From The Land without a Heart by A. E. Johann
It was not the goal of this book to discuss whether America can win the war, or whether it must lose it. But perhaps it has become clear —and that was my goal — that America does not deserve to win the war and spread its system over the entire world. There is nothing in the American system worth imitating, either for Germany or Europe. If Americanism conquered the world, it would mean the end of all human values and of genuine freedom — the freedom to do something, not from something! — of all the values for which Europe has fought and suffered for millennia, for which it has given all its strength of body and soul.
No European could exchange places with an American. America is a pitiable country and the Americans are a betrayed people, betrayed by their leaders…
The ideal of eternal success is a grave danger to a people’s morality. The result is that in the USA, people are valued only according to their success, ignoring all other measures. Such a view of life inevitably must attract materialistically-oriented people. The USA was their place.
Even before the World War, efforts were made to teach the “aliens” the language and ways of thinking of the country. Courses in Americanism included not only the language and government, but also attempted to build American national pride. This resulted in the desire for records and gigantomania that always amuses us. Lacking a significant political and intellectual history, the American is forced to build his national pride on technology.
Customs were another leading factor. The immigrants sought to adapt to them as rapidly as possible to avoid standing out. The growing standardization of life reached such an extent in the USA that independence became impossible. Everyone wears the same clothes, and thinking like everyone else is a duty. In contrast to Europe’s variety, this seems odd to us, but we should not forget that uniformity is about the only way Americans can experience community. This process of Americanization was successful, but also superficial. A type developed, but not a people.
Randall Bytwerk, Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA), maintains an archive of Nazi and Communist propaganda from Germany. Both pieces were published in 1942, but they could have been written yesterday, and not necessarily in German.