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The Stevenson Event

Nazis in Egypt--The Expose

This article appeared in the the New York Post on August 25, 1956. A reporter from the Toronto Star named William Stevenson confronted and interviewed Johann von Leers at the Egyptian Information Department of the Ministry of National Guidance.  A notorious anti-Semitic propagandist for the Nazis—von Leers was now utilizing his experience in service of the Egyptian government. Stevenson—a famous, colorful writer somewhat renowned for exaggeration—claimed the Egyptian general staff was composed of Nazis, and heard rumors of concentration camps in the western desert. Evidently unhappy with the publicity given von Leers, Egyptian police called the reporters “a menace to the state” and expelled Stevenson, Sharpley, and another correspondent, Eileen Travis, within twenty-four hours of filing their story. The outing of von Leers in the press prompted a round of criticism that transformed from “Hitler’s Nazis” to “Nasser’s Nazis,” Himmler’s SS to “Mohammed’s SS,” and placed the Egyptian president in a line of totalitarianism and imperialistic ambitions that ran directly from Hitler to Stalin.