Nearly two centuries ago, the National Police Gazette made history as North America’s first-ever tabloid. Its groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style changed journalism forever, and it would go on to become one of the continent’s five longest-running periodicals.
During the 1800s, while the underbelly of America was hidden beneath the skirts of Victorian purity, the Police Gazette delighted in foisting in-your-face stories of adultery, boozing, drug taking, corruption and gambling onto a shocked public.
The Gazette’s coverage of Adolph Hitler began predictably enough. In June 1939, even before the start of the war in Europe, the Police Gazette published an article proving Hitler was a raging homosexual. Then, following oddly little coverage during the war itself—perhaps the real-life absurdities reported daily in the newspapers were enough—a portent of things to come was published in the October 1946 issue. A caption under the photo of a Führer lookalike begins “Is Hitler Dead?” But, except for an article in September 1947, it would be another five years before the Gazette revisited the Hitler subject. And this time it would be revisited with a vengeance.
For those keeping score, from 1951 to 1968 the Police Gazette published 76 Hitler-related articles—including 13 excerpts from Alan Bullock’s respected biography Hitler: A Study in Tyranny—and featured him on the cover 37 times, not counting a few more covers where his name was only mentioned in small print. During this period, a prominent Hitler grabber appeared on a Gazette cover an average of over twice per year.
Below is a small sample of just the covers of the National Police Gazette featuring Hitler’s possible survival.
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