Earth to Indian media: No Nazi named Bach
Indian media falls for a Nazi war crime hoax
New Delhi – Reputable Indian newspapers were taken in earlier this week by a hoax about an 88-year-old Nazi war criminal named after the composer Bach who was allegedly found hiding in the jungles near the seaside resort of Goa.
Articles in the front pages of the Indian Express and Deccan Herald newspapers and an inside story in the Telegraph daily reported the hoax after receiving a press release ascribed to Perus Narkp, the intelligence wing of the "German Chancellor's Core."
Even one of the most widely circulated Indian dailies, the Times of India, ran a story on its website, though it did hint there may be more to it than they reported.
While the obvious jumble of words escaped the reporters and editors of these newspapers, bloggers had a field day pointing out that Perus Narkp is an anagram of Super Prank.
And if the name wasn't a giveaway, the details certainly were.
According to the Bangalore correspondent of Indian Express, reports in local newspapers in Goa and the nearby town of Hubli wrote that Johann Bach had been involved in the killing of nearly 12,000 Jews at the Marsha Tikash Whanaab concentration camp in East Berlin during Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.
All details were ascribed to the press release by Perus Narkp, based in Berlin.
But there was never a concentration camp of that name nor was there an East Berlin at that time.
Bach was identified as a Waffen SS (Schutztaffel) colonel who had moved from Argentina to Canada, Yemen and Bulgaria before arriving in Goa where he was tracked down with the help of an Israeli group, which searches for war criminals.
The Indian Express said he had been arrested and deported to Berlin on Sunday but it did quote the German embassy in Delhi and local police officials in Goa as saying they were unaware of the incident.
Senior editors at the Indian Express and the Telegraph said they would publish apologies if it turned out the story was wrong and editors had not checked the facts.
The press release reportedly had Perus Narkp's motto printed at the top which read: "Eht rea enp cabk skripc." That is neither German, Hebrew, nor Latin and certainly not English. Instead, it is an anagram for, "The Pen Pricks are back."
A group of anonymous Goan bloggers write under the name of Pen Pricks. Their aim, according to their website, is to "Discover the rotund flanks and the shaggy underbelly of the Goan media. And of course, the rare honest rib."
Monday afternoon there was a new post on the site: "The truth behind 'Perus Narkp'. Tomorrow, http://www.penpricks.blogspot.com will unveil one of the most telling stories on the Goan as well as the Indian media ... hang on fellas..."