• Germany's news in English
 

El Pais retracts Merkel comparison to Hitler

Published: 25 Mar 2013 07:10 GMT+01:00

The column was published on the paper's website and in its Andalusia regional edition, economist Juan Torres Lopez of the University of Seville.

"Angela Merkel, like Hitler, has declared war on the rest of the continent, this time to guarantee (Germany) its vital economic space," he wrote in an apparent reference to the Nazi concept of finding Lebensraum for the Third Reich.

"She punishes us to protect her large companies and banks and also to hide from her electorate the shameful model that has seen the poverty rate in her country rise to its highest level in 20 years, 25 percent of employees earn less than €9.15 an hour and half the population represent... a miserable one percent of all the nation's wealth."

After the column provoked shocked reactions online, the newspaper took it down from its website and apologized.

"El Pais has withdrawn the article 'Germany against Europe'... because it

contained statements that this newspaper considers inappropriate," it said.

"El Pais regrets that a supervisory error allowed the publication of this material. The opinions expressed by Torres Lopes are his alone."

The article had set media commentators and German Twitter users aflutter.

"Bitter. Now El Pais has also published an editorial, in which Merkel is compared to Hitler," wrote Robin Alexander, a journalist with German daily Die Welt, on the online message service Twitter.

"To put Merkel's policies on a level with Hitler's is as loco (crazy) as it gets," Mathieu von Rohr, Paris bureau chief for German weekly Der Spiegel, wrote on Twitter.

"Of course Merkel's (and everybody's) stance may be criticized. But to use Hitler is incendiary, stupid and irresponsible."

But the retraction also drew criticism.

"Shameful El Pais censoring an article by J. Torres Lopez for criticizing Merkel," wrote Twitter user Adrian Arcas Munoz.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:11 March 25, 2013 by blackboot11
This statement is not far so from the reality/truth here as one might think:

"She punishes us to protect her large companies and banks and also to hide from her electorate the shameful model that has seen the poverty rate in her country rise to its highest level in 20 years"

The Germans have a track record of trying to spread their ideals and power throughout the EU during the last century and are seemingly giving it another go in the 21st century in an economic version .

With this penchant, they have been on the wrong side of history most of the time. Will they not learn from their mistakes?
10:56 March 25, 2013 by raandy
It's easier to blame others for your problems than to face up to the truth.
15:31 March 25, 2013 by freechoice
the next country that is going to drag EU down is France! wait for the next financial bomb to explode. that will be the end of Euro.
22:58 March 25, 2013 by Bigfoot76
Hitting Germany and it's leaders with the Hitler bomb is very original and well thought. I am always impressed by countries that throw that card. We should start keeping statistics of how many times people post the infamous mustache on a face. I mean it never gets old right? Okay enough sarcasm. Seriously, drop the whole Hitler insult. It reveals more about those who are using it than those who they are using it against.
07:46 April 8, 2013 by Hendrich Stein
I looked up what it meant in wikipedia, and the concept is enlightening.

(German for "habitat" or literally "living room") was an important component of Nazi ideology in Germany. The Nazis supported territorial expansionism to gain Lebensraum ("living space") as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to displace people of inferior races; especially if the people of a superior race were facing overpopulation in their given territories. The German Nazi Party claimed that Germany inevitably needed to territorially expand because it was facing an overpopulation crisis within its Treaty of Versailles-designed boundaries that Adolf Hitler described: "We are overpopulated and cannot feed ourselves from our own resources". Thus expansion was justified as an inevitable necessity for Germany to pursue in order to end the country's overpopulation within existing confined territory, and provide resources necessary to its people's well-being. The idea of a Germanic people without sufficient space dates back to long before Adolf Hitler brought it to prominence.

The policy of Lebensraum implicitly assumed the superiority of Germans as members of an Aryan master race who by virtue of their superiority had the right to displace people deemed to be part of inferior races. The Nazis insisted that Lebensraum needed to be developed as racially homogenous to avoid intermixing with peoples deemed to be part of inferior races. As such peoples deemed to be part of inferior races living within territory selected to be Lebensraum, were subject to expulsion or destruction.The Nazis supported other nations that were pursuing their own Lebensraum, such as declaring support for Nazi Germany's ally Fascist Italy to pursue its own Lebensraum.]

The Nazi regime invoked a variety of precedents to justify the pursuit of Lebensraum.[4] One was invoking the precedent of the United States. Hitler declared that the size of European states was "absurdly small in comparison to their weight of colonies, foreign trade, etc.," which he contrasted to "the American Union which possesses at its base its own continent and touches the rest of the earth only with its summit." Hitler noted that the colonization of the continental United States by Nordic peoples of Europe that had a large internal market, material reproduction, and fertile biological reproduction; provided the closest model to that of Lebensraum.

_______________________

Merkle is telling Putin, we got your money from Cyprus now back off those natural gas reserves. You were almost as much of a pain as them in the 40's and you see what's happening, with more to come. We even won soccer and you must be jealous. Let me send the coach, talk to him. this way I won't say I did it
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd