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In five years under the Man of 1938, regimented Germany had made itself one of the great military powers of the world today. The British Navy remains supreme on the seas. Most military men regard the French Army as incomparable. Biggest question mark is air strength, which changes from day to day, but most observers believe Germany superior in warplanes. Despite a shortage of trained officers and a lack of materials, the Germany Army has become a formidable machine which could probably be beaten only by a combination of opposing armies. As testimony to his nation's puissance, Führer Hitler could look back over the year and remember that besides receiving countless large-bore statesmen (Mr. Chamberlain three times, for instance), he paid his personal respects to three kings (Sweden's Gustaf, Denmark's Christian, Italy's Vittorio Emanuele) and was visited by two (Bulgaria's Boris, Rumania's Carol—not counting Hungary's Regent, Horthy).
Meanwhile an estimated 1,133 streets and squares, notably Rathaus Platz in Vienna, acquired the name of Adolf Hitler. He delivered 96 public speeches, attended eleven opera performances (way below par), vanquished two rivals (Benes and Kurt von Schuschnigg, Austria's last Chancellor), sold 900,000 new copies of Mein Kampf in Germany besides selling it widely in Italy and Insurgent Spain. His only loss was in eyesight: he had to begin wearing spectacles for work. Last week Herr Hitler entertained at a Christmas party 7,000 workmen now building Berlin's new mammoth Chancellery, told them: "The next decade will show those countries with their patent democracy where true culture is to be found."
But other nations have emphatically joined the armaments race and among military men the poser is: "Will Hitler fight when it becomes definitely certain that he is losing that race?" The dynamics of dictatorship are such that few who have studied Fascism and its leaders can envision sexless, restless, instinctive Adolf Hitler rounding out a mellow middle age in his mountain chalet at Berchtesgaden while a satisfied German people drink beer and sing folk songs. There is no guarantee that the have-not nations will go to sleep when they have taken what they now want from the haves. To those who watched the closing events of the year it seemed more than probable that the Man of 1938 may make 1939 a year to be remembered.
*Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess helped write it. Imprisonment also gave Hitler time to perfect his tactics. Even before that time he got from his Communist opponents the idea of gangsterlike party storm troopers; after this the principle of the small cell groups of devoted party workers.
*Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, also complained of the submissiveness of German character.