Germans Buy Up Nazi -era Newspaper Reprints

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A headline proclaiming "Huge Fire in the Reichstag" greeted Germans at newsstands Thursday — and although the story is more than 70 years old, customers are snapping it up.

Dieter Grosse, who runs a newsstand at Berlin's busy Friedrichstrasse station, said he has sold about 600 copies of Zeitungszeugen — a new publication that reprints Nazi-era newspapers — since it first edition went on sale Jan. 8.

But the project has drawn criticism from Jewish organizations and officials in the German state of Bavaria, who fear the reproductions could be misused by neo-Nazis.

Thursday's second edition features a reproduction of the March 1, 1933 front page of the Nazis' Voelkischer Beobachter newspaper, which includes a column by chief Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels blaming Communists for setting the national parliament, the Reichstag, alight. Adolf Hitler seized on the event to consolidate his power.

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