The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State

No. 2129

Sir: I have the honor to report that owing to certain actions of its members which throw an amusing light upon the political situation among students in the German universities as described in the Embassy’s despatch No. 2106 of July 1, 1935, the Saxo-Borussia of Heidelberg, one of the oldest and most exclusive student corps in the country, has been suspended for four semesters (a period roughly of two years) beginning with the coming winter term.31

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The National Socialist battle against the student corporations has been carried a step farther by a decree just issued by Reich Youth Leader von Schirach calling upon all students associated with the Hitler Youth immediately to resign from whatever corporation of which they may be members; failure to heed this order will result in expulsion from the Hitler Youth and will work to the detriment of the transfer of the parties concerned “to other organizations of the Movement” (meaning the Party itself). The command is accompanied by a violent diatribe against the corporations from which the following passages are taken: “Mendacious old-Heidelberg-romantic and a feudal system hostile to the working population are the ideals of the so-called corporations. They stand outside the people’s community and are enemies of the socialist nation.…32 The proceedings which recently occurred in Heidelberg and which resulted in the suspension of the Saxo-Borussia furnish a frightful picture of brutish-ness and lack of discipline, indeed abysmal vulgarity, of a small clique of corporation students who swagger and carouse while Germany works. When such elements in their depravity do not stop with the, to us, holy personage of the Führer, they let themselves be judged. We draw the dividing line between them and ourselves, the line between Reaction and Socialism.”

Respectfully yours,

William E. Dodd
  1. This action was taken following conduct at corps parties considered disrespectful to Hitler.
  2. Omission indicated in the original.