Jews in Germany wary of Nazi-era newspaper reprint

Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:28am EST
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By Anna Brooke

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Central Council of Jews in Germany has expressed concern about the reprinting of Nazi-era newspapers by a British publisher as part of a campaign to raise historical awareness.

The first issue of the controversial weekly "Zeitungszeugen" (Newspaper Witness) contains copies of three daily newspapers first published on January 30, 1933 -- the day Adolf Hitler took power. Included is the notorious propaganda paper "Der Angriff" (The Attack).

"I'm highly dubious about this project," Stephan Kramer, general secretary of the Central Council, told Reuters after the first 300,000 copies of the "The press in Nazi times" were distributed across Germany late last week.

Kramer said he feared neo-Nazis could rally around the collection of newspapers and ordinary Germans might take the Nazi claims at face value, even though balancing comments by historians are included in a four-page covering section.

On page one of "Der Angriff," Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, attacked the "Jewish press" in a column under the headline: "Make a clean sweep!" He wrote: "It's time to cure the ill German body and bring it back to life again."

Peter McGee, the British publisher of the newspaper, rejected the criticism, saying the aim is to offer a glimpse of the Nazi era and reflect on it.


The paper went on sale for 3.90 euros, about double the usual newspaper price, and similar publishing projects have been carried out in eight other European countries.   Continued...

<p>A rose is seen attached to barbed wire at the former Buchenwald Nazi death camp near Weimar in Thuringia April 9, 2005. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>