Axel Springer
Axel Springer was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 and the founder and owner of the Axel Springer AG
Axel Springer AG
Axel Springer AG is one of the largest multimedia companies in Europe, with more than 11,500 employees and with annual revenues of about €2.9 billion. The Company is active in a total of 36 countries, including Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia and Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland...

 publishing company.

Early life

Springer was born as Axel Cäsar Springer in Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, where his father worked as publisher. As a young man, in 1940-41, Springer acted as projectionist at the Waterloo cinema, near the Dammtor
Dammtor is a zone of the German city of Hamburg, situated between the quarters of Rotherbaum and Neustadt .-History:...

 railway station, which presented American films for the well-to-do youth of Hamburg until Germany's declaration of war against the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in December 1941.

Journalist career

Springer's career started as an apprentice compositor and publisher at the publishers Hammerich & Lesser-Verlag, his father's company. After that, he received practical training in the news agency "Wolff's Telegraphisches Bureau" and worked as a local reporter for the newspaper Bergedorfer Zeitung.

Starting in 1933, he worked as a journalist with Altonaer Nachrichten until the compulsory closure of the newspaper in 1941. From 1941 to 1945, he published literary works in Hammerich & Lesser Verlag.


He founded his own publishing company Axel Springer GmbH in Hamburg in 1946. He published the Hamburger Abendblatt
Hamburger Abendblatt
The Hamburger Abendblatt is a daily newspaper in Hamburg, Germany, published by Axel Springer AG. The paper used to appear Monday through Saturday only, but since 29 October 2006 it has also published a Sunday edition to compete with the Hamburger Morgenpost's introduction of a Sunday edition...

 newspaper, followed by some magazines, including the popular radio and TV programm magazine Hör zu. In 1952, Springer started the publication of the tabloid Bild, becoming the daily newspaper for millions in Germany and an important influence on public opinion.

He went on to launch and acquire a string of papers and magazines characterised by entertainment and conservative politics, Die Welt
Die Welt
Die Welt is a German national daily newspaper published by the Axel Springer AG company.It was founded in Hamburg in 1946 by the British occupying forces, aiming to provide a "quality newspaper" modelled on The Times...

 among others. The Axel Springer AG today is one of the major magazine, newspaper and online media companies in Europe with over 230 newspapers and magazines as well as more than 80 online offerings.


In the late 1960s, Springer was attacked by the radical-leftist, communist and anarchist student movement for the political opinion pushed forward via Bild and the other Springer media and became a goal of their protest marches and direct actions. Springer was swift to denounce those who questioned the economic miracle of the fifties and sixties. The attempted assassination of Rudi Dutschke
Rudi Dutschke
Alfred Willi Rudi Dutschke was the most prominent spokesperson of the German student movement of the 1960s. He advocated 'a long march through the institutions' of power to create radical change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of the machinery...

 has by some been connected to Bilds condemnation of the protesters.

Conservative view

Springer's political views and that of his publications is often characterized as conservative
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 by German standards: Part of the articles of association of Axel Springer AG are the five socio-political preambles that were written by Axel Springer in 1967, amended in 1990 following German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 and supplemented in 2001. They represent a world view that they themselves label as liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

  1. To uphold liberty and law in Germany, a country belonging to the Western family of nations, and to further the unification of Europe
    European integration
    European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

  2. To promote reconciliation of Jews and Germans and support the vital rights of the State of Israel.
  3. To support the Transatlantic Alliance
    Transatlantic relations
    Transatlantic relations refers to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social relations between countries on both side of the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes specifically those between the United States, Canada and the countries in Europe, although other meanings are possible.There are a...

    , and solidarity with the United States of America in the common values of free nations.
  4. To reject all forms of political extremism.
  5. To uphold the principles of a free social market economy
    Social market economy
    The social market economy is the main economic model used in West Germany after World War II. It is based on the economic philosophy of Ordoliberalism from the Freiburg School...


The corporate constitution defines fundamental sociopolitical convictions but does not offer opinions.

Springer's Bild newspaper was attacked most famously in 1974's The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, or: how violence develops and where it can lead is a 1974 novel by Heinrich Böll....

 by Heinrich Böll
Heinrich Böll
Heinrich Theodor Böll was one of Germany's foremost post-World War II writers. Böll was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1967 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.- Biography :...



Springer died in West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 in 1985. His heiress is his fifth (and last) wife Friede Springer
Friede Springer
Friede Springer is a German publisher and widow of Axel Springer....

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