Münchener Post

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Münchener Post
Münchener Post.jpg
TypeWeekly
Founded1888
Political alignmentSocial Democrat
LanguageGerman language
Ceased publication1 January 1933 (1933-01-01)
HeadquartersMunich

The Münchener Post (Engl. Munich Post) was a socialist newspaper published in Munich, Germany, from 1888 to 1933. The paper was known for its decade-long campaign against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party before their accession to power. It was shut down by Hitler in March 1933 immediately after he became the Reich Chancellor.

History[edit]

The newspaper had been founded by the Bavarian Social Democratic Party, and its initial opposition to Hitler was based on ideological grounds, but quickly acquired a personal dimension both for the journalists involved and for Hitler himself.

In 1933, as part of the Nazi elimination of media opposition, they ordered the closure of certain news outlets across Germany. All Socialist newspapers' buildings were taken over by the government. Writers and editors at the Münchener Post were arrested and imprisoned and its premises turned over to an S.A. squad who destroyed its offices and printing presses and burned its files.

"The Poison Kitchen"[edit]

The Poison Kitchen ("Giftküche") and Munich Pestilence (Münchener Pest) were names Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party gave to a group of journalists of the newspaper who were highly critical of him and ran a series of extremely negative investigative exposés about Hitler in the 1920s and early 1930s, before Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933.[1][2]

Münchener Post closely followed Hitler and his party, exposing their crimes, internal intrigues, and scandals. Hitler considered the paper, which he called "the poison kitchen", one of his most vexing public adversaries, and it was the target of several libel actions taken by the Nazi Party. The Post wrote from a populist perspective, viewing Hitler and his party as a dangerous band of gangsters rather than as ideological enemies, or as a bona fide political movement at all.

Ron Rosenbaum writes in his 1998 book about The Poison Kitchen:

"Their duel with Hitler lasted a dozen years and produced some of the sharpest, most penetrating insights into his character, his mind and method, then or since. Much of their work has been forgotten, but not much has been surpassed. And, as the name Poison Kitchen suggests, they succeeded in getting under Hitler's skin."[3]

Reflective of its times, the Munich Post did not pretend to be a neutral newspaper.[4] The Poison Kitchen group became one of the few early warning voices regarding the dangers posed by the rise of the Nazi Party, although their warnings went largely unheeded at the time.

When Hitler finally came to power in 1933, 'the offices of Münchener Post were subject to a final ransacking by the S.A. on 9 March 1933 and all of the staff members were imprisoned in concentration camps.[5]

The Poison Kitchen group included Martin Gruber [de], Erhard Auer, Edmund Goldschagg [de], and Julius Zerfaß, and others. Goldschagg later co-founded the Süddeutsche Zeitung.[6]

Historical research[edit]

Very little had ever been written about the Münchener Post until 1998 when American journalist Ron Rosenbaum published his book Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil. Rosenbaum considers "the running battle between Hitler and the courageous reporters and editors of the Post...one of the great unreported dramas in the history of journalism", and challenges contemporary journalists to do justice to the "men who brought so much honor to the profession with their courage and investigative zeal" (Rosenbaum 37, 58).

In 2018, National Geographic produced a documentary entitled Schlagzeilen gegen Hitler (English: Headlines against Hitler), documenting the struggle of the newspaper against Hitler and the Nazi Party.[6]

In 2019 the Associated Press published Enemy of the People by Terrence Petty which examined archives that document Nazi libel lawsuits against the Post, assaults on the newspaper's editors, and biographical information about them.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Rosenbaum. Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil. Random House. 1998. ISBN 978-0-679-43151-0
  2. ^ Petty 2019, p. ix.
  3. ^ Excerpts: Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil. Columbia Journalism Review. Sep/Oct 1998. Accessed July 5, 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ Petty 2019, p. xi.
  5. ^ Twogood, Sara (2002). "The Munich Post: Its undiscovered effects on Hitler". Portrayals of Hitler Project (by Harold Marcuse) proseminar. UCSB. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b Käppner, Joachim (3 May 2018). "Die Zeitung, die Hitler hasste". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Enemy of the People". www.uvm.edu. Retrieved 24 November 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]