El Mercurio's commemoration of Hermann Goring, Oct. 24, 2021. (Screen grab/Twitter) (Screen grab/Twitter)
El Mercurio

Paper of record publishes shocking commemoration on 75th anniversary of Hitler deputy’s suicide.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Chile’s newspaper of record is facing an avalanche of public condemnation for publishing a tribute to Nazi leader Hermann Goring on Sunday.

El Mercurio, a right-leaning daily, shocked the Jewish community with a commemoration coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Nazi leader’s death. The one-and-a-half-page spread appeared in the paper’s Society section with the headline, “Hermann Göring, Hitler’s Successor.” The article delved into the Nazi leader’s childhood, military career and relationship with Adolf Hitler.

It also quoted Goring’s praises of Hitler.

Critics took to Twitter to slam the paper, most notably the Chilean Jewish community, the German embassy in Santiago, and various politicians.

Comunidad Judía de Chile, the umbrella organization for Chile’s 18,000 Jews, called the tribute an “apology for Nazism” and noted that, “In Europe, this publication would be considered a crime.”

The German embassy tweeted its condemnation, reminding El Mercurio that Goring “committed human rights crimes and was one of the pillars of the Nazi regime.”

“There is no room to justify or minimize, morally or politically, his horrific role during the Nazi regime or the Holocaust,” the embassy added.

In a notice on its web site, El Mercurio acknowledged the uproar by citing a letter written by Debora Calderon Cohon, who called the tribute a “direct affront” to Holocaust survivors. But rather than unequivocally apologize, El Mercurio instead sidestepped fault by expressing “deep regret” that readers didn’t interpret the article in whatever misguided way the editors intended.

“However, if many readers read this historical review of the ‘Society’ section in the way this reader expresses it, it is an error of our responsibility that we deeply regret,” the paper said.

Goring was one of Adolf Hitler’s longest-serving allies. He was injured the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, but a decade later became a Nazi cabinet member, serving as minister without portfolio. He oversaw the creation of the Gestapo, the dreaded secret police, and was later tasked with mobilizing the German economy for war.

In 1939, Hitler designated Goring as his successor and in 1940 conferred on him the newly-created rank of Reichsmarschall. The title gave Goring seniority over the entire German armed forces.

After World War II, Goring was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the 1946 Nuremberg Trials. Hours before he was to be executed by hanging, Goring committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide tablet.

Goring and 10 other Nazis executed that day were cremated and their ashes scattered.