Pictures from the German Der Landser magazine and postcards.
Der Landser (literally private, common soldier) was a German pulp magazine published by Pabel-Moewig and featuring mostly stories in World War II settings. The magazine was founded in 1954 by the former Luftwaffe officer and writer Bertold K. Jochim (1921-2002), who later worked as its longtime editor in chief until 1999. In September 2013 its last owner the Bauer Media Group announced to cease the publication of the magazine.
The magazine claimed that its war novels were true stories and that their underlying message was one of peace. In fact many of their stories came with disclaimer reminding the reader of the horrors of war. Critics however dismissed such claims as pure lip service to avoid getting indexed by West Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons which started to index several of their editions in the 1950s.
Since its founding the magazine was criticized for glorifying war and delivering a distorted image of the Wehrmacht and Nazi Germany during World War II. The content of novels was accurate regarding minor technical details, but its descriptions were often not authentic and withheld important contextual information from the reader. Antisemitism, German war crimes, the repressive nature of the German government, and the causes of the war were not mentioned. Germany’s leading news magazine Der Spiegel described Der Landser once as the expert journal for the whitewashing of the Wehrmacht (“Fachorgan für die Verklärung der Wehrmacht”).
The publisher of the magazine was Pabel Moewig, a subsidiary of Bauer Media Group. In September 2013 Bauer Media Group said it would cease publication of Der Landser following complaints from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The magazine was closed down 13 September 2013.