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US Fact check: Time magazine did not praise Hitler with 1938 'Man of the Year' title

11:35  07 september  2021
11:35  07 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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"Never forget the fact Adolf Hitler was TIME magazine ’s ‘ Man of the Year ’ in 1938 ," reads the text with an image of Hitler in an Aug. 16 post. "Moral of the story: Mainstream media is NOT your friend." Fact check :Chet Hanks video makes false claim about vaccine safety and UFOs. The claim that Hitler 's selection as Time 's " Man of the Year " shows why the media "is not your friend" is MISSING CONTEXT, based on our research. Time explained that the criteria for making a selection is based on the influence – good or bad – that person has on the news and lives of others.

In Time ‘s 1938 “ Man of the Year ” article, Hitler was labeled the “greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today.” That was as much an endorsement of Hitler ’s actions in 1938 as it would be today — in other words, not at all. He was named Man of the Year simply because he made the largest impact in the world that year with his annexation of Austria and the Sudatenland, as well as his perpetuation of antidemocratic policies which were well-known to the world at the time . Moreover, since no other leaders had done anything quite as significant, the choice was

The claim: Hitler's selection as Time 'Man of the Year' shows why the media 'is not your friend'

Time magazine's Person of the Year franchise began in 1927, then known as "Man of the Year." The first person to appear on the cover was Charles Lindbergh in 1928, following his historic solo flight across the Atlantic.

A decade later, it was Adolf Hitler's turn. The magazine named the Nazi leader "Man of the Year" for 1938.

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Controversy followed – and continues to this day.

"Never forget the fact Adolf Hitler was TIME magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ in 1938," reads the text with an image of Hitler in an Aug. 16 post. "Moral of the story: Mainstream media is NOT your friend."

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Time selected Adolf Hitler for Man of the Year in 1938 for the Munich Agreement which shattered the diplomatic alliances between France and Britain and the newly created Eastern European countries to keep Germany in check . Stalin got the nod from Time for " Man of the Year " again in 1942, this time not for upending the world order but for surviving the initial Nazi assault. The survival condemned Nazi Germany to be ground down between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, which would do the majority of killing and dying in the war.

He was Time Man of the Year for 1938 in the issue published on Jan 2 1939, and the reason for him being so was explained by Time itself in 2019, in Not the mere fact that the Führer brought 10,500,000 more people (7,000,000 Austrians, 3,500,000 Sudetens) under his absolute rule made him the Man of 1938 . Japan during the same time added tens of millions of Chinese to her empire. More significant was the fact Hitler became in 1938 the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today.

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While it is true that Hitler was selected Time's "Man of the Year" for 1938, it was not an expression of commendation. Quite the contrary, in fact.

The magazine's criteria for the selection is “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill," Time wrote in 2014. "Arguably you could do a bad guy every year and be justified."

The post has more than 14,000 shares. USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.

Time selection was a condemnation, not an honor

The Australian Associated Press found this claim has been circulating online since at least 2016.

Like the prior claims, the present post misunderstands the nature of Time's selection, making the attempt to draw conclusions about the legitimacy of Time in particular or the media in general nonsensical. Time's selection of the people with the biggest impact on the news is not always an honor.

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Hitler was not the only choice who the Time journalists did not agree with politically. Stalin ‘won’ in 1939 and 1942, for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the first time and his direction of the war in 1942. Mohammed Mossadegh, Man of the Year in 1951, was elected Prime Minister of Iran and expelled western oil companies, leading to the Abadan Crisis that ended with an coup d'état sponsored by the United States and Britain. Hitler was not only on the cover of Time magazine multiple times , he was named Time ’s “ Man of the Year ” for 1938 .

The following is adapted from the TIME special edition The Science of Good and Evil, available at retailers and on Amazon. It’s hard to think of Adolf Hitler as a thing of flesh and viscera and bone and blood — a functioning organism like the rest of us, someone who breathed and ate and slept and sweated. Ivan the Terrible did not come by his descriptor by accident, especially after the infamous massacre of the city-state of Novgorod in 1570, which saw up to 60,000 people claimed by the dictator’s bloodlust. Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter.

Time's 1939 issue describes Hitler as "the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today."

It said Hitler's actions "left civilized men and women aghast" and called Hitler "the man most responsible for this world tragedy is a moody, brooding, unprepossessing, 49-year old Austrian-born ascetic with a Charlie Chaplin mustache."

In a 2019 article on Hitler's legacy, Time noted that even the portrait of the 1939 issue was not the typical cover.

"He was depicted as a tiny figure with his back to the viewer, playing a massive organ with his murdered victims spinning on a St. Catherine’s wheel."

USA TODAY reached out to Time for comment.

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The Nazi leader has been one of Time's most controversial choices, but he is not the only negative figure to be selected. Others included former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Iran's former supreme leader Ayatullah Khomeini.

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TIME . “The Man of the Year idea caught on with a bang and, somewhat surprised, we decided to make it an annual event,” Prentice wrote in 1945. “The choice is in no way an accolade, nor a Nobel Prize for doing good. Nor is it a moral judgment. (Al Capone was runner-up in riotous, bootleg 1928.) Dorothy Wilding— TIME Magazine . Not every Person of the Year has wielded positive influence; perhaps most notably, 1938 ’s Man of the Year was Adolf Hitler , with the added ominous prediction that he “may make 1939 a year to be remembered.”

Time Magazine was not in any way “honoring” Adolf Hitler when they named him Person of the Year in 1938 . Originally Answered: How do you feel about Donald Trump being named Time Magazines person of the year ? He deserves it. I'm fascinated that a businessman who outsources work to China could pose as the champion of the dispossessed of the rust belt. He is an amoral draft dodger who has ridiculed war heroes and their families, asserted that America is not currently great and still got the vote of many Americans who self identify as patriots.

Our rating: Missing context

The claim that Hitler's selection as Time's "Man of the Year" shows why the media "is not your friend" is MISSING CONTEXT, based on our research. Time explained that the criteria for making a selection is based on the influence – good or bad – that person has on the news and lives of others. Hitler was chosen in 1938 because of his negative impact.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Australian Associated Press, Jan. 15, Hitler was once named TIME ‘Man of the Year’ – but that’s no honour
  • Time Dec. 5, 2017, Here's the History of TIME's Person of the Year Franchise
  • Time, Dec. 16, 2006, Person of the Year: A Photo History – Adolf Hitler: 1938
  • Time, April 19, 2019, 130 Years After Hitler's Birth, He Continues to Live as a Symbol of Evil
  • Time, accessed Aug. 16, The Vault - Jan. 2, 1928, No. 1 Cover
  • Time, accessed Aug. 16, The Vault - Jan. 2, 1939, No. 1 Cover
  • Time, accessed Aug. 16, The Vault - Jan. 2, 1939, No. 1 Page 14
  • Time, accessed Aug. 16, The Vault - Jan. 2, 1939, No. 1 Page 15
  • Time, Dec. 9, 2014, Everything You Wanted to Know About TIME’s Person of the Year

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Time magazine did not praise Hitler with 1938 'Man of the Year' title

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