Finis Germania by Rolf Peter Sieferle has been withdrawn from influential list over ‘right-wing extremist’ content
By Philip Oltermann and Alison Flood | 28 July 2017
THE GUARDIAN — The influential German news magazine Der Spiegel has deleted from its bestseller list a book that one of its own editors had pushed up the rankings, after it was found to be “antisemitic and historically revisionist”.
Finis Germania, or The End of Germany, collects the thoughts of the late historian Rolf Peter Sieferle on the position of Germany, including how it deals with the Holocaust. The book is currently at the top of Amazon.de’s bestseller chart and this month it entered Der Spiegel’s bestseller list, which many bookshops use as a basis for promotional displays, in sixth place.
Susanne Beyer, Der Spiegel’s deputy editor, said Finis Germania had been omitted because the magazine considered the book – posthumously published by a small house, Antaios, known for its far-right leanings – to be “rightwing extremist, antisemitic and historically revisionist”.
Since Der Spiegel understood itself as “a medium of enlightenment even on historical subjects”, Beyer continued, the magazine had decided not to help advance the sales of such a book.
Beyer admitted that, in June, Finis Germania had made it on to a prestigious list of nonfiction books of the month, after her colleague Johannes Saltzwedel recommended the title.
Saltzwedel, one of the jury members for the non-sales-based recommendations list published by the broadcaster NDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, had used all of his available 20 votes to nominate Sieferle’s collection of short essays. Usually, jury members divide their votes among several books. […]