[Paleopsych] Pravda: Nazi Propaganda Is a New Fashion
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Mon Oct 10 23:59:52 UTC 2005
Nazi Propaganda Is a New Fashion
[Hitler is the most popular man in the world, living or dead, excluding
religious figures, with the lone exception of Mr. Jefferson. This will strike
many readers here as ridiculous or appalling, but the world's people as a whole
have even less intelligence than Mr. Mencken attributed to Americans, of whom
he famously stated (approx.) that no one ever went broke underestimating their
[Hitler is mostly admired as some one who stuck it to the Establishment, as a
high-school dropout who made it good and dissed his enemies. He is especially
admired in the Third World.]
[Who would be Hitler's competitors as the most admired man in the world?
[Stalin is admired in Russia as someone who would not brook nonsense and would
restored discipline. He may edge out Hitler in Russia, but there aren't that
[Mao has few admirers, even in Red China.
[Kennedy is still admired in Latin America, and you'll still find photographs
of him on the walls of hovels there. He meant hope for many Latin Americans. I
recall a large photograph of Roosevelt II in the back of a furniture store in
Charlottesville. This was around 1965, long after FDR died. He meant to the
owner of the store hope also.
[Certain religious figures, such as Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha top Hitler in
being admired, but what the historical figures were actually like is, of
course, the subject of endless dispute.
[Perhaps there are others as widely admired as Mr. Jefferson, but not as much
as Hitler, but none come to mind. Washington, I don't think so, since he's not
all that well-known in the Third World, which contains the bulk of humanity.
[I welcome discussion.]
Russia has caught World War II fever 60 years after the war's end, but
the books and DVDs flying off store shelves are far from patriotic.
They contain Nazi themes and often offer Nazi ideology.
"It's already a fashion," said Sergei Stepanich, an expert on fascist
literature at the Center for Human Rights.
Nestled among pornographic DVDs at kiosks at Leningradsky Station are
numerous discs offering original Nazi propaganda from the 1940s.
The DVDs carry the original newsreels that were shown in German
cinemas. A DVD on the Nazi SS has a blurb on the back of the box that
talks about the troops' "genuine professionalism."
"The DVDs are very popular," said one merchant, who refused to give
The propaganda is not only on sale at Moscow's railway stations. At a
central Moscow outlet of Soyuz Records, one of the capital's biggest
music and video chains, a series of DVDs on the actresses of the Third
Reich shares a shelf with Audrey Hepburn box sets.
A few hundred meters away from the Kremlin monument to the victims of
World War II, an ordinary kiosk in a metro underpass sells a pirated
nine-disc DVD collection called "A Chronicle of the Third Reich." The
series is a compilation of serious documentary films on the Nazi
regime but wrapped in a sensational cover.
Buyers may just be interested in history, but Jewish and human rights
organizations believe it is a sign of an increased fascination with
"It is probably not simply interest, but either young radicalism or a
xenophobic-chauvinistic viewpoint," said Yevgeny Altman, the head of
the Holocaust Fund in Russia.
There has been an interest in fascist and specifically Nazi ideology
since the early 1990s, but now the interest has taken on a commercial
aspect, said Stepanich, who helped organize a campaign titled "The
City Without Fascist Literature" over the summer.
Among books, perhaps the most popular are a series written by Yury
Mukhin, the editor of the newspaper Duel, that argues the Holocaust
did not happen. The books are published by Yauza-Eksmo Press.
It was unclear who was behind the publishing house, with a spokesman
for Eksmo, one of the country's largest book publishers and the
publisher of the Russian translation of the Harry Potter books, saying
his company had no connection with Yauza-Eksmo Press.
When a reporter telephoned the Eksmo bookstore, however, a sales clerk
offered a 20-page catalog of books published by Yauza-Eksmo Press.
It is the literature that most worries human rights campaigners.
Stepanich said respectable publishing houses were now publishing books
that embrace fascist ideology. "It was marginal in the 1990s," he
"Russia is becoming one of the world centers for Holocaust denial,"
Altman added. "We're worried that you can now find it in bookshops
like Biblio Globus."
Biblio Globus, a leading Moscow bookstore, had no immediate comment.
When human rights activists discovered a series of books that espouse
fascist ideology at a recent book fair, their protests were ignored,
The problem, he said, is that bookstores have difficulty singling out
the books with fascist propaganda. He said booksellers sometimes call
him to ask whether they could sell a certain book.
The country has seen an increase in attacks on minorities in recent
years, and rights activists link it to an increase in nationalist
sentiment. A suspect held in the recent stabbing death of a Congolese
student in St. Petersburg reportedly had a swastika on his cell phone,
The Moscow Times reported.
[Here are some links to other articles in "News from Russia," which is put out
by Pravda. Pravda is the Russian word for truth. As the main newspaper under
Communism, it published anything but truth, as all commentators not controlled
by the Soviets widely remarked. "Pravda" was a joke.]
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