‘Untrue and beyond the pale’: German magazine faces backlash over cover depicting ‘Nazi Trump’

A German magazine has been criticised for a cover depicting US President Trump giving a Nazi salute while draped in an American flag.

The cover of the latest edition of Stern bears the headline “Sein Kampf,” or “His Struggle” – a play on Adolf Hitler’s 1925 book Mein Kampf.

Below, the text reads: “Neo-Nazis, Ku-Klux-Klan, racism: As Donald Trump stirs hatred in America.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a Los Angeles-based human rights organisation that researches the Holocaust and hate, denounced the cover in a statement.

“President Trump is fair game for serious criticism by the public and media at home and abroad. But the depiction of the president as a latter-day Hitler by a major German publication is untrue and beyond the pale,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper in the centre’s statement.

“Germans must surely know that by misappropriating the Swastika, the Sieg Heil, and other Nazi symbols and terms associated with Adolf Hitler, they belittle and becloud the crimes of the past, and add heat but shed no light or perspective on the serious struggles and disagreements that currently beset our democracy.”

The magazine cover was also condemned by people including German historian Michael Wolffsohn, who said: “Unlike Hitler, Trump did not incite a world war with 57 million deaths plus a Holocaust.”

Trump was widely criticised for initially blaming “both sides” after Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car was driven into counterprotesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12.

Nazi salutes are illegal in Germany under laws that prohibit the display of Nazi symbols or slogans.

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