48 MUSSOLINI'S DIFFICULTIES Vienna, like the Ambras collection. Everything in Austria took its tune from Vienna, and jealous care was taken that this principle shouldn't be interfered with. Linz Cathedral, for example, couldn't be built to the pre-arranged height, simply so that the tower of St. Stephen's shouldn't cease to be the tallest in the country. The genuine Viennese turn green when they learn that a single painting can have ended up in Graz or somewhere else, instead of finding its way to Vienna. I hope, anyway, that Schirach has not let himself be attacked by the Vienna bug. Vienna has such treasures that every German should nevertheless bear in mind that he shares in this wealth. I may say in passing that—other things being equal, of course—what there is in Vienna can bear comparison with what I saw in Paris. Of course, the Concorde-Tuileries vista is magnificent. But what about the detail? We'll do still better. Vienna has a lot of monuments that ought to be classified. At the Museum, they should take away that canvas cloth that's covering the walls. That cloth is hiding a magnificent stuccolustro. Vienna ought to declare war on bugs and dirt. The city must be cleaned up. That's the one and only duty for the Vienna of the twentieth century. Let her but perform that, and she'll be one of the loveliest cities in the world. 30 Nights of 27th-28th September 1941 and gth October 1941 The Duce's difficulties—When troops fail—Antonescu a born soldier—Rumanian corruption. The Duce has his difficulties because his army thinks Royalist, because the internationale of the priests has its seat in Rome, and because the State, as distinguished from the people, is only half Fascist. Give official praise to a unit that has suffered a reverse, and you attack its military honour. Such a unit must be clearly
ART OF HANDLING SOLDIERS 49 shown that its behaviour has been miserable. Any army can sometimes have a moment of weakness. It can happen that the troops in the line become subject to fleeting impressions of which the Command takes no account in its appreciation of the facts. But in such cases one must know how to be harsh. A unit that has fought badly must be sent back under fire as soon as possible. One can triumph over death only through death : "If you retreat, you'll be shot! If you advance, you may save your skin!" It's only after the unit has redeemed itself that one can wipe the slate. Of course, a Command has no right to act recklessly by sending men to death without purpose. It is not enough to try to obtain, by the employment of masses, what one couldn't obtain by more modest methods. One would simply be running the risk of increasing the number of victims without gaining anything. There are cases in which it's important first of all to reflect, in order to discover the cause of the reverse. One must know how to have recourse to other methods, or else to change one's tactics. When all is said, one can likewise ask oneself whether one would not be doing better to give up a position that's difficult to hold, and consider a completely différent operation. A few weeks ago Antonescu, in a communiqué, accused one of his units of being a disgrace to the nation. Antonescu is of Germanic origin, not Rumanian; he's a born soldier. His misfortune is to have Rumanians under his command. But let's not forget that only a year ago these people were wildly fleeing from the Bolsheviks. It's wonderful how, in so short a time, Antonescu has been able to get what he has got out of his troops. Doubtless he will also succeed, with time, in obtaining administrators who aren't rotten with corruption. Our own people hasn't always been as impeccable as it is nowadays. Remember the sabre-blows that Frederick William I used to administer to the Berliners with his own hand. Moral cleanliness is the result of a long education, ceaselessly directed towards discipline.