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Associated Press, Nazis Collaborated in 1930s? No, Says News Org

Image: Associated Press, Nazis Collaborated in 1930s? No, Says News Org
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By    |   Friday, 01 Apr 2016 09:25 AM

The Associated Press has denied ever collaborating with the Nazi regime after a story published Wednesday in The Guardian suggested it may have worked with Hitler's government in the 1930s, before the United States entered World War II.

German historian Harriet Scharnberg claimed in the academic journal Studies in Contemporary History that The Associated Press maintained its access in Germany while other news agencies were banned because of a "mutually beneficial two-way cooperation with the Nazi regime," according to The Guardian.

"The New York-based agency ceded control of its output by signing up to the so-called Schriftleitergesetz (editor's law), promising not to publish any material 'calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home,'" The Guardian wrote of Scharnberg's research.

"This law required AP to hire reporters who also worked for the Nazi party's propaganda division. One of the four photographers employed by The Associated Press in the 1930s, Franz Roth, was a member of the SS paramilitary unit's propaganda division, whose photographs were personally chosen by Hitler," The Guardian continued.

In a Wednesday statement, The Associated Press repudiated the claim that it gave in to Hitler's Nazi government during that time.

"AP rejects the suggestion that it collaborated with the Nazi regime at any time," the news organization wrote. "Rather, the AP was subjected to pressure from the Nazi regime from the period of Hitler's coming to power in 1933 until the AP's expulsion from Germany in 1941.

"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. AP news reporting in the 1930s helped to warn the world of the Nazi menace. AP's Berlin bureau chief, Louis P. Lochner, won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for his dispatches from Berlin about the Nazi regime," the statement continued.

The Associated Press added that Lochner rejected anti-Semitic pressure from Nazi Germany to fire its Jewish employees. When that failed, The AP stated that Lochner arranged for them to become employed by the news agency outside of Germany.

Paul Colford, a spokesman for The Associated Press, said that it was reviewing any photos credited to Roth in light of Scharnberg's reference, according to the New York Times.

"AP archivists were unfamiliar with Franz Roth and his activities before and during World War II," Colford told the Times, adding that records of German AP employees were likely destroyed by the Russian military during an assault on Berlin. "We have no record of him at all."

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The Associated Press has denied ever collaborating with the Nazi regime after a story published Wednesday in The Guardian suggested it may have worked with Hitler's government in the 1930s, before the United States entered World War II.
associated press, nazis
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2016-25-01
Friday, 01 Apr 2016 09:25 AM
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