side. “Gonna be bad.”
“I think this is not so....”Mr. Derr said.
"Otto!" Mrs Derr said, "You don't talk so much,” she said, wide eyed.
“Ya Paula I tell.” War is comingk, war in Europe and we will be in it.” There will be no.. how you say layoff. Every factory will work seven days every week all night and all day..”
“ Otto you mean that crazy little paper hanger Hitler, in Germany, no that won't happen the German people remember the first war. They won't go to war against the world,”my father said with conviction.
"Yaa I think they do. But not just Germany, but Russia,Italy, Spain, Argentina and Japan. They will take Europe and England fast that will only leave America andTurkey to fight the axis power. It could be bad for America. They would invade the east coast and the west coast and we would be fighting on two fronts. The American people have many guns and maybe they could slow things down until an Army is raised. I think many will die.
“ Fred, I tell you tonight, turn on your radio to Berlin Radio and listen to Adolf Hitler's speech, tomorrow you tell me there will be no war.”
“Otto I won't know what he is saying what good will it do to listen,” my father replied.
“You don't have to understand you will know,”Otto said, as him an Paula arose to leave.
Before sundown my father went out and checked the antenna that was strung from the top of the house out fifty feet to a pole on the old now unused out house That night we all sat down in the living room and my father turned on that big floor model Air king radio he had recently bought from Sears Roebuck. After it warmed up my father turned the knob to short wave and began slowly to turn the tuning dial to the station. There was a lot of squeaking and squawking and finally a vice came in in German, then French and then English Radio Berlin. There was music in a moment the radio jumped into action with yelling and shouting Sig Hiel was screamed by thousands over an over in a chanting mindless rhythm. Hitler spoke loud and fast, shouting in a frenzied, maniacal series of near screams. At every pause in his speech was applause and wild screaming and shouts of Hiel Hitler. Music was played and thousands joined in singing. Then thousands more came in with triumphal shouts. At every pause there was thunderous applause and screaming. We didn't understand a word but even I at my age knew. My father got up turned off the radio. His face was white and he was visibly shaken.
"My God Ruby, Otto is right, we are going to have to fight them Germans and it will be worse than world War one. We will have to fight them! Many tuned into that speech and from that moment on in the minds of Dundalkers we were at war with Germany even though no shots were fired for a couple more year's.

History books say America was surprised by Dec 7,1941. The saying goes, little pitchers have big ears, well this little pitcher remembers a lot of war talk among adults in Dundalk.

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