Magazines in the Third Reich and Publishing in 2017

The Germans, with their tendency to compound words, seem to have a word for everything. And so they have a word for the joy at another’s loss. It’s Schadenfreude. And it’s opposite? Mitfreude— joy for someone’s joy. But sadness about loss?  That’s just plain grief. We’ve all experienced it.

With the Metro shutting down here in Winnipeg and across Canada, we’re once again reminded that the printed word is vulnerable. Journalism is struggling and I’ve got no Schadenfreude, no Mitfreude, only sadness. I liked reading the Metro. I liked the local feel. I have only Schaden-trauer for its demise . . . and empathy for its employees who find themselves job-less just as the season of happy goes full force.

Close cousin to newspapers are magazines. How many people still get those? My kids loved to see their name on a piece of mail that arrived, especially for them, once a month. I’m down to only two magazine subscriptions, myself—still prefer hard copy over digital—but I admit to reading much online. There’s just too much competition for my reading time.

In 1930s Germany, print journalism was in full force. True, with the growing war effort, many could only be published on cheap newsprint. But quality was usurped by quantity and the Nazi message was ubiquitous. There was something for every age and every interest.  My character, Katya, wants to be a writer and writing for one of these magazines would be great place to start.

You can really get a sense of what society is like through their newspapers and magazines. I wonder what history will tell us of ours.

Here’s a sampling of what the Third Reich read. Many of these have digital samples.
For the children:
Das deutsche Mädel: A monthly magazine from 1933-1942 which focused on healthy living. 
Articles encouraged hiking, games, caregiving, and prepared them for futures as mothers and wives.

Der Pimpf (formerly called Morgen)—monthly magazine, 1935-1944
For boys aged 10-14
Focus on adventure. Recruiting future soldiers.

Die Kameradschaftwas a Hitler Youth training manual with regular issues.
Die Wehrmacht was a military magazine aimed at young people.

My dad (18 in 1936 when he joined the Luftwaffe) very likely would have subscribed to:
Deutsche Luftwacht: covered German air industry
Der deutsche Sportsflieger: turning hobby pilots into soldiers

Women were targeted in the very popular:
Frauen Warte ( or Women’s View) 
-       Subtitle: ‘The only official women’s magazine of the Nazi party’
-       It started in 1935 and came out twice a week, with almost 2 million readers. 
-       Topics focused on raising children, domestic chores and fashion…with a Nazi bent
File:Streckerfanal.jpg-       It even included sewing patterns.

General interest magazines (again with a Nazi agenda) included:
JB – Illustrierte Beobachter – weekly photo magazine. Very popular. 24 pages
Hilf Mit—Nazi Party Magazine 
Signal German version of Life magazine published in 30 languages with more than 2 million readers
-        Wochen Post—weekly news round-up magazine with black and white photos

A curious niche market magazine was Deutsche Kurzschrift
-       for stenographers with text in shorthand, plus lots of photos

It’s now the end of 2017.  The digital world has usurped print. The Metro is done and now my own publisher has closed its doors. My third book, inspired by my mother’s tumultuous life, was supposed to be released this month. It’s a bit like being pregnant but having no birth.

However, I appreciate what Rebelight did for my stories and for my writing. They were always professional. Those women worked very hard, but publishing is a hard business. Still, for me, it’s a bit of déjà vu. I’ll get over it. I’m disappointed, but still determined. 


Unknown said...

Such an interesting post, Gabe. Thanks for posting.

Sorry to hear that Rebellght is closing its doors. They put out some great books during their short life, yours included.

MaryLou Driedger said...

I am so sorry about your next book not being published Gabe, at least not for now. I was so looking forward to it. Your first two books have been very popular in our church library. You are an inspiration to me to keep on writing. I am so amazed how you have writing to share at every writers' group meeting. I need to do that too. All the best as you seek another publisher.

jammanora said...

I am also sorry to hear of the closing down of your publisher and at the same time I am looking forward to our visit this afternoon -lunch out and catching up on our latest activities,etc.See you soon.

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