Der Landser (soldier from Landsknecht and/or Landsmann = compatriot) was a German pulp magazine published by Pabel-Moewig and featuring mostly stories in World War II settings. The magazine was founded in 1954 by the former Luftwaffe officer and writer Bertold K. Jochim (1921-2002), who later worked as its longtime editor in chief until 1999. In September 2013 its last owner the Bauer Media Group announced the end of publication of the magazine.
History and profile
The magazine claimed that its war novels were true stories and that their underlying message was one of peace. In fact many of their stories came with disclaimer reminding the reader of the horrors of war. Critics however dismissed such claims as pure lip service to avoid getting indexed by the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien which started to index several of their editions in the 50s. Since its founding the magazine was criticized for glorifying war and delivering a distorted image of the Wehrmacht and Nazi Germany during World War II. The content of novels was accurate regarding minor technical details, but its descriptions were often not authentic and withheld important contextual information from the reader. No information on antisemitism, German war crimes, the repressive nature of the German government or the causes of the war was given because that was irrelevant to the plots. Germany's leading news magazine Der Spiegel described Der Landser once as the expert journal for the whitewashing of the Wehrmacht ("Fachorgan für die Verklärung der Wehrmacht").
The publisher of the magazine was Pabel Moewig, a subsidiary of Bauer Media Group. In September 2013 Bauer Media Group said it would cease publication of Der Landser following complaints from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The magazine was closed down 13 September 2013.
- Carla Bleiker (16 September 2013). "Publishing house terminates German pulp mag 'Der Landser'". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Jack Ewing (13 September 2013). "German Magazine Said to Glorify Nazis Will End". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Corinna Bochmann: Jugendgefährdende Medien im Rechtsextremismus aus Sicht der BPJM (PDF). S.1. Jahrestagung 2006.
- Torben Fischer, Matthias N. Lorenz: Lexikon der "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" in Deutschland: Debatten- und Diskursgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus nach 1945. transcript Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-3-89942-773-8, p. 116 (online copy, p. 116, at Google Books) (German)
- Kampferprobte Verbände. In DER SPIEGEL 32/1998 3 August 1998, p. 28
- Dirk Wilking: "Der Landser" - Wie ein Mann ein Mann wird (pdf). In Wolfram Hülsemann, Michael Kohlstruck (Hrsg): Mobiles Beratungsteam - Einblicke. Brandenburgische Universitätsdruckerei 2004, ISBN 3-00-015288-1, p. 61-95 (German)
- Torben Fischer, Matthias N. Lorenz: Lexikon der "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" in Deutschland: Debatten- und Diskursgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus nach 1945. transcript Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-3-89942-773-8, pp. 115-117 (online copy, p. 115, at Google Books) (German)
- Hagen Fleischer: The Past Beneath the present (pdf). Historein Volume 4 (2003-4), p. 65