Hollywood blog TheWrap investigates…
The Bauer Media Group may be the biggest publishing company you’ve never heard of, with 600 print publications worldwide, 300 websites and billions of dollars in annual revenue.
Though it is based in Germany, Bauer claims to have the highest retail sales of any magazine publisher in the United States, thanks to titles like In Touch and Life & Style, celebrity tabloids that are staple offerings at supermarket checkout lines.
The company’s slogan is “We think popular,” with a strong appeal to female readers through titles that focus on health, beauty and celebrity gossip.
But an investigation by TheWrap has found that there is a darker side to the privately held company, including publication of at least one magazine appealing to neo-Nazis, as well as significant involvement in the distribution of pornography — including Nazi-themed porn movies.
…Among TheWrap’s discoveries:
>> A wholly owned Bauer subsidiary publishes Der Landser, a military adventure magazine that specializes in World War II stories sympathetic to Hitler’s armies and that enjoys brisk sales among skinheads and neo-Nazis. The respected Germany newsmagazine Der Spiegel once described it as “a specialist journal for whitewashing the Wehrmacht.”
>> Until last year Bauer published the far-right magazine Zuerst!, whose publisher, Dieter Munier, has been involved in the German neo-Nazi movement for 40 years. Bauer sold the magazine in May 2012 after a public outcry.
>> Other Bauer wholly owned subsidiaries distribute pornography, including Nazi-themed porn movies. One movie, ”Inglorious Bitches,” is put out over a Bauer internet service provider and includes a scene in which a pair of soldiers clearly identified as Nazis work themselves into a sexual frenzy by torturing two resistance fighters.
When asked via email by TheWrap what percentage of Bauer’s profits stem from pornography, Bauer spokeswoman Claudia Bachhausen ignored the question. She also had no response to a question about Nazi-themed porn.