The Daily Mail, “enemies of the people”, and a Nazi newspaper

8 November 2016
What was claimed

A recent Daily Mail headline bears an uncanny resemblance to the front page of a Nazi newspaper from 1933. Both papers branded particular judges as ‘Enemies of the People’.

Our verdict

The German headline reads "traitors of the people". The men depicted in the 1933 newspaper weren’t judges, and the translation in the caption is wrong. They were people who had their citizenship revoked by the Nazi regime.

This image has been doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook.

It compares a Daily Mail front page from 4 November 2016 with a front page from Illustrierter Beobachter, an official newspaper of the Nazi party, in 1933.

The Daily Mail depicted three UK judges and called them “Enemies of the People”. The meme claimed that the Nazi newspaper had done the same.

But the caption of the meme is incorrect. The people shown in Illustrierter Beobachter weren’t judges, and the subtitle doesn’t read “get out of the way of the German Common People’s will”.

The Nazi newspaper published pictures of what it called “Volksverräter ausgestoßen aus der Deutschen Volksgemeinschaft” (“traitors of the people, pushed out of the German people’s community”), and explains that the citizenship of these 33 “traitors” had been revoked.

The accompanying text says that all of them were already outside Germany by this time, according to German academic Christian Odendahl.

The list included journalists, political activists and lawyers, and we’ve republished it below.

The Twitter user who first posted the comparison, Dr Ned Richardson-Little, didn’t claim that the German paper showed judges. He pointed us to sources for the headline and the names of the ‘traitors’, which we’ve republished below.

Dr Richardson-Little invited his followers to ‘compare and contrast’ the two images.

It seems that the original tweet was misunderstood, amended and re-tweeted with the incorrect caption.

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The Names

  1. Alfred Apfel, lawyer
  2. Georg Bernhard, Journalist
  3. Rudolf Breitscheid, SPD politician
  4. Eugen Eppstein, KPD politicians
  5. Alfred Falk, pacifist
  6. Lion Feuchtwanger, writer
  7. Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster, pacifist
  8. Hellmut von Gerlach, journalist, pacifist, left liberal politician
  9. Elfriede Gohlke(= Ruth Fischer), communist politician
  10. Kurt Grossmann, Journalist
  11. Albert Grzesinski, SPD politician, Prussian Minister of the Interior
  12. Emil Julius Gumbel, pacifist, math professor
  13. William Hansmann, SPD politician
  14. Friedrich Heckert, KPD politicians
  15. Max Holz, Communist
  16. Alfred Kerr, theater critic
  17. Otto Lehmann-Rußbüldt, pacifist
  18. Heinrich Mann, writer
  19. Peter Maslowski, KPD politicians
  20. Willi Münzenberg, communist publisher
  21. Heinz Neumann, KPD politicians
  22. Wilhelm Pieck, KPD politicians
  23. Berthold Jacob, a journalist, pacifist
  24. Philipp Scheidemann, SPD politician
  25. Leopold Schwarzschild, Journalist
  26. Max Sievers, freethinker
  27. Friedrich Stampfer, Journalist
  28. Ernst Toller, writer
  29. Kurt Tucholsky, writer, journalist, pacifist
  30. Bernhard Weiss, Berlin Deputy Chief
  31. Robert Weismann, Prussian State
  32. Otto Wels, SPD politician
  33. John Werthauer, lawyer


Correction 8 November 2016

We originally named the German newspaper as the Völkischer Beobachter. We have corrected that to Illustrierter Beobachter.

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