26 Facts About Axel Springer


Axel Springer engaged in private diplomacy in Moscow in 1958 and, with greater recognition, in Jerusalem in 1966 and 1967.


Axel Caesar Springer was born 2 May 1912 in Altona, a borough of Hamburg, the son of Hinrich and Ottilie Springer.


In 1933, Axel Springer married Martha Else Meyer, a Jewish woman.


Never having worn a uniform or been a member of the Nazi party, Axel Springer was able to obtain from the British occupation authorities a license to run a newspaper.


In 1956, Axel Springer took over the prestigious Ullstein publishing house in Berlin, acquiring among other titles, the Berliner Morgenpost.


At Die Welt Axel Springer allowed Zehrer to entertain the idea of an Austrian solution for Germany.


Axel Springer was to describe the trip as the "central political event of my life", convincing him that there was no alternative to Konrad Adenauer's Westbindung: to discount Communist overtures and to persevere with the North Atlantic alliance.


Axel Springer operated without partners; even after currency reform in 1948, for a relative upstart bank credit would have difficult to come by; and his first stock for public subscription was not issued until months before his death in 1985.


Axel Springer always maintained that his financial springboard was Horzu which, attuned to the new radio and television age, was ground breaking and had no market rival.


Swift to denounce those who questioned the equity and social costs of the West German Wirtschaftswunder, Axel Springer characterised the "extra-parliamentary opposition" as subversive.


Schmidt conceded that the publisher's success was related to new journalistic methods and formats that catered to public tastes, but charged Axel Springer with using that position of preeminence to mix "news and suggestive commentary".


Axel Springer might have "fewer problems" if he restructured his publishing house on the model of private foundations or public media institutions.


Axel Springer declared that no government minister need tell him "what the people think".


In 1968, a government commission concluded that the degree of control Axel Springer had achieved over the publishing industry in West Germany threatened the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press.


Axel Springer maintained a position, not itself welcome on the conservative right, that Germans had themselves to blame for their country's division: "What Germany did under Hitler was terrible, and we were destined to suffer for it".


When Wall went up in Berlin in 1961, Axel Springer built his 22-storey headquarters flush up against it in the centre of the city, so that every day it might look over, and be seen from, what his writers regularly referred to as the Soviet Occupation Zone.


Axel Springer condemned the accommodationist Ostpolitik pursued from 1969 by Brandt.


Significantly Axel Springer, who had always cited the "poll" at the newspaper and magazine kiosk as the ultimate justification for his journalism, no matter how controversial, proved willing to adjust.


Axel Springer moved, or parted company with, those in his employ who had been attacking Brandt from ever more extreme right-wing positions.


Axel Springer is perhaps best remembered for his iconic picture of Willi Brandt kneeling on 7 December 1970 before the memorial to Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw.


Axel Springer's journalism did not explore the history of the Nazi-era in the manner of Der Spiegel or Stern.


Axel Springer returned to Jerusalem on 10 June 1967, to celebrate, in the company of Viennese-born mayor Teddy Kollek, the conquest of the Old City in the Six-Day War.


Axel Springer had ordered his newspapers to cover the war obsessively and with an unapologetically pro-Israel bias, later joking that he had simply published Israeli newspapers in German.


Axel Springer received honorary degrees from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Axel Springer's heiress is his fifth wife Friede Springer was born on 1942 and who, 30 years Springer's junior, had been his son's nanny.


In 1971, Axel Springer published a collection of his speeches and essays: Von Berlin aus gesehen.