BERLIN, Oct. 14, 1933 (UP) - Germany, angry and steeling herself to any consequences, announced today her withdrawal from the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference.
At the same time she announced her willingness to destroy her last machine gun and demobilize her last soldier if other nations would do likewise.
President Paul Von Hindenburg at once decreed the dissolution of the present moribund Reichstag and proclaimed a new general parliamentary election for Nov. 12, to obtain the nation's approval of the government's decision.
Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in a proclamation to the people, said:
"The government asks the nation: Does the nation agree with this policy of its government? Is the nation ready solemnly to indorse it as its own opinion and its own will?"
It was announced that a national plebiscite would be held, simultaneously with the parliamentary election, in which the nation would be asked whether it indorsed the government policy of withdrawal from the League and the Arms Conference.
Even before the question had reached the public, it seemed to be answered affirmatively.
The moment the news of the intention to withdraw reached the city, crowds began turning out frenziedly into the Unter Den Linden, Berlin's principal boulevard. Patriotic demonstrations were organized spontaneously. Marchers formed into the ranks familiar in the World War, and Nazi brass bands turned out to lead parades of Hitler youths.
Mr. Hitler announced that at 7 p.m., he - called the greatest orator of his time - would talk to the nation over a radio hookup.
The gravity of the situation was emphasized by the disclosure that when it took its decision, at a cabinet meeting this morning, it did so with full knowledge of a new disarmament plan presented at a meeting of the disarmament steering committee by Sir John Simon, British foreign minister, in behalf of Britain, the United States and other World War allies.
Mr. Simon and Mr. Davis, believing that the fate of the disarmament conference depended on breaking the German-French deadlock on the question of German rearmament or allied disarmament, drafted the speech together.
But they did not inform Germany of it, so far as could be learned here.
The cabinet met this morning, it was said authoritatively, was informed of Mr. Simon's speech immediately after its delivery, and decided at once to withdraw both from the league and the conference.
When the cabinet met it did not intend to withdraw. Mr. Simon's speech, intended as a peace gesture, apparently ironically caused the fateful decision.
The United Press was informed on reliable authority that the term withdrawal was meant by the cabinet as Germany's formal announcement of resignation in fact. The German word was "austreten."
Under league rules, a nation must give notice of withdrawal. At any time before the expiration of a two-year period it may annul its notice. Otherwise its resignation at the end of the period follows automatically.
It was obvious that the government reached its decision only after sober conviction that there was no immediate compromise possible between it and the World War Allies.
Germany adamantly demands that she be permitted to increase her armaments or that the allies, meaning France and Poland particularly, reduce theirs.
France, with the backing of the United States and Britain, refuses to disarm before a test period of international armaments control. Germany was refused coldly her requested permission for rearmament.
The deliberation with which the government took its action was shown in the inundation of proclamations and decrees that followed.
In one of the first, the government's intention was revealed to centralize power absolutely in Berlin and Mr. Hitler.
A separate government decree dissolved the state parliaments and announced that there would be no new elections for state legislators.
Thus ended for the time, in line with Mr. Hitler's already announced policy, the German federal state system.
The government statements were temperate and gave evidence of long consideration.
It was announced that Germany would enter no arms race, that her complaint was that other nations were engaged on a disastrous armament race.
The German government, it was said, was ready to negotiate just agreements. But it must be on a basis of equality, the government added, and rather than continue to endure the humiliations of the past the government and the nation preferred to bear any oppression or hardships.
It was this that the government asked the nation to indorse.
In line with the temperate tone of all the German pronouncements, officials made it plain to the United Press that they planned to leave the league smoothly and in friendly manner, as righteous protestants and not as rebels.
Germany would observe all league rules, it was said, in her absence, and would continue to pay her dues up to the day her resignation became effective -- the transition period, as it was termed.
"Furthermore, Germany is ready at any time to conclude continental non-aggression pacts for long periods to serve European peace and cultural reconstruction."
The proclamation declared emphatically, however, that granting Germany equality of armaments was "an inalienable condition for Germany's participation in internal institutions and agreements."
"If this real equality is not granted," said the proclamation, "the German government and nation would prefer to bear any oppression and hardships."
"Germany will no longer sign agreements," it continued, "which would only lead to a perpetual Versailles treaty and thereby ruin communities of civilized states.
"Germany has no intention of participating in the armaments race of other nations."
But, it continued, Germany must demand armaments securing and guaranteeing the nation's freedom for work. The government, it added, was ready to secure these just demands "through negotiations and agreements."