++ Hitler returns to front page as Nazi era papers hit the streets - SouthernWolf.net

Hitler returns to front page as Nazi era papers hit the streets

Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 @ 18:08:20 EST in Socialism
by Southern

>Hitler Youth members reading anti-Semitic propaganda in Der Sturmer - a surge of interest has been reported recently in national socialist pamphlets

Hitler Youth members reading anti-Semitic propaganda in Der Sturmer - a surge of interest has been reported recently in national socialist pamphlets

Roger Boyes in Berlin

The headlines leaping out from German newsstands yesterday were shocking, if a little dated. “Hitler Chancellor of the Reich!” was the lead story on the front of Der Angriff and if readers were in any doubt about the significance of the news they could study the rather histrionic commentary by Dr Joseph Goebbels.

Masterminded by a British publisher, facsimiles of original Nazi-era newspapers are being reproduced and are going on sale across the country. The weekly publication costs €3.90 (£3.50). The start-up print run is 300,000 and kiosks in Berlin are reporting brisk sales.

“Ah, you want the Nazi papers,” said the owner of a newsstand on the upmarket Kurfürstendamm, reaching up to the top shelf where she stacks men’s “special interest” magazines and cigarettes. “Tell me if they have any useful tips.”

A surge of interest in national socialist pamphlets has been reported recently. The daily talk about a return of the Great Depression has stoked up interest in the 1930s and there is fresh curiosity about why the older generation swallowed Nazi propaganda.
“From today you will have a unique opportunity to read what information was available to your grandparents and your parents,” said the historian and editor of the venture, Sandra Paweronschitz. The publisher, Peter McGee, who launched a similar project successfully in Austria describes the publication, Zeitungszeugen (newspaper witnesses), as a platform for discussion in Germany. “It should be read by people who would never read a contemporary history textbook but still value quality analysis of the information,” he said.

Mr McGee’s London-based publishing company, Albertas, is being advised by leading German historical scholars on the Third Reich, including Professor Wolfgang Benz, head of Berlin’s Centre for Research into AntiSemitism. They are part of a ten-member board, whose make-up is intended to banish any suspicion that reprinting Nazi papers was some kind of far-right stunt.

The appeal of the facsimiles in the first instance is to Germans fascinated by the breach of a taboo that has been intact for more than 60 years. In Germany books are removed from the shelves if they bear a swastika, and the Hitler salute is forbidden. Mr McGee has been given special dispensation to reproduce the Nazi propaganda with all its insignia for its historical value.

The current issue is centred on January 30, 1933, when Hitler came to power. Three newspaper are reproduced - Der Angriff (The Attack), a Nazi paper founded by Goebbels, the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a national conservative paper and Der Kämpfer (The Fighter), the main organ of the German Communist Party – giving a spread of opinion. The three papers come with a wrap-around supplement full of commentary and analysis from the advisory board.

The publishers have tried to fend off potential criticism that they are peddling Nazi propaganda for a new generation. However, the problem will become more pronounced in subsequent issues. The plan is to reproduce completely 150 newspapers up to 1945. In the later publications there will be little internal balance. The Nazis closed down opposition papers and censored heavily. Newspapers such as Der Stürmer (The Attacker) dripped antiSemitic vitriol.

“I am not sure what effect this project will have,” said Ralph Giordano, a novelist and Holocaust survivor. “What I can say is that Hitler, and everything that his name symbolises, may have been militarily defeated but not intellectually.”

A leading member of the Berlin Jewish community was also sceptical about the mass selling of Nazi newspapers. “We’re all a tad nervous,” he said, requesting anonymity. “The Gaza action is propelling thousands on to the streets chanting antiIsraeli slogans – it’s not a great moment to give publicity to Joseph Goebbels.”


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