1946 Marquis Childs after Manne Siegbahn Russian Hail San Bernardino County Sun CA October 3
a 5 WASHINGTON CALLING MORE ABOUT 'RUSSIAN HAIL1 By MARQUIS CHILDS STOCKHOLM The most extraordinary extraordinary phenomenon of postwar postwar Europe is the reports of flying flying bombs or rockets that are now beginning to come from widely separated areas. If they are real, then we have a small sample of what the next conflict will be like. If they are mere illusion, then we have an example of the uneasy state of mind of the people who live on this troubled continent The rockets were first reported in numbers from Sweden, where you would assume that the cautious cautious and even-tempered even-tempered even-tempered population, population, untouched by the direct tragedy tragedy of war, would not be subject to random nightmares. Next were vague reports of fire bombs over Athens at the time of the visit of the aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt. More recently, rockets have been reported over Italian cities and the Italian government has ordered an investigation. SEEN BY AMERICAN I have talked to many people here about the flying bombs. Some put the whole thing down to post war hysteria. Others take a serious view of what they call, half in jest, "Russian hail." One thoroughly reliable American American observer with whom I talked saw a flying bomb in broad daylight daylight over this city. It was a cigar shaped object which streaked across the sky with great speed and seemed on the point of shooting shooting earthward. Careful Swedish observers have seen what they believed believed to be rockets. Official opinion is that nothing is really known about the phenomenon, phenomenon, which has now more or loss subsided. Recently, at any rate, very few reports of bombs have been received. If the government government has found any fragments, that fact is being kept a careful secret. The soundest opinion seems to me to be this: The Russians on the island of Peenemundo, off the German coast in the Baltic, are probably experimenting with televised televised rockets. They must send them over a fairly long distance in order to make an adequate test. That any political motivation lies behind the "Russian hail" is most unlikely. This somehow makes the phenomenon, if it is actually a weapon of war, more terrifying. It has an impersonal, emotionless quality that disregards disregards human values which have been painfully built up through the centuries. SIMILAR ACTION It resembled the action of the Soviets in the fall of 1939, when thousands of Poles fled into Russia Russia to escape from the Nazis. Many of them were professional men and intellectuals with their families. They were put in forest camps in the dead of winter with pitifully inadequate clothing and food, and they died in an average of three weeks. There was no special special hostility toward these people, but there was no place for them to go and in the camps they contributed contributed little work before they died Bearing on the mystery of the flying bombs is a misunderstanding misunderstanding as to what happened on the island of Peenemunde, which was one of the chief centers for German German experiments with rockets. In this column, in the Readers Digest Digest and elsewhere in the United States, it has been widely printed on what seemed good information that installations at Peenemunde were destroyed by bombing attacks. attacks. That is not true. The United States strategic bombing survey determined that very little damage was done at Peenmunde. From other sources I have learned that the Russians took Peenemunde almost intact. They also captured a number of German German scientists who were active in promoting guided missile and rocket research. The U.S. got its share of these scientists, many of whom are now in America. But the Soviets also shared in this strange spoil of war and their captured scientists are now said to be working for them. These experts may be teaching the Russians what they know and that may be the explanation for the mysterious fireworks. MASS HYSTERIA Psychologists do not, of course, discount the remarkable suggestibility suggestibility of the human mind in periods periods of great stress. Before the rise of Nazism with its sinister accompaniment accompaniment of mass hypnosis, we liked to think we were living in an age of reason and could not be touched by spells and hysteria that formerly swept whole populations. populations. In the year 1000, large numbers of Europeans became convinced that the world was ending ending and strange forms of mass hysteria occurred throughout the continent. Perhaps the "Russian hall" was only a stray meteor or two magnified magnified by tragic fears that feed on the mysteries of science. How many years must pass before we can hope to see the peoples of the world back to anything like normal? normal? (Copyright, 1948, by United Features) QUOTATIONS AUNT HET By ROBERT QUILLEN All the wars in history are due to the clashes between clans brought about by fear, greed end pride, and until all men can accept accept a common axiom that they are all children of one family world brotherhood will remain difficult to achieve. Geoffry Francis Fisher, archbishop of Canterbury. Canterbury. The time has come to recognize that the United States treasury is not an inexhaustible reservoir, that "thrift is the philosopher's touchstone," and that excessive taxes discourage production. Spruille Braden, assistant secretary secretary of state. Because the atomic bomb is a super-weapon super-weapon super-weapon it does not follow that we must hold that it means the extinction of civilization. It could mean shorter wars and wars less destructive to our civilization. Col. Bradley Dewey, president of the American Chemical society. The black marketeers, both sellers sellers and buyers, have been more interested in profiteering than in providing shelter for those who won the war for them and us. Housing Expediter Wilson W. Wyatt. What we need is less government government control in fixing wages. We want to be free men who can sell their labor under their terms and not be compelled to work for wages fixed by the government William Green, president of A.F.L.