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American Newspapers that Praised Hitler (Daily Beast) - The Constantine Report

19.1.16

American Newspapers that Praised Hitler (Daily Beast) - The Constantine Report: Why did many mainstream American newspapers portray the Hitler regime positively, especially in its early months? How could they publish warm human-interest stories about a brutal dictator? Why did they excuse or rationalize Nazi anti-Semitism? These are questions that should haunt the conscience of U.S. journalism to this day.

Some of the U.S. press coverage of Hitler’s first weeks in power was rooted in unfamiliarity with the man and his movement. The Nazis had risen from barely 18 percent of the national vote in mid-1930 to become Germany’s largest party only two years later, and gained power just months after that. Knowing little about Hitler and Nazism, many American editors and reporters assumed, based on previous experience, that a radical candidate would show some restraint once in office.

An editorial in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on Jan. 30, 1933, asserted that “there have been indications of moderation” on Hitler’s part. The editors of The Cleveland Press, on Jan. 31, claimed the “appointment of Hitler as German chancellor may not be such a threat to world peace as it appears at first blush.” Frederick Birchall, Berlin bureau chief for The New York Times, found “a new moderation” in the political atmosphere following Hitler’s rise to power.


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