Dorothy Thompson testifies at Senate committee hearings. Washington, DC., April 26, 1939. — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration

August 26, 1934

Dorothy Thompson Expelled from Germany

She was the first American journalist ousted for criticism of the Nazi regime.

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Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis, expelled, expulsion, Germany, Hitler, Nazi, prison, deity, religion, blasphemy, Goebbels

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The Nazis were determined to prevent criticisms of their regime and reports of Nazi brutality from reaching the outside world. Foreign correspondents were closely monitored by German authorities and faced the continual threat of expulsion or even imprisonment and violence. Dorothy Thompson was the first American journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany.

While working in Munich in 1932,  one year before the Nazi seizure of power, Thompson had met and interviewed Adolf Hitler. This interview was the basis for a book, I Saw Hitler, in which Thompson warned about the dangers of Hitler gaining power in Germany. In response to her critical writings, and after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the German government expelled Thompson from the country in August 1934.

Back in the United States, in 1936, Thompson began writing "On the Record" for the New York Herald Tribune. It became a wildly popular syndicated newspaper column, running three times each week. By 1939, “On the Record” reached millions of Americans in more than 170 papers. She remained one of America's most influential anti-Nazi voices throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

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Typically, daily newspapers reported news the morning after it occurred. However, some papers were printed in multiple editions, including evening news. If you are using an evening paper, begin your search on the same day as the event being researched.

August 25-28, 1934 News articles about Dorothy Thompson’s expulsion from Germany.

August 26 - September 1934 Editorials, op-eds, letters to editor and cartoons reacting to Dorothy Thompson’s expulsion from Germany.


Lipstadt, Deborah E. Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945. New York: Free Press, 1986.

Nagorski, Andrew. Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.


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