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Bidding Farewell To Germany's Bare-Chested Cover Girls

Mega-selling tabloid Bild has bumped buxom "dream girls" from the front page. Readers will now have to dig deeper into the daily to find the signature images, which enjoyed top billing for 28 years. All that's left on page one a

Manuel Brug

BERLIN -- Sure, we knew that changes were afoot at Axel Springer, the Berlin-based publisher that also produces Die Welt. But we couldn't have imagined it would all end like this, with "Eva from Poland" and then… nothing. No more bare-breasted cover girls. Just boring old headlines.

In 2010, Axel Springer announced that its "Opportunities: Equal!" project aimed within five to eight years to double the number of women in management positions, which was 16% at the time of the announcement. Two years later the company is moving right along. Springer's management is now 25% female. Praiseworthy indeed.

Nevertheless, the news that broke March 8, International Women's Day, washed over Germany like a bucket of cold water: Bild, the Springer flagship paper, was going to bury its famous Page-One models somewhere deep within the inner pages of the paper. A first victim of the quota, much regretted in many quarters. Another reason to wrangle with the European Union!

In Great Britain, the Sun started featuring its "Page 3 Girl" – girls whose impressive breasts provided the mother of all melon metaphors -- in 1970. Fourteen years later, in 1984, Bild took things a step further, putting "Miss Vienna" on the bottom half of its front page. And now, some 5,000 Page-1 girls and innumerable fruit & vegetable comparisons later, it's all over?

Banishing the "dream girl"

We still can't believe that whole last issue: it was surreal, a bad dream, with Eva from Poland's picture accompanied by the words "Ich bin die Letzte" (I am the last one) right there along with soccer news and coverage of President Christian Wulff's final day in Schloss Bellevue, the presidential residence, after he was forced to resign.

All those Ginas, and Brittas and Lisas over the years – for convenience sake referred to as "Mieze" (the "chick") by Bild editors. Even senior Springer columnist Franz Josef Wagner wrote: "I think the editor-in-chief of Bild is crazy. How can he banish the dream girl?"

Are we really in for just plain old Bild headlines now? Things like "Man in Cemetery Killed with Grave Lantern" or "Dog Found Cooked"? On its website, Bild promises more "hot erotica" in the future. No doubt they're lying. Who believes Bild, anyway? The paper says it wants to remain sexy, that it will continue to run Mieze imagery. Only now the pictures will be "more modern, and better packaged" -- and worst of all, not on Page One.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why Poland's Break With Ukraine Weakens All Enemies Of Russia — Starting With Poland

Poland’s decision to stop sending weapons to Ukraine is being driven by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's short-term electoral calculus. Yet the long-term effects on the world stage could deeply undermine the united NATO front against Russia, and the entire Western coalition.

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Bartosz T. Wieliński


WARSAW — Poland has now moved from being the country that was most loudly demanding that arms be sent to Ukraine, to a country that has suddenly announced it was withholding military aid. Even if Poland's actions won't match Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s words, the government has damaged the standing of our country in the region, and in NATO.

“We are no longer providing arms to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” the prime minister declared on Polsat news on Wednesday evening. He didn’t specify which type of arms he was referring to, but his statement was quickly spread on social media by leading figures of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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When news that Poland would be withholding arms to Ukraine made their way to the headlines of the most important international media outlets, no politician from PiS stepped in to refute the prime minister’s statement. Which means that Morawiecki said exactly what he meant to say.

The era of tight Polish-Ukrainian collaboration, militarily and politically, has thus come to an end.

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