Vintage Pulp Mar 23 2011
THE SECRET OF HIS SUCCESSOR
Hitler’s attempt to handpick the next ruler of Germany didn’t work out quite as planned.

This March 1955 issue of The National Police Gazette is beat all to hell, but then again so are the Gazette’s stories about Adolf Hitler. In a previous post we showed you nine Hitler covers from the 1950s and 1960s, and we know of at least a dozen more. As it happens, the story inside this particular issue isn’t only about Hitler, but about his naval commander Karl Dönitz. Dönitz was due to be released from prison in 1956 and Gazette writer George McGrath sounds the alarm that, once sprung, the admiral planned to revive the Nazi empire. Dönitz had indeed been specifically mentioned in Hitler’s last will and testament as a successor, but a lost war, a discredited movement, and ten years behind bars will tend to have a detrimental effect on even an admiral’s ambitions. After his release Dönitz settled in the village of Aumühle and lived out the rest of his life in tranquility. He wrote two books, Zehn Jahre, Zwanzig Tage (Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days), and Mein wechselvolles Leben (My Ever-Changing Life), and corresponded with memorabilia collectors, but basically stayed out of the limelight. He died in December 1980 aged eighty-nine and was buried without military honors, having made no attempt to conquer the world. So the Gazette got that one wrong. It wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 5 2011
RAWHEAD REX
Fast Layne ends, merges with slower traffic.

We love The National Police Gazette’s bloody, photo-illustrated boxing covers, which means we were happy when we located this March 1951 issue featuring Rex Layne, an ex-Army staff sergeant and beet farmer, who tried his luck as a professional boxer. The Gazette touts him as the ring’s next big thing, and why not? He started 17-0. Unfortunately he would lose more than half of his remaining bouts, including one with Rocky Marciano in which a lethal right by the Rock sent Layne’s mouthpiece across the canvas and broke off four of his teeth at the gumline. Needless to say, that was the end of the fight. See a photo from the bout below, along with a couple more Gazette pages. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 22
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
April 20
1939—Holiday Records Strange Fruit
American blues and jazz singer Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit", which is considered to be the first civil rights song. It began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, which he later set to music and performed live with his wife Laura Duncan. The song became a Holiday standard immediately after she recorded it, and it remains one of the most highly regarded pieces of music in American history.
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