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Bad News for the Jews: How Six US And UK Media Moguls Aided the Nascent Nazi Regime

JP O’Malley

Times of Israel, Aug. 12, 2022

“William Randolph Hearst paid Hitler and other top Nazis an average of $1,500 per article — or $20,000 in today’s money”


In January 1934, Lord Harold Rothermere, the owner of Britain’s Daily Mail, filed a story from Munich praising Adolf Hitler. The article was published when Jews were being ousted from public life in Germany and the Nazi party had already established a large network of concentration camps across the country.

Rothermere assured his readers that stories of these atrocities were wildly exaggerated. The restaurants and hotels in Munich were bustling with German Jews during the festive season, and none “showed [any] symptoms of insecurity or suffering,” the British newspaper proprietor wrote. This was typical of the pro-Nazi line Britain’s Daily Mail continued to promote that year.

The Nazis needed to control the “alien elements and Israelites of international attachments who were insinuating themselves into the German state,” as Rothermere put it in another article he personally penned in July 1934. The Daily Mail also cheered on the British Union of Fascists — a party led by Sir Oswald Mosley in Britain that was notorious for its support of Hitler and for its anti-Semitic propaganda. “Hurrah for the Blackshirts,” read one infamous Daily Mail headline from January 1934.

California-based historian Kathryn S. Olmsted’s new book, “The Newspaper Axis: Six Press Barons Who Enabled Hitler,” profiles Rothermere and five other powerful media moguls in the Anglophile world on both sides of the Atlantic between 1933 and 1945, all of whom took a pro-Nazi editorial line.

“Lord Rothermere was a pro-fascist who had a deep sympathy for Adolf Hitler,” Olmsted tells The Times of Israel from her office at the University of California, Davis, where she chairs the history department.

As she writes in the introduction to her new book, “For years, Rothermere and his fellow press barons in both Britain and the United States pressured their nations’ leaders to ignore the menace of fascism.”

Olmsted dedicates a chapter to exploring how Britain’s Daily Mail, led by Rothermere, championed Hitler’s Germany throughout the mid- to late-1930s. The paper described Germany under Hitler “as one of the best-governed nations in Europe” and continued to boost Hitler’s popularity, even as the Nazis used terrorist tactics against their political enemies. … Source


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