Titanic (magazine)
Titanic is 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...

 monthly satirical
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

 based in Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

. It has a circulation of approximately 100,000.


Titanic was founded in 1979 by former contributors and editors of Pardon, a satirical monthly, which the group had left after conflicts with its publisher. (Pardon ceased to exist three years later.) The founding writers and cartoonists of Titanic were mainly based in Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

, and are therefore often called "New Frankfurt School", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

 in philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

. The heading of Titanic's monthly reviews of humorous publications bears the portrait of philosopher Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno was a German sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist known for his critical theory of society....

 wearing a fake goatee
Goatee refers to a style of facial hair incorporating hair on a man’s chin. The exact nature of the style has varied according to time and culture.Traditionally, goatee refers solely to a beard formed by a tuft of hair on the chin...


Chancellor Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

 was a favourite subject of the magazine, appearing on the front page more often than any other person. In the 1980s, Titanic coined his nickname "Birne", the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 word for pear
The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent....

 (accompanied with drawings of his head resembling a pear). One of Titanic's most widely known cover pages appeared in November 1989, following the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The East Germans' perceived obsession with bananas was spoofed by a Titanic cover depicting "Zonen-Gaby (17) in luck
Hans in Luck
Hans in Luck is a fairy tale of Germanic origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm. It is Aarne-Thompson type 1415.-Plot summary:Hans worked hard for seven years but wishes to return to see his poor mother. His master pays him his wages which amounts to a lump of gold the size of his head. Hans puts...

 (FRG): My first banana", where Gaby is shown holding a large peeled cucumber. "Zone" refers to the GDR's informal name "sowjetische Besatzungszone" (soviet-occupied area). To make light of the prevailing public sentiment that strongly favoured 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...

, Titanic purported to oppose it. This culminated in the founding of the Titanic party Die Partei
Die PARTEI is a satirical political party in Germany founded in 2004 by editors of the German satirical magazine Titanic...

(The Party), whose sole agenda is to revoke reunification and to reconstruct the inner German border. In addition, Titanic changed its mission to "The ultimate division of Germany — our commitment".

Titanic staff members have frequently engaged in activities that took aim at the media and entertainment. For example, then editor-in-chief, Bernd Fritz, made an incognito appearance at the game show Wetten, dass..?
Wetten, dass..?
Wetten, dass..? is a long-running German-language entertainment television show. It is the most successful Saturday television show in Europe...

, followed by his revelation of how easy it was for him to cheat on the show. In recent years, the magazine has repeatedly attracted attention, for example by taking the football world cup to Germany by bribing a FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 delegate (see below).

Before the German federal election, 2005
German federal election, 2005
German federal elections took place on 18 September 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. They became necessary after a motion of confidence in Chancellor Gerhard Schröder failed on 1 July...

 Titanic was running a campaign against "das Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

" ("das" being the neutral gender definite article
Article (grammar)
An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Articles specify the grammatical definiteness of the noun, in some languages extending to volume or numerical scope. The articles in the English language are the and a/an, and some...

) and was publicly searching for a female contender for chancellor with the slogan "Frau? Ja, aber schön" ("Woman? Yes, but beautiful").

Titanic has generated a number of scandals, some of which have resulted in lawsuits against the magazine. Until 2001, 40 plaintiffs had brought lawsuits against the Titanic. Politician Björn Engholm
Björn Engholm
Björn Engholm is a Lübeck born German SPD politician. He was Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein from 1988 to 1993 and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany between 1991 and 1993....

, for example, received 40,000 Deutsche Mark in compensation, and this, coupled with 190,000 DM in legal fees, drove Titanic close to bankruptcy.

2006 FIFA World Cup bribery affair

In July 2000, Martin Sonneborn
Martin Sonneborn
Martin Sonneborn is a German satirist. He was editor-in-chief of the humorist magazine Titanic from 2000 to October 2005...

 (then Titanic's editor-in-chief) sent hoax bribery faxes to a number of delegates of the FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 World championship committee. In these letters, he offered the delegates gifts if they showed their support of the German bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...


Before this incident, it had been widely expected that the tournament would take place in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. However, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

's representative, Charlie Dempsey, who had been instructed to vote for South Africa by the Oceania Football Confederation
Oceania Football Confederation
The Oceania Football Confederation is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such as Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries...

, abstained from voting at the last minute. His vote for South Africa would have brought the tally to 12:12, resulting in FIFA's President Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter
Joseph S. Blatter , commonly known as Sepp Blatter, is a Swiss football administrator, who serves as the 8th and current President of FIFA . He was elected on 8 June 1998, succeeding João Havelange. He was re-elected as President in 2002, 2007, and 2011...

—who had supported South Africa's bid—having to break the tie. Dempsey was one of the eight members of the executive committee who had received Sonneborn's fax on Wednesday, the night before the vote. In his letter to Dempsey, Sonneborn promised him a cuckoo clock
Cuckoo clock
A cuckoo clock is a clock, typically pendulum-regulated, that strikes the hours with a sound like a common cuckoo's call and typically has a mechanical cuckoo that emerges with each note...

 and Black Forest ham
Black Forest ham
Black Forest ham, or Schwarzwälder Schinken in German, is a variety of smoked ham, a pork product, produced in the Black Forest region of Germany. Ham is the thigh and rump from the haunch of a pig or boar....

 in exchange for Dempsey's vote for Germany:
Dempsey himself famously stated "This final fax broke my neck." He argued that the pressure from all sides had become too much for him.

In July 2000, the biggest German tabloid BILD-Zeitung
The Bild is a German tabloid published by Axel Springer AG. The paper is published from Monday to Saturday, while on Sundays, Bild am Sonntag is published instead, which has a different style and its own editors...

urged its readers to phone Titanic and express their outrage at damaging Germany's reputation through bribery. Titanic recorded those phone calls and published an audio CD with a selection of the funniest of them, called "BILD-Leser beschimpfen Titanic" ("BILD-readers insult Titanic"). One of the harshest was : "In einem Rechtsstaat gehören Menschen wie Sie in's KZ" ("In a constitutional state people like you belong into a concentration camp")

The German soccer association threatened Sonneborn with €300 million in damages, requiring him to swear never again to influence a FIFA decision.
In November 2005, Sonneborn published a book about the affair, "Ich tat es für mein Land" — Wie TITANIC einmal die Fußball-WM 2006 nach Deutschland holte. Protokoll einer erfolgreichen Bestechung ("I did it for my country" — How TITANIC once brought the Football World Cup 2006 to Germany. Story of a successful bribery), Bombus Verlag, ISBN 3-936261-37-7.

In 2006, the year the world cup took place in Germany, Titanic arranged an exhibition called "Wie Titanic einmal die Fußball-WM 2006 nach Deutschland holte" ("How Titanic once brought the Football World Cup 2006 to Germany") in the Historical Museum of Frankfurt am Main, which displayed the events surrounding Titanic's bribery faxes.

See also

  • Academia Catavencu
    Academia Catavencu
    Academia Caţavencu is a Romanian satirical magazine founded in 1991 and made famous by its investigative journalism. Academia Caţavencu also owns Radio Guerrilla , an FM radio station with national coverage ; Tabu, a women's magazine, Superbebe, a magazine for new parents, Aventuri la pescuit, a...

    , a Romanian counterpart
  • El Jueves
    El Jueves
    is a Spanish satirical weekly magazine published in Barcelona. Its complete title is ""...

    , a Spanish counterpart
  • Frank
    Frank (magazine)
    Frank is a bi-weekly Canadian scandal or satirical magazine published since 1987 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.A separate publication in Ottawa, Ontario, of the same name was published from 1989 to 2004 and then revived from 2005 to 2008...

    , a Canadian counterpart
  • Le Canard enchaîné
    Le Canard enchaîné
    Le Canard enchaîné is a satirical newspaper published weekly in France. Founded in 1915, it features investigative journalism and leaks from sources inside the French government, the French political world and the French business world, as well as many jokes and humorous cartoons.-Early...

    , a French counterpart
  • Molla Nasraddin
    Molla Nasraddin (magazine)
    Molla Nasraddin was an eight-page Azerbaijani satirical periodical published in Tiflis , Tabriz and Baku in the Azeri and occasionally Russian languages...

    , an early 20th century Azeri counterpart
  • Moskovskaya Komsomolka
    Moskovskaya Komsomolka
    Moskovskaya Komsomolka was a satirical newspaper published weekly in Russia . The newspaper had a fixed 32 page layout.-Presentation:...

    , a Russian counterpart
  • Noseweek
    Noseweek is a South African investigative magazine published by Chaucer Publications that has appeared monthly since June 1993. It is best known for regular legal action against it, such as a failed bid at interdiction by banking group FirstRand and defamation actions by judge Fikile Bam and...

    ,a South African counterpart
  • Teacher's Diary
    Teacher's diary
    Over the course of two weeks in April 2004, the British satirical magazine Private Eye published a journal, Teacher's Diary, written by an anonymous maths teacher at what he called "a bog standard comprehensive".The diary described an undercurrent of pupil misbehaviour and incompetence in the...

  • The Clinic
    The Clinic
    The Clinic is a Chilean satirical/investigative newspaper founded by Patricio Fernández Chadwick in November 1998. The name was inspired by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's October 1998 arrest in Britain at The London Clinic, which bears the name The Clinic on its façade...

    , a Chilean counterpart
  • The Onion
    The Onion
    The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

    , a US counterpart
  • The Phoenix
    The Phoenix (magazine)
    The Phoenix is Ireland's best selling political and current affairs magazine. Inspired by the British magazine Private Eye, and a source of investigative journalism in Ireland...

    , an Irish counterpart
  • Private Eye
    Private Eye
    Private Eye is a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine, edited by Ian Hislop.Since its first publication in 1961, Private Eye has been a prominent critic and lampooner of public figures and entities that it deemed guilty of any of the sins of incompetence, inefficiency,...

    , an English Counterpart

External links

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