Sunday, 17 February 2008

Nazi-era singer returns to stage

Nazi-era singer returns to stage (BBC News, Sunday, 17 February 2008)

BBC journalists seem primarily interested in reaching their quotas. Getting the facts straight is not a priority, especially for articles that few people will read attentively anyway. Doing a superficial web search can be enlightening.

"Nazi-era singer returns to stage"

Johannes Heesters has never been away from a stage (in Germany or Austria) for very long. The title should therefore have been "[...] returns to Dutch stage" or something in that vein.

The term "Nazi-era singer" is misleading. Would you call someone who made bread in Paris during the Vichy regime a "Nazi-era baker"?

"who once performed in Nazi Germany"

He made his career in Nazi Germany. He certainly performed more than "once". Comparison with articles elsewhere on the web covering the same story reveals this error was made through incorrect cut-and-paste.

"he performed for Adolf Hitler"

What is known is that Hitler attended some of his shows.

"and visited the Dachau concentration camp"

That he visited Dachau is not disputed, but all historical evidence suggests this was not voluntary and not out of any sympathy for fascism, and during his visit he did not perform a show. It is not even clear whether the visited camp was concentration camp Dachau or military camp Dachau. The phrase is therefore misleading.

"He kept singing for the Nazi regime"

A misleading statement, as above.

The mentioned protests involved about 50 people, so this is much ado about nothing. It is easy to round up 50 people to protest against dihydrogen monoxide.

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