Weidenfeld weighs into Bauer war magazine row

 

George Weidenfeld, one of the most venerable figures in book publishing, has added his voice to the row about media group Bauer’s decision to publish a magazine that is said to glorify German Second World War soldiers.

Lord Weidenfeld, the co-founder of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, is understood to have written to Ofcom, urging the British media regulator to look at the German military magazine Der Landser.

His letter follows similar complaints from the London media banker Bruce Fireman and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Palmer, who want Ofcom to look at whether Kiss FM owner Bauer is a “fit and proper” broadcaster.

Mr Fireman claims Bauer’s decision to publish Der Landser also raises questions about the company’s suitability to buy Absolute Radio in Britain, a planned deal that Ofcom must approve.

In a further sign of pressure on Bauer, it is believed that MPs are considering drawing up an Early Day Motion about Der Landser.

Ofcom would not comment on any letters it has received but said it has begun gathering information in response to the complaints, before deciding whether to investigate Bauer formally.

Ofcom said it is in contact with Germany’s Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors, the regulator responsible for monitoring issues such as coverage of war atrocities.

“Ofcom has a duty to be satisfied on an ongoing basis that the holder of a broadcasting licence is ‘fit and proper’,” an Ofcom spokesman said. “We would assess any relevant evidence that would help us discharge this duty.”

Bauer, which also publishes heat and Grazia, said all its publications “comply fully with the laws in force in Germany” and emphasised none of them “trivialise or glorify National Socialism or war crimes”.

The company added: “Der Landser has been reviewed repeatedly by the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors. In over 25 years, these reviews have not resulted in any objections.”

Even so, it said: “We take the ongoing public criticism in this respect extremely seriously.”

Lord Weidenfeld could not be immediately reached for comment. He is the most high-profile figure to intervene in the row.

Born in Austria in 1919, he moved to Britain just before the Second World War and his company was unafraid to publish controversial books including Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel Lolita.

His Who’s Who entry says that he writes regularly for German papers, including Die Welt and Bild am Sonntag.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?