German Historian: AP Was in Cahoots With the Nazis

Claims that Nazis even had a propaganda plant as an AP photographer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2016 7:41 AM CDT
German Historian: AP Was in Cahoots With the Nazis
This Oct. 24, 1940, file photo shows Adolf Hitler, right, shaking hands with Philippe Petain, the head of state of Vichy France, in occupied France.   (AP Photo, File)

A historian at Germany's Martin Luther University has uncovered what she says is proof from Associated Press archives that it was in formal cahoots with Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime in exchange for being the only Western news agency to report from there, the New York Times reports. In an article in Studies in Contemporary History, Harriet Scharnberg says that due to this arrangement during the 1930s and up through 1941—which the Guardian paints as a "presumably profitable situation of being the prime channel for news reports and pictures out of the totalitarian state"—the Nazis were able to "portray a war of extermination as a conventional war." She adds that, as part of an "editor's law" the agency agreed to, the Nazis even embedded one of their own with the AP as a photographer and pulled photos from AP archives for their anti-Semitic propaganda.

In a statement, the AP says it "rejects" this notion of Nazi collaboration, instead noting the "pressure" the agency faced in dealing with the Third Reich. "AP staff resisted the pressure while doing its best to gather accurate, vital and objective news for the world in a dark and dangerous time," it says. Scharnberg's claims are raising speculation about the AP's current relationships with totalitarian regimes, including North Korea. The Guardian points out that the AP was the first Western news agency to start a bureau there, yet didn't cover significant events, including an MIA Kim Jong Un in 2014 and the Sony hack that November. The AP denies censorship there, too, but an ex-AP reporter in Cambodia tells the Guardian, "To claim, as the agency does, that North Korea does not control their output is ludicrous." (The Nazis had exploding candy bars.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.