"Carl Schurz is proof that a man of German descent can be a damned good American, even by American standards," Peter Viereck '37, son of a Nazi agent, contended in an interview yesterday. Viereck was completely sincere in this statement for his latest book "Metapolitics" disproves any ideological connection he might have with his very Nazi father, George Sylvester Viereck, chief German Propaganda Agent in this country, now on trial in Washington.
"Metapolitics" contains a summary of all of Viereck's views on Nazlism. It also is a seeming paradox, since it contains those sentiments of diehard opposition to totalitarian principles one would least expect from a man of his parentage. But Viereck has led a very individual life.
Made Phi Beta Kappa
Born in New York, he is the only, person in Harvard history to have won both the Garrison prize in Poetry and the Bowdoin prize in prose composition. He made Phi Beta Kappa and was graduated Summa Cum Lauda. In the next year he received a Henry fellowship, a scholarship to Oxford some-what akin to the Rhodes scholarships.
In Europe, Viereck began to accumulate the material which resulted in "Metapolitics." This volume differs from most works of its type in that its direct inspiration is taken from a cheap pulp magazine instead of weighty reference tomes. This inspiration led to Viereck's conception of the dual soul of the Nazi personality, the civilized German element combating the Nazi Kultur virus.
Returning to America in 1938, Viereck made public his thesis concerning Nazlism and the historical character whom he considers to be its spiritual ancestor, Richard Wagner. Thomas Mann was attracted by this new philosophical discovery, and through his efforts, Viereck was commissioned by knopf Publishers to enlarge his findings into "Metapolitics."
Before the war, Viereck was active against U. S. isolation, publishing interventionist articles in the Atlantic Monthly, Common Sense, and other periodicals. Today his ideas are spread throughout Nazi Europe by the powerful New York, NBC short wave radio. "Metapolitics has become Verboten in Hitler-dominated countries.
Hitler Destroying Germany
"Hitler is exterminating the German identity as well as attempting to kill off believers in opposing ways of life," Viereck maintained. He added that Hitler makes those opposing his ambitions his cannon targets, while those who follow him become his cannon fodder.
In line with his views on totalitarian issues, Viereck holds a certain reverence for the great figures in American history, past and present. Carl Schurz, a German immigrant who rose to become Secretary of State under President Hayes, is his particular idol. Viereck's book is dedicated to Schurz, as proof that the same German type that is misled in Europe can become an integral part of the American national pattern if the emotional environs of the old country are removed.