Steve Nimmons
Academic and Author researching policing in smart cities

Der Landser slammed over War Portrayal

Dr. Stefan Klemp has written a special report for the Simon Wiesenthal Center on German pulp magazine Der Landser.

Der Landser has been published since 1957, one of its co-founders was a former Luftwaffe officer. The magazine is accused of recounting simplistic and badly contextualised war stories that ignore the atrocities of the Third Reich and the units that served as its butchers.

Der Spiegel once referred to Der Landser as:

the expert journal for the whitewashing of the Wehrmacht

Dr. Klemp says:

Der Landser claims that its “experience reports” on the life of German soldiers during the war are authentic. But, in fact, the stories in the Der Landser magazines 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.

Der Landser has been the subject of stinging criticism with calls for its proscription. Apple iTunes and Amazon both of which sell Der Landser have been asked to drop it from their stores.

The publication has a regular section on page 2 on ‘German War Heroes’. Dr. Klemp’s research exposes features on members of the Waffen-SS and infamous SS divisions including Totenkopf.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has written letters to German Interior Minister  Hans-Peter Friedrich and Federal Justice Minster Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger calling for an investigation of Der Landser under possible violations of section 86 of the German penal code.

Dr. Klemp sums up saying:

In conclusion, based on this report, I firmly believe the Der Landser glorifies the Waffen-SS, Nazi war criminals and the Third Reich. One must certainly ask whether it is appropriate for a global publishing firm like Bauer to continue to distribute such dubious material. Another serious question is whether glorifying individual SS members on page two is even legal. It seems to me that the above-mentioned publications may in fact be violating (section) 86 of the German Criminal Law.

About the Author
Steve Nimmons is an academic, writer and technologist specialising in criminology, security and policing. His research includes smart cities, digital policing models and public protection through design of smart urban environments.