The German newspaper Bild is his work: Who is Axel Springer?

The name Axel Springer may not mean anything to you, they are the group that holds a quarter of the German newspaper market with Bild and Die Welt as of 2024. Axel Springer was the owner of a large newspaper he founded in Germany. The Nazis closed this newspaper for the duration of the war.

By William James Published on 16 Mayıs 2024 : 14:51.
The German newspaper Bild is his work: Who is Axel Springer?

Springer, however, did not leave Germany and was not sent to the camps. He restarted his publishing life after the war, founded Axel Springer AG, and became one of Israel's biggest supporters.

Who is Axel Springer?

He turned the German publisher Springer into Europe's largest publishing company. Springer, who was often criticized for his strong opinions, launched the "BILD-Zeitung" (Illustrated Newspaper), which is the highest-circulation daily newspaper on the European continent (1994 print run: 4.29 million).

Axel Cäsar Springer (2 May 1912 – 22 September 1985) was a German publisher and founder of what is now Axel Springer SE, the largest media publishing firm in Europe. By the early 1960s his print titles dominated the West German daily press market. His Bild Zeitung became the nation's tabloid.

Born in Altona, near Hamburg, as the son of a publisher, Springer learned his next profession from the core. After graduating from high school, Springer completed his apprenticeship as a typesetter and printer in his father's business and then worked unpaid at the news agency Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau to learn the profession.

He worked as a reporter for the “Bergedorfer Zeitung” and was chief editor of the newspaper “Altonaer Nachrichten” (Altona News) until 1941. When the aforementioned newspaper was closed in 1941, Springer, who was deemed unfit for military service, managed his father's publishing house.

Career as an Entrepreneur 34-year-old Springer started his publishing career with the magazine called "Nordwestdeutsche Hefte" (North/West German Notebooks), which published the radiophonic works of the then North-West German Radio (NWDR), and then published the magazine "HÖR ZU" (Listen). This illustrated family magazine became the largest program magazine in the German language over the following decades.

Springer received permission from the Hamburg City Senate to publish the "Hamburger Abendblatt" (Hamburg Evening Newspaper) immediately after the monetary reform in 1948. With this, Springer realized his dream of publishing an independent, impartial daily newspaper, making it one of the largest regional German newspapers.

First Edition of BILD-Zeitung

A new press era began in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1952 with the "BILDZeitung", whose first sales price was 10 pfennig: Springer was addressing the masses with simple-sentenced, engaging short articles. Extraordinarily good relations with his British allies enabled Springer to purchase the Welt publishing house from the British in 1953 for approximately DM 3.5 million.

Although “Die Welt” (The World), an interregional daily newspaper, was Springer's advertising label, it never achieved the success it expected. Springer's publishing house has dominated the national Sunday newspaper market since the mid-50s with the newspapers "WELT am Sonntag" and "BILD am Sonntag" (1956). An advocate of German Unity, Springer decided to move his publishing house from Hamburg to Berlin in 1959 (he moved in 1966).

To prove to everyone that Germany was hopeful about its future, Springer purchased the Ullstein Publishing House in Berlin in the same year. Springer, who was 47 years old, secured his leadership position in the divided city of Berlin with the Ullstein newspapers “BZ” (Berliner Zeitung) and “Berliner Morgenpost”.

Springer, who refused to remove the quotation marks before and after the letters DDR (German Democratic Republic) in the products he printed, used his other personal beliefs, as well as his efforts for the German Union, as a principle in the publishing house's editorial work.

Springer, a devout Protestant, was rewarded several times by Israel for his contributions to reconciliation between Germans and Jews. Springer rejected all political extremism and saw himself as a defender of free-market economics.

During the 1968 student conflicts, Springer's daily newspapers, especially "BILD", polarized the public with one-sided political orientations and inflamed emotions with concepts such as "Gammlertum" (vagrancy) and "Rotgatdisten" (Red Soldiers). When student leader Rudi Dutschke was injured in an assassination attempt against him in April, endangering his life, publishing houses in major German cities were blockaded. The "seize Springer's goods campaign" and the public becoming more critical caused Springer's market share to fall.

Springer sold its magazines, including "Bravo", "Eltern" (Parents), and "Kicker", to other publishing houses and entered the regional newspaper market, especially in the North German region. Springer faced personal disaster when his eldest son, whom he had hoped would succeed him, committed suicide in 1980.

Springer, who also made a name for himself as a patron of the arts, had three children from a total of five marriages.

Electronic Media

After Springer had a certain share in the market in the 70s, especially with magazines in certain areas of expertise (for example, "Rallye Racing"), He set out to establish his own television program, which was his biggest goal in the 80s.

When the public broadcasting monopoly was abolished thanks to the initiatives of the broadcasters, Springer entered the field of private radio by becoming a partner of the state radio of Schleswig-Holstein and Radio (Lower Saxony), and in 1985 it started broadcasting as one of the partners of SAT 1.

73-year-old Springer passed away in Berlin the same year.

May 2024

German company Axel Springer, which hosts publications such as Politico Europe, Bild, and Business Insider, demanded the resignation of personnel who do not support Israel.

Mathias Doepfner, the chief executive of Axel Springer, which operates in more than 40 countries and has publications such as Politico Europe, Bild, and Business Insider, said the following in his video message to 16 thousand company employees worldwide on Monday:

"I am being very frank with you. Anyone who has a problem with Israel should find a new job, especially after the recent anti-Semitic demonstrations. There have also been many anti-Israeli demonstrations in Germany. After weeks of horrific anti-Semitic demonstrations, the European Union in front of our headquarters "We planted an Israeli flag next to the flag and the German flag, as a gesture of solidarity... We do not accept such aggressive anti-Semitic movements (in the squares). Those who do not support our company's pro-Israeli stance can leave."