Scrapbookpages Blog

October 29, 2012

Yellow Journalism in today’s newspapers

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:27 am

Yesterday, I blogged about Wilhelm Brasse, a prisoner who was put to work as a photographer in the Auschwitz concentration camp in the 1940s.  A reader alerted me to a news article in The Mail Online which tells about Brasse’s work at Auschwitz. This article is an example of Yellow Journalism at it’s best.

For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with the term Yellow Journalism, I am quoting Wikipedia:

Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.[1] Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.[1] By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.[2]

Here is the eye-catching headline in The Mail Online:

The photographer at Auschwitz: Man forced to take chilling images of inmates and their Nazi guards was haunted until his death at 94

The Mail Online illustrated the article with photos taken by Brasse, including the chilling image below.

Maximillian Grabner, the head of the Political Department at Auschwitz

If you think the image of Maximillian Grabner is chilling, you should see what he really looked like.  I consider this to be an excellent portrait of the man. The caption on this photo, in The Mail Online, is this:

“Jailer: SS officer Maximilian Grabner was also captured on film by prisoner Brasse in the photography department at Auschwitz”

Maximillian Grabner was the director of the Political Department in Auschwitz. He was arrested by Dr. Konrad Morgen, an SS Judge, who was assigned to investigate all the Nazis camps for incidents of cruelty or abuse of the prisoners. Grabner had been accused of killing 2,000 prisoners “beyond the general guidelines.” Grabner was put on trial by an SS court in Weimar, Germany but was not convicted. In 1947, Grabner was tried and sentenced to death by the Polish Supreme War Tribunal in Krakow.

This quote from The Mail Online is an example of Yellow Journalism:

One day, a prisoner was sent to him because one of the camp doctors, the infamous Nazi Dr Josef Mengele, wanted a photograph of the man’s unusual tattoo.

He said: ‘It was quite beautiful. It was a tattoo of Adam and Eve standing before the Tree in the Garden of Eden, and it had obviously been done by a skilled artist.’

About an hour after taking the photograph, he learned that the man had been killed. He was called by another prisoner to come to one of the camp crematoria where he saw the dead man had been skinned.

Mr Brasse said: ‘The skin with the tattoo was stretched on a table waiting to be framed for this doctor. It was a horrible, horrible sight.’

Back in the days before Yellow Journalism became the norm in the mainsteam media, a good journalist would have explained that Brasse’s claim of being called by another prisoner to one of the camp crematoria would have been quite unusual since Brasse was working in the main Auschwitz camp, which had only one crematorium. Apparently Brasse was called by another prisoner to come to the Auschwitz II camp which had four crematoria.  It would have been very unusual for Brasse to leave his job in the main camp, at the request of another prisoner, to travel 3 kilometers to another camp to take a photo of a dead man who had been skinned for his tattoo.  This part of the article reads as if it were written by Holocaust liar survivor Irene Zisblatt.

This quote is also from The Mail Online:

Mr Brasse and another inmate managed to bury thousands of negatives in the camp’s grounds which were later recovered.

Too bad that Brasse didn’t bury the negative of the man with the tattoo, whom he photographed after the man had been skinned.

Here is more of the horror printed by The Mail Online:

In February 1941, he was summoned to the camp commander’s office, the notoriously brutal Rudolf Höss, who would later be hanged for his crimes.

Mr Brasse was certain that this was the end but when he arrived he discovered that the SS was looking for photographers.

There followed what must have been a bizarre and terrifying experience. The assembled men were tested on their photographic skills.

Each must have known failure would mean a return to hard labour and death.

He said: ‘We were five people. They went through everything with us – the laboratory skills and the technical ability with a camera. I had the skills as well as being able to speak German, so I was chosen.’

The Nazis wanted documentation of their prisoners. The Reich was obsessed with bureaucratic records and setup ‘Erkennungsdienst,’ the photographic identification unit.

Based in the camp, it included cameramen, darkroom technicians and designers.

I don’t want to say anything about the liberal bias of newspapers today because this would attract hateful comments by readers who disagree with this opinion, so I will just quote Wikipedia on the subject of liberal bias:

Liberal bias in the media occurs when liberal ideas have undue influence on the coverage or selection of news stories.

Conservative critics of the media say some bias exists within a wide variety of media channels including network news shows of CBS, ABC, and NBC, cable channels CNN, MSNBC and Current TV, as well as major newspapers, news-wires, and radio outlets, especially CBS News, Newsweek, and The New York Times.[21]

The Mail Online goes far beyond liberal bias, into the realm of Yellow Journalism.


  1. Nice try bolstering your holocaust-critiquing obsessed “scrapbook”-read-“furtherglory”-blog with the [right wing] DM’s crappy journalism as if to say, hey, that Josef Mengele wasn’t such a bad guy (and David Irving is what, correct?). If i’m not too nauseated i’ll keep reading your own crappy apologisms of the evil of the Nazis for a laugh. Don’t expect this comment will be allowed of course.

    Comment by val — November 27, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  2. The ” Daily Mail ” is the daily journal favoured by the age range 40- 85 in the UK but it has a large readership via the internet in the US. The average reader is a 50 year old white middle low income woman eg your dental receptionist! There is always plenty of celebrity news to entertain.
    Up until 1990 it could claim to be a serious journal since then it is just entertaining rubbish. It likes to ” heat up ” its readership with stories about thieving immigrants and Somalis living in 2 million pound houses on social security money. It appeals to the sublimated racial feeling of its readers outraged at the changes that they are powerless to change anyway.
    Since 1990 it and the Jewish owned Daily Express have published nearly daily Hitler ate babies for breakfast stories. For a British generation bought up on stories of ” evil Nazis” and Raiders of the Lost ark its no big deal. Why they do this is unclear ; whether they are paid by the Holocaust education trust is unknown.
    On the internet the comments are very carefully moderated and any which cast doubt on the tall tales are rejected although interestingly the censor / moderator can sometimes be not on the ball and allow a sceptical comment on.

    Comment by Pete — October 29, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    • The Nazis had photographic competitions at Auschwitz to decide who lived and who died!

      I burst out laughing reading that bit.

      On a connected note, Irving links to a story in the Mail on his site about us Brits (read: Jews) torturing Germans:

      Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — October 29, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

      • Interestingly the Mail in the 1930s had an ambivalent attitude to the BUF ( British Union of Fascists ) . There was the headline ” Hooray for the blackshirts ” allegedly. Its flirtation with fascism earned the disapproval of Jo Lyons the Jewish restaurant chain owner. His threat to remove advertising soon changed their minds.
        I have read in the German edition of Metapedia ( Wikipedia for gentiles) that the Daily Mail published a friendly interview with Magda Goebbels in the 1930s . I haven’t found that on the net but something to embarass the Mail perhaps with.

        Comment by Pete — October 29, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

        • I tracked down an article which Mark Weber once cited, written by, one-time, big-time Hitler admirer David Lloyd-George, in the now Jewish Express, who in a preamble stated:

          “Mr Lloyd George, too, looked upon the land of the Nazis and saw that it was good.”

          Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — October 29, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

          • interesting article which I hadn’t read before. Up until 1914 the British generally regarded the German people as cousins rather like the Dutch and there was a strong affinity between the upper classes of both nations and a shared hostility to the French. The propaganda of the first world war changed the mentality ,epitomised by the Royal family changing their surnames . So it is interesting to read an article from the former British PM of that era.
            Also interesting to note his views on opposition and free speech in Germany being tolerated as long as it wasn’t organised against the government which is what Himmler maintained . Also his views on the Soviet threat which Hitler foolishly ignored to obtain the Ribbentrop Molotov pact although Hitler felt it was necessary to limit the war in 1939. He paid the price for his mistake two years later.

            Comment by Pete — October 29, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

    • not quite, it’s certainly more celeb-obsessed but still appeals to plenty hate-filled jolly little rightwing ex-thatcherite ignoramuses who take pleasure from destruction of the welfare state, disability benefits, increase in child poverty and xenophobia, furiously angry with the social scapegoat of the month, eager to kick the vulnerable for not being like themselves. One thing it does have going for it is, despite its roots, it accepts the fact of the Holocaust and Nazi atrocities.

      Comment by val — November 27, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

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