Hitler’s first NYT mention was 100 years ago this week

On Tuesday, November 21, 1922, the New York Times printed its first profile article of Adolf Hitler. It would not be the last.

Under the headline “New Popular Idol Rises In Bavaria,” journalist Cyril Brown reported:

The keynote of his propaganda in speaking and writing is violent anti-Semitism. His followers are popularly nicknamed “the Hakenkreuzler.” So violent are Hitler’s fulminations against the Jews that a number of prominent Jewish citizens are reported to have sought safe asylums in the Bavarian highlands, easily reached by fast motor cars, whence they could hurry their women and children when forewarned of an anti-Semitic St. Bartholomew’s night.

This was a reference to the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre of August 23, 1572 in France. Indeed, Hitler’s version of this event would indeed arrive on November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass.”

However, the article also suggested that Hitler’s rhetoric on this subject of Jewish people was just a ruse:

But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch messes of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.

That “insight” was, to put it mildly, wrong.

This website usually focuses exclusively on the New York Times Magazine section and exclusively content that was originally printed on Sundays — as per the name SundayMagazine.org. However, despite it being a Tuesday issue and a non-magazine article, surely an occurrence this monumental merits a mention.

A hat tip to Reddit user u/michaelnoir on the subreddit r/100YearsAgo, who dug this 1922 article up. The original post can be found here.

New Popular Idol Rises in Bavaria

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 1922

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