London, Jan 13 (ANI): People visiting newsstands in Germany were in for a shock on Monday when they were confronted with the lead story of "Hitler, Chancellor of the Reich!" That story appeared in the Der Angriff as also a histrionic commentary by Dr. Joseph Goebbels.
According to The Times, a British publisher has taken the initiative to reproduce facsimiles of original Nazi-era newspapers. The weekly publication costs Euro 3.90 (3.50 pounds). The start-up print run is 300,000 and kiosks in Berlin are reporting brisk sales.
The paper says that there is a visible surge of interest in national socialist pamphlets. 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.
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.
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 Anti-Semitism. 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. McGee has been given special dispensation to reproduce the Nazi propaganda with all insignia for its historical value.
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. (ANI)