The Associated Press is being accused of cooperating with Nazi Germany back in the 1930s.
A report first published by The Guardian claims to reveal that the AP submitted to the regime’s restrictive rulings on the freedom of the press. The AP also allegedly provided Nazis with images from its photo archives to be used in its anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda.
When Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933, all international news agencies were reportedly forced to leave Germany with the exception of the AP, which continued to operate in the Third Reich until 1941, when the United States joined World War II.
German historian Harriet Scharnberg says the AP was only allowed to remain in Germany because it signed a deal with the regime. The Guardian reports the AP promised not to publish any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home.”
The AP will celebrate its 170th anniversary in May. The Guardian says, “the newly discovered information raises not just difficult questions about the role AP played in allowing Nazi Germany to conceal its true face during Hitler’s first years in power, but also about the agency’s relationship with contemporary totalitarian regimes.”
An AP spokesperson issued the following statement: As we continue to research this matter, AP rejects any notion that it deliberately ‘collaborated’ with the Nazi regime. An accurate characterisation is that the AP and other foreign news organisations were subjected to intense pressure from the Nazi regime from the year of Hitler’s coming to power in 1932 until the AP’s expulsion from Germany in 1941. AP management resisted the pressure while working to gather accurate, vital and objective news in a dark and dangerous time.
Read the entire statement here.