Positions and Continuities
Johann von Leers as Part of an International Network of Postwar Fascism (Martin Finkenberger)
Johann von Leers as Part of an International Network of Postwar Fascism∗ Martin Finkenberger Introduction In August 1957, the weekly magazine Frankfurter Illustrierte published a series of sen- sational articles under the headline “SS Meeting Point in Cairo”. A journalist sent to Egypt stridently reported the presence of a large number of former National So- cialists, SS and SD members, who were said to have found refuge in Egypt, where “a form of a small branch of the Third Reich” had been revitalised. From there, the reporter claimed, they were recruited by the Soviets, who for their part maintained close relations with President Nasser and supported his anti-Israeli policies. The Germans were allegedly placed in key positions in both the Egyptian military and propaganda apparatus. One of them was said to have been Johann von Leers (1902-1965), who had reportedly taught as a professor at the “University of Bres- lau” until the end of the war and who was now working under the alias “Euler” in Egypt. According to the Frankfurter Illustrierte, his role consisted of “taking part in the construction of an Egyptian National Socialism” – among other things as the “director” of “Radio Cairo” which broadcasted “Goebbels-style attacks” against the West and those Arab nations which did not submit to Nasser’s leadership. All these efforts were said to be “part of the big plan to install the Soviet Union as the new leading power in the Middle East”.1 The now defunct Frankfurter Illustrierte was not without influence. It...
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