Nazis are generally vilified, and for good reason, but one German pulp magazine has taken it upon itself to try to change their image, and it’s not sitting well with the Jewish community.
Der Landser – translated literally as The Squaddie – is published by the giant Bauer media group, and fills its pages with glorifying photos of the German Army and the notorious Wafffen SS, seen as one of the main perpetrators of the Holocaust.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, soldiers of S.S. divisions, including Das Reich, have been portrayed in the magazine as fighting machines who fought only for the honor of their Fatherland.
In a recent issue, a group of Waffen S.S., in Greece, are seen swigging wine after a battle, and declaring: “These Greeks are a good natured lot – we conquer them and they are still friendly!”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on the German government to shut down the magazine.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the center, said: “It portrays these men as honorable soldiers, like British, American, Canadian or French soldiers. But the reality is they were murderous thugs.”
The magazine can be purchased online, including from Amazon, which refuses calls to stop selling the magazine, a fact Rabbi Hier said was “preposterous.”
The Daily Mail says that the magazine has declared it has no plans to halt production, while The New York Times reports that German Interior Ministry officials said they took the Wiesenthal Center complaint “very seriously” and would investigate.
According to The Daily Mail, German newspaper Der Spiegel once described Der Landser as “a specialist journal for whitewashing the Wehrmacht.”