Yet another nazi controversy surrounding El Mercurio

A well-known Chilean readers club has been criticized after it promoted the sale of a World War II Nazi figurine. The German Embassy of Chile, among others, has condemned the club’s actions. There appears to be several similar incidents with the club in recent years. 

El Mercurio’s Club de Lectores, a popular Chilean readers club, is being scrutinized by the Jewish Community in Chile after the club promoted a figure of an SS lieutenant from Adolfe Hitler’s security force. The club offered a collectible figure of a soldier from the Nazi regime in Germany, exclusively to its subscribers for CLP$2,690. SS lieutenants were responsible for committing serious crimes against Jewish and other people during World War II. 

The Jewish Community in Chile responded with a complaint and tweets, which led to the removal of the offer from the club’s website.

The incident also caught the eye and ire of the German Embassy of Chile: “We regret that in the 21st century, figures representing SS soldiers are marketed as collector’s items and/or exhibits, who, being the spearhead of the Nazi regime, carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The embassy added that it supports dialogue around historical events as long as there remains a “perspective linked to democratic values, human rights and the testimonial legacy of the victims.” 

Not the first time

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that El Mercurio has been in hot water for promoting items that allude to Nazi Germany. According to an article from elDesconcierto, in 2019 El Mercurio promoted an officer of the Grossdeutschland division in 1941.

More recently, in 2021, El Mercurio commemorated the 75th anniversary of the death off Herman Göring by publishing his extensive biography. Herman Göring was Adolf Hitler’s successor in the chain of command and the founder of the Gestapo. At the time, the Jewish Community of Chile responded to the incident by asking for an apology. “In Europe this publication would be a crime,” the community wrote.

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