At first glance it appears to resemble any of Germany’s numerous news magazines, with articles about the banking crisis, skiing holidays and organic food. But the newest current affairs publication to hit newsstands has been described by critics as little more than far-right propaganda cleverly dressed up with gloss and color in an attempt to appeal to the masses.
Zuerst (First), which has the backing of far-right publishers and many of whose contributors are established commentators in other radical right-wing publications, describes itself as a German news magazine that aims to “observe, report and comment on” current affairs “from the viewpoint of Germany’s own interests,” according to editor-in-chief Gunther Deschner.
In an opening editorial, Deschner said Zuerst would attempt to offer an alternative to established news magazines such as Stern and Spiegel that were “mired in political correctness.”
The magazine’s publisher, Dietmar Munier from the publishing group Lesen und Schenken, admitted in an interview with the far-right Internet portal Gesamtrechts that Zuerst was “without doubt a right-wing newspaper,” whose target readers were people who identified with its editorial line, as well as “those who want to treat themselves to an alternative opinion.”
He said the magazine was a chance to “neatly put the screws” on a Germany, which he described as a “left-wing loony bin of really old 68ers who sit in positions of power.”
The existence of Germany was in grave danger because of mass immigration, a “probably record-breaking reproduction” among foreigners and “the loss of its own ethnical identity,” he said.
The first, 84-page edition paints a picture of a beleaguered Germany that is under attack from everyone, from its enemies in World War I, to whom it was still paying reparations, to Denmark, where Germans were not allowed to buy holiday homes and where “raising the German flag is a punishable offense.”
Mathias Brodkorb, of the anti-Nazi organization Endstation Rechts, described the magazine as being “as ambitious as it is risky.”
“They want to compete with established magazines like Spiegel, Stern and Focus, but from the right-wing perspective,” he said.