Bauer Media, publisher of such female-friendly tabloidy supermarket titles as In Touch and Life & Style, will stop publishing the controversial pro-Nazi military adventure magazine Der Landser following international outcry spurred by TheWrap’s investigation.
Bauer announced on Friday that it would no longer publish Der Landser, though it maintained that it found no pro-Nazi sympathies in the magazine, which is a favorite of skinheads and neo-Nazis. Bauer phrased the decision as part of “evaluating the company’s portfolio strategy.”
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In February, TheWrap first reported that one of Bauer’s over 600 print titles was a German military adventure magazine that glorified WWII soldiers who served under Hitler, which was published by a wholly owned subsidiary Bauer acquired over 40 years ago.
By August, Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center was calling on Amazon and Apple to stop selling the title and asking Germany’s politicians to see if Der Landser was not in violation of the country’s prohibiting pro-Nazi speech.
“Der Landser is desecrating the memory of the Holocaust and glorifying Nazism. We urge your ministry to begin an investigation on Der Landser magazine immediately and to take the appropriate action,” Rabbi Marvin Hier wrote at the time.
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The center also commissioned a report on the title, which found that “the stories in the Der Landser magazine sanitize the Third Reich by presenting stories of conventional warfare out of context. They methodically reduce the war to stories of German heroes, purposely ignoring the crimes committed by their units as if they are irrelevant. The war they present appears to be an adventure, albeit with some casualties.”
Though Bauer never responded to multiple requests for comment from TheWrap, it did look into the Wiesenthal Center’s accusations, carrying out a study of its own. A neutral German lawyer, the company said, found that Der Landser was not in violation of any laws and did not glorify Nazi Germany.
“Der Landser conforms to the strong laws we have in Germany and neither glorifies nor exonerates National Socialism. Even the government office [responsible for monitoring the media for pro-Nazi content] has never taken issue with it over a period of more than 25 years,” Bauer said.