Daily Express headline – ‘Jews deny persecution by Nazis’

A man outside a Jewish shop carries a notice ‘Germans ! Defend yourselves ! Do not buy from Jews!’ Berlin 1933 – German Federal Archives via Wikimedia.

25 March 1933

Hitler had been in power for less than two months when the British press was already attempting to downplay the crimes of the Nazi regime.  On 25 March 1933, the Daily Express ran with the misleading headline ‘Jews Deny Persecution by Nazis – Reward for Proof of Murders,’ which cited statements from two conservative German Jewish unions, the Central Union of Jews and the Union of National German Jews. The paper did not inform its readers that these organizations were not only subject to intimidation by Nazi officials but that they represented only a small minority of Germany’s Jewish population.

As for the financial ‘reward for proof of murders,’ it had been offered by a ‘Hamburg Export firm’ which claimed to have suffered from a Jewish boycott of German exports overseas.  However, the correspondent had to admit that ‘the only drawback of the offer is that the name of the firm is not stated.’  He also failed to provide any proof that the firm itself, which had been mentioned in a bulletin by the pro-Nazi Telegraphen Union news agency,  had, even if it existed at all, any link to the Jewish community in Germany.1

FOOTNOTE

  1. Jews Deny Persecution By Nazis,” the Daily Express, 25 March 1933 p. 9 and regarding the pro-Nazi attitude of the Telegraphen Union see Bernhard Fulda, Press and Politics in the Weimar Republic, Oxford University Press, 2009 p. 146.

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