At the height of World War II, the Associated Press made secret arrangements with an SS officer to obtain pictures taken by Nazi photographers that were distributed to American newspapers — a deal authorized by senior U.S. officials.
The extraordinary arrangement, which began in 1941 and ended with Hitler’s fall, is detailed in a lengthy internal report the AP released Wednesday morning. It comes several months after Norman Domeier, a German historian, discovered a letter describing the deal in the papers of AP’s then-bureau chief.
The report includes documents recently declassified at the request of AP’s management, including letters of approval from a wartime censorship office run by an ex-AP editor who reported to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As part of the arrangement, AP shared pictures of U.S. war operations and Allied advances, which were reviewed by Hitler and published in Nazi publications.
“With one known exception, the AP images that appeared in German publications through this arrangement were unaltered by the Germans, “ the report said, “but captions were rewritten by the Germans to conform to official Nazi views.”
Originally published by the Washington Post.