A leading American journalist travels to Nazi Germany in December 1939, arriving in wartime Germany where all the lights are blacked out in preparation for an English or French bombing campaign. T. Lothrop Stoddard’s provocatively-titled book refers to the eerie experience he felt of first encountering this total blackout.
Into the Darkness was the product of an assignment by the North American Newspaper Alliance company in which Stoddard was detailed to report on wartime conditions in Nazi Germany—at a time before the US became involved in the war.
Stoddard was not unknown in Germany. Due to his leading work in the areas of racial history, racial science and eugenic in America, he was granted unprecedented access to the inner workings of the National Socialist government and provided the first—and possibly only—accurate, unbiased account of German racial policy ever written by a non-German writer.
Stoddard was granted personal interviews with Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Robert Ley, Wilhelm Frick, Walter Darré, Eugen Fischer, Fritz Lenz, and Hans F. K. Günther, and many other Nazi leaders.
His interview with Hitler in particular, provided the only English-language firsthand physical description of the German leader ever to appear in print:
“There are certain details of Hitler’s appearance which one cannot surmise from photographs. His complexion is medium, with blond-brown hair of neutral shade which shows no signs of gray. His eyes are very dark-blue. Incidentally, he no longer wears a cartoonist’s mustache. It is now the usual “tooth-brush” type, in both size and length. In ordinary conversation, Hitler’s voice is clear and well-modulated. Throughout the audience he spoke somewhat rapidly, yet never hurriedly, and in an even tone. Hitler’s whole appearance was that of a man in good health. He certainly did not look a day older than his fifty years. His color was good, his skin clear and un-wrinkled, his body fit and not over-weight. He showed no visible signs of nervous strain, such as pouched eyes, haggard lines, or twitching physical reactions. On the contrary, appearance, voice, and manner combined to give an impression of calmness and poise.”
In addition, Stoddard was allowed to attend the workings of a German Eugenics court—the only such account ever to reach the rest of Europe and America.
Among the many other insights in this unique book:
– The trials and tribulations of civilian Germans at war;
– The real attitude of Germans to the war;
– The German Labor Front, the Winter Help, the Hitler Youth and women in the Third Reich;
– The economic policies of the Third Reich;
– The treatment of Jews inside Nazi Germany; and much more besides.
Stoddard was a renowned and well-respected journalist when he made this trip and subsequent report, because it recounts accurately the events of the time, his name—not to mention his report—has all but disappeared from today’s “official” history concerning that period.
This edition has been completely reset and contains new illustrations.
Chapter 1: The Shadow
Chapter 2: Berlin Blackout
Chapter 3: Getting on with the Job
Chapter 4: Junketing Through Germany
Chapter 5: This Detested War
Chapter 6: Vienna and Bratislava
Chapter 7: Iron Rations
Chapter 8: A Berlin Lady Goes to Market
Chapter 9: The Battle of the Land
Chapter 10: The Labor Front
Chapter 11: The Army of the Spade
Chapter 12: Hitler Youth
Chapter 13: Women of the Third Reich
Chapter 14: Behind the Winter-Help
Chapter 15: Socialized Health
Chapter 16: In a Eugenics Court
Chapter 17: I See Hitler
Chapter 18: Mid-Winter Berlin
Chapter 19: Berlin to Budapest
Chapter 20: The Party
Chapter 21: The Totalitarian State
Chapter 22: Closed Doors
Chapter 23: Out of the Shadow
List of illustrations: The Rex, photographed in 1938; Outside the Reich Chancellery building, Berlin; The Propaganda Ministry building, Berlin; A Junkers Ju 52 and an early Volkswagen “Beetle” (designed by Hitler) at Munich Airport; A parade in front of the Brandenberg Gate, Berlin; Joseph Tiso, president of the first independent state of Slovakia, created after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1938; A ration card with tear-off stamps for 30 grams of bread each; A January 1940 German magazine advertising a Volkswagen; “Blood and Soil”: Walter Darre addresses a meeting; A labor meeting in wartime German: note the Dutch and Cyrillic language banners for the foreign volunteer workers; Members of the Reicharbeitsdienst on parade; A Hitler Youth parade in the city of Worms; A “Reich Leadership School” class at Potsdam, Berlin, for the “League of German Maidens.”; A Winterhilfe soup kitchen, Berlin; Hitler among a crowd at a rally; Two posters from the Neues Volk magazine, illustrating left, the ideal German family, and right, the cost of genetically transmitted diseases to the German taxpayer, which were put at 60,000 Reichmarks. “People, this is your money,” the poster reads; Hitler at his desk at the Reich Chancellery building where Stoddard interviewed him; A mass Christmas party, Munich, and right, a December 1939 (when Stoddard was in Germany); Nazi magazine celebrating the “Victory of Light.”; Budapest in 1939; A procession during a Nuremberg rally; A SS parade at the Feldherrnhalle in Munich; The exterior of the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 1939; The SS George Washington.
About the author: Theodore Lothrop Stoddard (1883–1950) was a scientist, historian, journalist, eugenicist who obtained his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1914. Along with Madison Grant, Stoddard became one of pre-World War II’s most prolific and read racial thinkers and writers, producing nine books specifically related to race and eugenics, and his work was one of the prime ideological foundations of the 1924 Immigration Act passed by the US.