Thursday, September 30, 2010

93 Years and A Picture

A friend linked to this story about Germany's final payment this weekend on its World War I reparations.  Not World War II, but the war that ended almost 93 years ago. I knew Hitler stopped payments in the 1930s, but they resumed after WWII, and interest accumulated.  The original debt was 22 million British pounds, but the final payment alone will be 59 million.  There's a lesson about credit card debt somewhere in here.

If you have a second, go to the story and skim the page - you don't need to read anything, just look at it.

Notice anything?  How about a story about the 2010 German government paying reparations from World War I featuring a photograph of ... Hitler.  He's in the story, but anecdotally.  This feels like gotcha journalism, like showing John Geoghan (convicted child-molesting priest) in a story about the Popemobile, or Monica Lewinsky in a story about Chelsea Clinton's wedding.  There are very few legitimate reasons to dredge up the specter of Adolf Hitler, and almost all of them involve specific studies of WWII and its lessons.  Using him to capture readers' eyes is just repulsive.

1 comment:

  1. Well, except that a very convincing argument can be made that the exorbitant reparations levied on Germany after the Great War led directly to the conditions that allowed Hitler to take power. And since his taking power is possibly one of the most important geo-political events of the 20th century, it's important to look at the causes.