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Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945
World War Two
The World

Before and during World War II, people had opinions to express about the war. In the following excerpt, an anonymous person talks about Hitler and the winds of war in Europe in the summer of 1939. At the time of the interview (June 30, 1939), Hitler had invaded and annexed Austria. British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Daldier had earlier given into Hitler's demands to annex parts of Czechoslovakia. The United States was desperately trying not to get involved in the war. What is this person's view of the events taking place in Europe? Although the person says that it's "hard to tell about anything," how accurate were his/her perceptions of Hitler, Roosevelt, and the Jews?

View the entire interview from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 . Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


That Hitler, he makes short and sweet. He wants to get something, he takes a short cut. You want hate him for it, he likes a short cut. Now he's got somethin else, another piece. Funny. He goes on doing and we go on talking. It's like night and day. We talk and he takes, then we recognize it and everybody shuts up their mouths. Meanwhile, he got what he wanted and where are me?

I don't know, there's somethin behind it. England don't come out in the open. You ask me, that Chamberlain he wants the same system of government like Hitler, only he don't know to get it because he's such a big dope. He ain't gettin nowhere like Hitler is. I'll tell you the truth, he's a smart man, that dog. The only thing, the Jews. They're a scapegoat, an excuse only. He knows it. The truth is he knows how England is afraid of communism. It don't want to win a war on account of communism. Imagine, afraid to win. It's upsidedown in this world.

The only thing, France ain't afraid of communism. It's already three quarters communism. And another thing we know, Roosevelt 100% is an enemy to fascism. In his real heart he's a more better friend to Russia then Hitler . One way he's friendly, he don't discourage like the others.

I'm tellin ya the whole bunch is a headache. You can't tell about anything. We talk and talk and that Hitler he does and that's all. A piece here, a piece there. My God, how many pieces is there to the world? So he'll take out so many pieces, what's gonna be left? I'll tell you what's left - the world. The only thing, the world's gotta go on spinning.
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View the entire interview from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 . Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.