Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung

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Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung
description Berlin weekly newspaper
Area of ​​Expertise Newspaper for the general public
language German
publishing company Ullstein Verlag (Germany)
First edition January 4, 1892
attitude April 29, 1945
Frequency of publication weekly
editor Leopold Ullstein
ISSN (print)

The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung ( BIZ ) was a German illustrated weekly magazine.


It was founded in 1891, the first regular issue appeared on January 4, 1892. In 1894 the magazine was bought by Leopold Ullstein ( Ullstein Verlag ). It was the first German mass newspaper. Technical innovations such as offset printing , the line typesetting machine or the cheaper paper production meant that the BIZ was sold on the streets of Berlin at the price of 10 Pfennig at the time. This was affordable even for workers at the time.

Title page of the edition of August 27, 1936

The BIS turned the newspaper market upside down. The readers were no longer bound by fixed subscriptions, but by the interesting presentation, which was primarily based on the visual impact. The first - and at the time sensational - title page shows a group photograph of an officer corps who died in a shipwreck. Since 1901 it has also been technically possible to print current photos on the inside of the sheet. This was considered an unheard-of innovation. The only major competition of the magazines, Die Woche, advertised with the photographs .

Early on, the magazine tried to keep its reporting as up to date as possible. So was z. In April 1912, for example, production of issue No. 16, which was already in print, stopped when the news of the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic arrived. Without further ado, a half-page photo of the Acropolis was replaced by a photo of the Titanic in order to provide an up-to-date report on the accident. Today both editions of this copy are on display in newspaper museums.

In the 1910s, the BIZ awarded the Menzel Prize for the best drawing of the year.

At the end of the Weimar Republic , the BIZ had a circulation of almost two million copies. From 1926 to 1931, newspapers in Germany were delivered with the publisher's own aircraft, and then continued with Lufthansa . During the Nazi era , the publisher family was driven out and the paper was an organ of Nazi propagandists until the end of the war . To what extent Erich Ohser's caricatures from 1934–1937 ( father and son ) "contain difficult satires on the National Socialists" is controversial. At the beginning of 1938, according to the publisher, the circulation was 1,200,000 copies.

In 1941 the editors changed the name from the traditional spelling “Illustrirte” to the more modern “Illustrierte”. The regular issue was discontinued at the end of the war in 1945.

After the Second World War , the Ullsteins returned, got the publishing house back, but had to gradually sell it to Axel Springer from 1956 onwards . For special events such as Kennedy’s visit in 1963 or the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, this publisher published individual editions called Berliner Illustrirte , in the traditional spelling without e. A Sunday supplement of the same name has appeared in the Berliner Morgenpost since 1984 .

See also


  • Christian Ferber: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. Zeitbild, Chronik, Moritat für Jedermann 1892–1945. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-550-06586-8 .
  • Peter de Mendelssohn : Newspaper City Berlin, People and Powers in the History of the German Press. Ullstein, Berlin 1959; 2. revised u. exp. Edition. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Vienna 1982, ISBN 3-550-07496-4 .
  • Johannes Valentin Schwarz: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung . In: Dan Diner (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture (EJGK). Volume 1: A-Cl. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2011, ISBN 978-3-476-02501-2 , pp. 282–287.

Web links

Commons : Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. For example, the war photographer and author of photo books Eric Borchert grew up in the BIZ before joining a Nazi propaganda company . See Thomas Kubetzky: The Mask of Command . Lit Verlag 2012, ISBN 978-3-643-10349-9 , p. 81.
  2. Detlef Manfred Müller: Erich Ohser - eoplauen (1903-1944) - "Father and Son" & the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung from 1934-1937. An idyll with a double bottom? Catalog book. Galerie eoplauen, Plauen 2009, p. 9.