It is more than probable that in the opinion of many, Germany is once again pointing with glee to the chip on her shoulder, in sending the "Hindenburg" to America. Whether it be the proverbial Teutonic stubbornness, or the equally proverbial Teutonic density, that prompts the Nazi government to make this new overture, it is an ill-timed one in any case.
The cruiser "Karlsruhe" visited Boston in 1934; anti-Nazi demonstrations of the most discourteous sort were thought to be necessary, and were only quashed by the constabulary. The bad taste which characterized the fracas at one of the "Bremen" sailings last year has recently been exhibited again in more intense form in the controversy over Heidelberg's invitations. If the hissing that accompanies newsreel shots of the "Hindenburg" is any criterion by which to judge a general attitude, than the visit of Germany's new airship will be a total loss so far as that nebulous international bluff, good-will, is concerned.
Such an attitude is always an unworthy one, since it is beneath the dignity of a civilized people for one thing, and for another, always does more harm than good to all the parties involved. In the matter of the "Hindenburg" it would be even more regrettable, for then the extraordinary significance of this event would be obscured by a distasteful flurry of paltry pellets of jingoistic mud. The "Hindenburg" was built for trausatlantic passenger service: she is the first airship to be commissioned for this purpose, since the "Graf Zeppelin" was primarily an experimental ship. Commanded by Germany's grand old man of the air, Dr. Hugo Eckener, the "Hindenburg'e" regular trips will be between Germany and South America; but this voyage to Lakehurst, if successful, will make air history. For it marks the first hesitant step of a process that air-minded men dream of--the establishment of a regular transatlantic airline. The great dirigible should not be greeted as just one more example of the insolence of an overweening nation, but as the medium through which progress takes another step forward.