Jean van Heijenoort writing as Marc Loris

Europe Under the Iron Heel

Fourth International, February 1942, pp.52-57, under the name “Marc Loris”. ( words)

This article proposes primarily to provide information for the non-European reader on the situation now existing in the continent which was for centuries the guide of mankind. We reserve for another article an examination of our perspectives and of our political tasks. The information transmitted here is derived from bulletins and from special reviews,[1] from conversations of the author with individuals arrived from Europe and finally from private communications received from Europe through underground channels.

If one leaves aside for the moment the USSR, Europe has about 380 million inhabitants. Germany, with Austria, has 77 million. Her allies (Italy, Hungary, Finland. Bulgaria) have 60 million. The neutral countries (Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal) have 42 million. The British Isles—51 million. Remaining are 150 million humans oppressed by Germany. Their countries are: Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece. The most important part of France is occupied and the rest directly controlled. As for Rumania, half conquered, half allied, it is in the position of an occupied country through its internal situation.

During the first imperialist war of 1914-1918, Germany also occupied several territories in Europe (Belgium, Northern France, central European countries). The quantitative difference between the two wars is evident. But there is another distinction. In World War I the occupied territories were almost completely emptied of men of military age. Old men, women and children remained. Moreover, the fronts in western and central Europe were constantly moving. Industrial and agricultural production practically ceased.

The present occupation is not only much more extensive, but also includes the mass of the population (except for prisoners of war in Germany) and there are no fronts in western and central Europe. But these advantages of the Nazis have also evoked resistance from the conquered population far beyond that of World War I.

All the forms of resistance which we are now witnessing existed in the previous war (in Belgium particularly), but they have now taken on enormously increased proportions. A Belgian newspaper published illegally in Brussels, La Libre Belgique, reported last August that more Belgians have been imprisoned in a year of occupation by the Germans than during the four years of 1914-1918.

Violence and Executions To give an idea of the situation in occupied France we reproduce from France Speaks some passages from a letter written in November 1941: “The assassinations and sabotage now being committed in the occupied zone as well as the repressions that have followed, are creating a great stir in France, in all France. This wide official publicity is entirely new. The assassinations and the sabotage are an old story compared to it. Anyone who has lived in Paris and the occupied zone in 1940 and 1941 knows that if, in the capital, relations with the occupying force were peaceful, the same could not be said for the provinces. Beginning with the suburbs of Paris, there began to be signs of embittered relations. Many German soldiers were shoved into the canal near Saint-Denis. The farther away from Paris one went, the more those relations lacked that famous ‘correctness’ that was so emphasized in the official press. Dozens of large and small towns, villages and hamlets have seen on their walls the red posters announcing the executions of Frenchmen for ‘assassinations’ and ‘assaults’ perpetrated against the occupying force. Nearly all the towns of the occupied zone have had to pay fines as high as several million francs; have had to run the gamut of punishment, from earlier curfews to the closing of cafes, bans on going out on Sundays, etc. The acts for which they are punished range from individual assaults to destruction of telephone lines—a very frequent occurrence. The prison camps and jails are jammed. Those given light sentences of from two to three months have had to ‘wait their turn.’ They go to the camp or the jail upon being called there, when there is room for them. Once inside, they are in danger of incurring a ‘supplementary sentence,’ meted out under various pretexts. The most frequent is the perpetration of ‘an insult to Hitler,’ a crime of which the jailers alone are the judges.

“It is only since July and August 1941, a few weeks after the opening of Russo-German hostilities, and especially since the demonstration of Russian resistance, that the assaults and acts of sabotage have received wide publicity and the repressive measures have progressively increased, up to the climactic point of the Nantes and Bordeaux mass executions of October, widely publicized throughout the world. Why? Have the sabotage and the assaults been much more numerous and grave than they had been previously? They have been more spectacular, certainly—the victims having included two high German officers (one of them, Hotz of Nantes, a man particularly odious to the populace). Thus they have a wider political and public meaning. The acts of sabotage, too, have multiplied. . . . A number have been detailed by the press and the radio, but the majority and the most important of them have received no publicity.

“It appears that the violence of the repression has had as its primary aim the prevention of the generalization and aggravation of the hostile acts against the occupying force. Moreover, and perhaps above all, Paris and Vichy have been worried over the spread of that state of mind which has given rise to these troubles and has nurtured them. The first shot and the first train wreck brought into the public eye the hostility which previously had been hidden. Opinions began to be divided after the seizure of hostages and the first mass executions. But condemnation in principle of the saboteurs is seldom heard. Still less is credence given to the thesis that ‘sabotage isn’t French,’ set forth in some communiques and some big bill posters which show, behind the gunman, the sinister shadow of Stalin—the latest edition of the man with the knife between his teeth.

“Despite all the rewards held out to informers, none has yet come forth to inform on the various assaults. If those who shot a German officer in the Paris subway were able to ‘vanish’ in the crowd, it was because the crowd wanted it that way.”

What characterizes those assaults which are reported in the large newspapers is, above all, the extreme audacity with which they are executed, most often in broad daylight in the street. It should be noted also that they are very often crowned with success. Finally, their authors remain unpunished. For all the “serious” assaults committed in France against high officers of the German army not one guilty person has yet been caught. Numerous hostages have been arrested and shot but the authorities have been unable to lay their hands on any presumed malefactor. Efforts in that direction, however, have not been lacking: Pucheu, Petain’s Minister of the Interior, came to Paris personally to direct the investigations. So consistent a state of affairs can be explained only by the attitude of the population, the lukewarm enthusiasm of the ranks of the French police and the difficulties of the Gestapo in operating in a strange milieu,

The assaults are in general the work not of an isolated individual but of a group. (An exception was the revolver attack upon Laval and Dˇat, the act of an isolated petty-bourgeois provincial.) Who are these groups? At least in France we must list in the first place the Stalinists. In their press and leaflets they advocate terrorist acts. A supplementary proof of their organized participation is the murder of Marcel Gitton and the wounding of Henri Soupˇ, former Stalinist leaders who broke with the party at the time of the Hitler-Stalin pact, and who later became fascists. Besides the Stalinists there are in the European countries various secret patriotic groups, originating from the petty bourgeoisie, who systematically practice terrorism.

As the letter quoted above reminds us, the assaults are by no means confined to the cases published in the press, which occur in the large cities. Immediately upon quitting the central sections of the big cities the Germans feel themselves less secure. Elementary hate spews forth upon the least occasion. In Northern France and Belgium rows often occur in saloons between German soldiers and the inhabitants (this region is predominantly working-class). If a German is killed, repression follows swiftly: usually ten young men, taken from the street where the incident occurred, pay with their lives.

In the countries of western Europe, not to speak of countries like Poland or Yugoslavia, the victims of German firing squads are already counted in thousands. The various totals published in the press—the New York Times for instance spoke recently of two hundred in France—are the official figures, German in origin, and have absolutely no relation to the reality.

Sabotage is one of the most widespread forms of resistance. It assumes the most diverse aspects and it is not always easy to say where it begins and where it ends.

General statistics of production do not exist. From the few fragmentary figures made public it is difficult to measure the extent of sabotage, since one must make allowance for the lack of raw materials, for “ersatz,” and especially for the enfeeblement of the workers due to lack of nourishment. But the condemnations published in the German or the “collaborationist” papers of each occupied country prove that acts of sabotage are discovered daily. The most violent forms of sabotage, such as the cutting of telephone lines or derailment of trains, have perhaps a tendency to diminish, or at least not to increase, because of the immediate retribution levied on the hostages. In Belgium, for example, the Nazis place in the train itself hostages responsible for the success of its trip. The Germans also draw upon the local population to mount guard around depots and railroads, naturally under pain of death in case of accident. Burnings of crops and stores of grain have been frequent at the end of summer and in attempts to stop this the Germans have often prohibited the peasants from leaving their quarters at night. In the last two or three months one notes rather numerous explosions in power stations and conflagrations in factories, especially in Belgium. The most active centers of sabotage are Northern France, Belgium, Norway, Czechoslovakia.

The Various Forms of Sabotage In the factories, the least we can say is that no zeal at all is shown for working. As a primary form of resistance the workers “play dumb.” Absolutely everything is utilized which can retard production without breaking the surface discipline. This state of mind has spread throughout all the occupied countries, independently of the propaganda of any party whatsoever. The Czech workers circulate this slogan: “Our production should be the poorest in the world.” Their emblem—they put it on walls, on their products, etc. is a tortoise with a P, first letter of the word “Pomalu” (slowly).

Who organizes the sabotage and under what forms? That is naturally rather difficult to determine exactly, especially from the outside. Leaving aside strictly individual acts, spontaneous outbursts of anger and hate, it is probable that a large part of the sabotage is executed by local or regional groups, in every case of rather small size. There do not seem to be any national bourgeois organizations actually organized to undertake and direct sabotage on a national scale in each country. The only organizations working on a large scale are the Stalinist parties, and even there local initiative must be extremely important. Who are the saboteurs? We can say that large strata of the population are represented among them. Here for example are the professions of 11 Norwegians recently shot for sabotage in the small city of Stavanger: a doctor, a bookkeeper, an office worker, a sign painter, a business man, a customs officer, a watchman, a warehouse employee, a salesman, a manager, a smith. Within the factories there are naturally the workers themselves. But these participate also in other acts of sabotage such as arson, derailments, etc., particularly in Belgium or in Northern France. In what measure do these workers act on their own initiative or under the influence of the Stalinist party? That is difficult to determine. But it is beyond doubt that a certain part of the acts of violent sabotage, outside of the factories, are organized by independent groups of workers, with-out the direct influence of any party.

With the suppression of the most elementary democratic rights have appeared all the forms of underground expression. One repeats to another, mouth to ear, innumerable and virulent anecdotes against the Germans. Chain letters are also very widespread, but naturally it is the illegal press which has most importance. In each country of Europe there is now in circulation a quantity of small underground newspapers. Even in Hungary, allied to Germany, an illegal anti-Hitler paper now regularly appears. These newspapers are put together by every imaginable method, but with time their technique improves. At present a rather large number are printed and certain of them are even printed quite well. The countries where they are most numerous are France, Belgium, Norway and Poland.

The Illegal Newspapers In France the Stalinist organ L’Humanite appears regularly each week in printed form and is reproduced locally by mimeograph when necessary. La Verite, published by the Trotskyists, appears in Paris, printed, every two weeks. These are the only two known working class papers; there is no socialist or syndicalist journal. All the other illegal papers have a national-bourgeois character. Here are some titles: La Voix de Paris (Voice of Paris), Le Feu (The Fire), Pantagruel, Liberte (Freedom), Le Peuple de France (The People of France), Les Petites Ailes (Little Wings), La France Continue (France Goes On), Valmy. This last seems to be edited by some right-wing trade unionists of the old C.G.T., but it declares itself purely national. It calls itself: “organ of resistance to oppression” and declares “Our motto: one single enemy—the invader.”

The general attitude of the national-bourgeois journals is to declare themselves above the former political divisions and to unite all men of good will coming from all the former parties. They are extremely reticent on what will come after the “liberation.” All publish abundant facts on German looting, violently attack Darlan and the Paris collaborationists. Concerning Petain, opinion is somewhat divided. The majority attack him, but some evidence reserve tinged with a certain sympathy. Some articles do not lack political perspicacity, as one can judge by this quotation from La France Continue (June 1941): “Just as the regime of Blum sooner or later had to engender a dictatorship, so the regime of Vichy will inevitably engender the revolution.” And the journal opposes Petain precisely because his regime breeds revolution.

Certain newspapers (Liberte, for example) pose as the organ of an organized group. They speak of their “cells” and call upon their members to hold themselves in readiness for the day when their “leaders” will give the signal for “action.”

During the first months of the invasion (that is, well before the attack on the USSR) the Stalinist organ L’Humanite preserved the most ambiguous attitude toward the Germans, declaring itself against Vichy and denouncing the democrats of yesterday (Daladier, Blum, etc.) as agents of English imperialism. Naturally all that is changed now. Recently L’Humanite announced that in occupied France an illegal conference had been held of “Frenchmen and Frenchwomen of different points of view and beliefs, united by the will to struggle implacably and pitilessly for the liberation of France from the Hitlerian yoke.” This conference declared itself a constituent assembly of the “National Front for the Independence of France” and addressed an appeal to all organizations to adhere to it.

In the illegal national-bourgeois press a great polemic is being waged on collaboration with the Stalinists. In this connection we quote some lines from a national journal entitled Verites (Truths):

“Among us are no political sectarians, whether of the left or the right. When it came to defending our soil, Thorez deserted, and his propaganda was tied up with that of Goebbels in the attempt to demoralize France. That we don’t forget. Today his effort consists of exploiting the purest patriotism for the greater good of the Soviets.

“Of course we admire the fierce resistance of the Russian soldier, but only to the extent that he is killing the Boche. He is defending his country against the foreigner. It is up to us to defend our country against the foreigner, be he German or Russian.

“Let anti-German Frenchmen watch out. They are in danger of being odiously deceived.

“Let them never join the ‘national front for the independence of France.’

“Frenchmen we are. Frenchmen we shall remain.”

Other national groups declare themselves for collaboration with the Stalinists in order to use their wide experience in illegal work. One paper writes: “The communist organization brings today the help of a unique experience of illegal action.”

In Belgium we note more than forty illegal papers appearing regularly. The best known is La Libre Belgique (Free Belgium), which also appeared during World War I.

It has at present several local editions. There are also several socialist journals and not less than five regular Stalinist publications.

In Norway these are the titles of some of the journals appearing regularly: We Want Our Own Country, The Royal Courier, The Courier of V, The Sign of the Times. Appearing in mimeographed form, The Sign of the Times (Tidens Tegn) is the continuation of the oldest of the Oslo newspapers which, after having appeared for more than a year under German occupation, voluntarily ceased publication in 1941, since its editors were not willing to submit to the growing pressure of German censorship. Frequently these papers publish blacklists of individuals associating with Quisling’s party.

In Poland the illegal press flourishes abundantly. The struggle for the independence of Poland is mainly carried on by the workers’ movement and numerous journals are published by groups of left socialists, the Jewish Bundists, etc., often anti-Stalinist. Pamphlets and manifestoes are also rather frequently published.

Sympathy for England and for all things English is widespread and is the immediate reaction to the oppression. English aviators who are forced to abandon their planes by parachute are often concealed by the local population. Their military apparel and their parachutes are immediately burned and by slow stages they come to safety after long months. The death penalty is the rule for whoever is connected in any way with affairs of this kind, but the frequency of executions on these grounds shows that the risk is cheerfully accepted.

The funerals of English aviators killed in action are often the occasion of long processions and sometimes, as in Belgium, are transformed into anti-German demonstrations.

The great number of convictions for espionage—most often followed by executions—show that espionage on behalf of England is widespread throughout the most diverse layers of the population. Naturally the Nazis justify many executions on the pretext of espionage, nevertheless it is clear that British agents get a great deal of help.

The Churches In Belgium and Holland the Catholic cardinals have refused collaboration and taken an attitude of opposition. In France the Catholic Church is somewhat divided. It seems that the opposition is sharpest where the Church has some base in the masses. That is the case in Belgium. That is also the case in Northern France and in Brittany and we see in these two regions instances of parish priests shot by the Germans. In Paris where the strata of population have long traditions of atheism, the church and especially its heads are “collaborationist.” In Norway the great majority of the Protestant Church has gone into opposition. This opposition manifests itself in pastoral letters, sermons, refusal of the sacraments to local fascists and, in Belgium for example, by the singing of the national anthem and the display of the national flag inside the churches.

The general character of the hate for the Germans is shown in the attitude of children: Throughout all Europe one observes demonstrations of children against the oppression: in Czechoslovakia, in Norway, in Holland, in Belgium, in Luxemburg. They beat up the sons of fascists, they mock the German officers in the street, they refuse to participate in the collecting of bones or old rags, etc.

Native Fascist Groups In all the invaded countries Hitler found, when he arrived, fascist parties whose program was subordination to Germany. The history of these groups since then is altogether one of stagnation and disintegration. The population surrounds them with hatred and contempt, perhaps even greater than the feeling toward the Germans. In fact, the fascists are treated as lepers: the people avoid any contact with them, boycott their stores if they are in business, circulate blacklists of their names and relatives and friends break with them.

The papers of these fascist groups complain in the most ridiculous and puerile way about these persecutions. Many demonstrations against them by the population are reported through underground channels. Leaving for the Russian front, a detachment of Belgian fascists paraded in Brussels a few weeks ago. They marched between two lines of German soldiers, behind whom the population booed and insulted the pale and silent fascists. In Belgium also a group of Flemish fascists was recently attacked in a workers’ neighborhood; chairs, bottles, glassware were hurled at them and a good many of them had to be taken to the hospital. Such incidents are not infrequent not only in Belgium, but also in Holland and Norway.

Generally speaking, the Nazis have little confidence in these groups, especially since they are frequently divided and have extremely violent internal fights. The Germans use them mainly for petty police tasks, for instance to stop cars on the main roads in search for smuggled foods.

With the war against the USSR, the Nazis have made great efforts toward sending to the Russian front Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Belgian and French contingents recruited through the native fascists. The success has not been very great; a few thousand men altogether, in spite of extremely high pay. Once arrived on the Russian front, difficulties between them and the German staff flared up.

Generally, for the administrative tasks, the Germans prefer to use old functionaries who agree to fulfill their “technical” functions for the sake of preserving order. Thus they make use of secretaries of ministries, judges, policemen, mayors, etc., who formed a great part of the state apparatus of the “democracies.” Without the collaboration of these individuals, the Germans would find themselves in tremendous difficulties in the occupied countries, and here they find their principal help, rather than among the fascist groups.

The Occupying Troops The main preoccupation of the German General Staff is to avoid too intimate contact between the German soldiers and the local populations. Naturally, officers are billeted in private houses. But simple soldiers live collectively in barracks, camps, etc.

Persons who have been in contact with the German army report the lack of enthusiasm of the German soldiers, once the excitement over the victories of May-June 1940 had passed. Generally the soldiers manifest a great desire to return to civilian life, to see again their wives and their children. They show great fear of British bombings of their dear ones at home. Since the war in the USSR the occupying troops have greatly decreased in number and are completely changed in composition. The Germans now use older soldiers and even wounded ones.

Acts of insubordination have been reported in the German army, but it is very difficult to verify the authenticity of such reports. The incidents are generally of the following type: a German soldier coming back from leave at home described to his comrades the conditions there. The officers proceeded to stop the discussion, the soldiers protested and expressed their weariness of the war. One or two were shot. Recently the news came, with a great deal of detail, of a rebellion in France where one hundred soldiers were shot, as well as four officers of the Paris garrison. But such reports must be taken very cautiously.

Those in France or in Belgium who have seen German soldiers back from Russia report that they return completely terrorized by the savagery and bloodiness of the fight. They describe the front as hell.

The Economic Situation We will indicate here only the most apparent aspects of the situation. The Germans are guided by one rule: to draw the utmost from the occupied countries in order to prosecute the war. This factor determines the economic activity of the invaded countries and gives to it an extremely uneven character. The industries which are able to provide for the needs of the German war machine are working overtime. Those intended to satisfy the needs of the local population are in complete decay. This division corresponds more or less to the one between heavy industry and industry devoted to consumer needs. This fact is especially apparent in France and Belgium where the leaders of heavy industry are for collaboration. In France at least two ministers of Petain are representatives of big business: Pucheu, former manager of the big Japy metallurgical plants, and Lehideux, son-in-law of the big auto manufacturer, Renault.

At the arrival of the Germans, the rate of exchange established between the mark and the various national currencies produced a kind of inflation: German soldiers felt rich with their marks and they bought everything they could send to Germany— stockings, perfumes, etc. For a few months a kind of prosperity rocked certain trades. But it ended soon. When their stocks were exhausted it was impossible to renew them, and the bonanza period ended.

In spite of the general disorganization of the economy, unemployment, although existing, remains limited. The reasons are numerous. Germany still keeps many war prisoners, the strongest adults; there are still 1,400,000 French war prisoners in German camps. Numerous workers have gone to Germany to work: more than 2,000,000. Among them are 250,000 Belgian workers, or one-fifth of all the active workers of Belgium in ordinary times; 150,000 Dutch workers, etc. The recruiting of these workers takes every form, from mere violence to “free” contract. In Poland, the Germans resort to real man-hunts to get workers and send them to Germany, where they live in barracks. In western Europe the unemployed are threatened with the curtailment of their dole if they refuse to sign contracts for work in Germany. If the worker is really highly skilled he can get in Germany a standard of life almost equal to that of the German worker. But for the great mass, the standard is markedly lower and can go down to forced labor. One more reason for the apparently slight unemployment in the occupied countries is the fleeing of the workers to the countryside. An unemployed worker can simply not live in the city after a few months. He leaves then for a country village where he has some relatives or friends. Petain favors this decomposition of society and calls it a “return to the soil.”

In the primitive conditions of present Europe, life in the country is relatively easier than in the cities. The peasant family can always conceal some food from the administrative control. He can find wood when coal is lacking. He can always sell some of his products on the black market. Of course this situation has its negative side as well. With the money he gets he is unable to buy in the city such small things as nails or cord. Requisitions are not infrequent; the Germans come and take his horse or his steer and they give him in exchange a wad of newly printed marks which he keeps because he cannot buy anything with it. In some cases the peasants resist requisitions and shooting starts. Several cases have been recorded in Belgium and Holland. Finally, the profits from the black market go mainly to the big farmers who can deal directly with the profiteers. The small farmer does not get much of it.

The black market reigns all over Europe and is now a recognized institution. The German authorities of course know all the details of its functioning but tolerate it and even make abundant use of it. In most countries the legal food rations are quite insufficient and for the mass of the population do not amount to more than one-fourth or one-third of the food they need. So everybody has to resort to the illegal, or black, market. This business is highly centralized in the hands of big profiteers. A whole new caste of nouveaux riches is rising. Smuggling of butter, bootlegging of edible oil, counterfeiting of food tickets bring big money. Here we quote a letter from Paris in July 1941:

“From the ‘wholesaler’ to the retail merchant, there is a wide range of clandestine vendors. Day after day the newspapers write about the fight against their activities against lawless skyrocketing of prices. But to no avail; collusion and favoritism go on.

“’The reign of gold is over,’ according to the Nazis. But money floats in wide streams. Some people are having plenty of good times. Never before were there in Paris so many night clubs, bars, speakeasies, taverns and other places where money can be spent for amusement. Many liquidated places are re-opening and are decorated more luxuriously than ever. And new ones are constantly springing up all over the city. In these places the 50 franc maximum menu is not obligatory; rationing cards are unknown. Bands, gypsy or Russian, international singers and performers contribute to the excitement of the atmosphere which does not remind the Frenchmen of their national mourning, or the Nazis of their Spartan spirit, so much exalted by Hitler. Well after midnight, when the rest of Paris is asleep, the new Paris, made up of Germans and those few Frenchmen of both sexes who get along well with the Germans, comes to life and has a ‘good time.’ Leaving the night clubs, the revelers see the first queues being formed outside the stores, where the sale of potatoes will begin several hours later.”

In most of the big cities such as Brussels, Antwerp and Oslo, the Germans have insisted upon the opening of new cabarets and night clubs. Everywhere prostitution has increased enormously. The small minority of the national population which has money enough can still find everywhere in Europe everything they want and have regal meals.

But for the great mass of the population the situation is quite different. In France, which is not among the worst countries, one never ceases to be hungry. The queues for the rationed public start in the very early hours of the morning and last until eleven o’clock. Many women faint. Sometimes the stores close before the end because their stocks have been exhausted. The search for food is a constant strain, and takes a great part of everyone’s time.

The prices on the black market are on the average four, five or six times higher than for rationed products. In France a goose sells for 1,200 francs. The weekly pay of a fairly well-paid worker is 300 francs, and the daily dole of unemployed workers is 12 francs. That means that a worker would need an entire month’s pay to buy a goose, and the unemployed worker would have to save his entire allotment for 100 days. Eggs are sold up to nine francs apiece. That means a worker could buy about five eggs with one day’s pay. Sugar sells at 50 francs and butter at 120 francs per kilo (2.2 pounds). A packet of 20 cigarettes, of such a quality that an American would never smoke them, can be bought from street vendors for 125 francs. And, we must not forget, France is still the most privileged part of all the occupied territory.

There have been many reports of food riots, generally initiated by women, especially in the big cities of Belgium, such as Antwerp and Liege. Everywhere tuberculosis is making tremendous progress. Recently some Swiss medical authorities had the opportunity of examining French war prisoners. They reported that one-fourth of these men, the strongest section of the population, were tubercular.

In southern France, that is, in a relatively privileged part, the rate of child mortality compared with pre-war times has tripled. The number of premature births has doubled. More than half the mothers are unable to give natural milk to their babies. Forty per cent of the children are, on the average, unable to attend school because of illness, debility or want of clothes.

Recent Trends Sufficient news to give a general idea always takes a certain time to arrive in New York. But all indications from Europe in recent weeks—that is, since about December 15th—show an aggravation of the situation. The reasons are clear; the continuation of the war, the Russian successes and also winter, always harder than the summer for the masses. The paper of the Norwegian fascists wrote in the middle of January that a genuine “civil war” was reigning in Norway. Almost everywhere the executions for sabotage show a definite increase. During January, food riots were reported in several big cities of France. According to rumors, the Germans are looking for new devices of administration in the occupied countries. We can be sure that the new will be no more successful than the old in creating the “New Order.” January 28th, 1942.

[1]Among the publications utilized are: La France Libre, France Speaks, News from Belgium, Belgium, News of Norway, Vry Netherland, Poland Fights, Free World, The Inter-Allied Review, etc., etc. We give them here a general acknowledgment. Naturally I have taken nothing at face value from these propaganda organs. What I have taken I have checked with other information from other sources.