Erich Schmidt Publishing House

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Erich Schmidt Verlag GmbH & Co. KG

legal form GmbH & Co. KG
founding 1924
Seat Berlin
management Joachim Schmidt
Number of employees 120
Branch Publishing

The Erich Schmidt Verlag GmbH & Co. KG is a specialist publisher in the German-speaking world. The program comprises around 2300 titles, around 300 of which are in the form of databases, magazines, e-journals, loose-leaf publications and CD-ROMs. The Berlin company currently employs around 120 people.


The publisher publishes specialist information in the fields of law , economics , taxes , occupational safety and philology . In addition to offers for professional practice, works for teaching and research are regularly published, the latter also via the publisher's own knowledge portal ESVcampus.


Erich Schmidt Verlag was originally founded in Berlin in 1924 as a pure correspondence publisher ; initially named after the socio-political news service “Der Wirtschaftsfrieden”, which appears twice a week in the house. In the early 1930s, the publication of the time-critical weekly “Berliner Briefe” resulted in the first program extensions. With the opening of the “Social Archive”, the first loose-leaf work will soon appear . Gradually, the expansion of the publishing program beyond social law issues is being pushed forward: at the beginning mainly in the area of traffic law .

After the situation during National Socialism no longer allowed the continuation of the political correspondence services and a ban imposed in 1938 also ended the publication of the “Berliner Briefe”, the publisher - now as Erich Schmidt Verlag - is increasingly concentrating on its book program Areas of labor law and social policy . A first legal publishing department is created. In terms of social law , the brochure “The old age pension of the craftsman” has a total circulation of 124,000 copies. With the series “Die Neuelese” even a fiction production succeeded, which until 1944 contributed significantly to safeguarding the publishing work during the war.

Although the collapse after the end of the war also meant the end of the publishing work, the interruption was only brief. Erich Schmidt Verlag was one of the first Berlin publishers to receive a publishing license in 1946.

From the 1950s at the latest, the publishing work is characterized by a systematic expansion of the program: In addition to extensive extensions in the legal area, a first economic program with a business focus is also created from the 1960s. With the inclusion of philological publishing work, a new department is created, now the subjects English Studies and American Studies , Romance Studies , German Studies (incl. German as a foreign language ) and comparative literature and history of law includes. Standard works on occupational health and safety that were widely recognized were also started, some of which are still being continued today.

After German reunification , the need for specialist literature to cope with the “new law” for municipalities, courts and universities in the new federal states increased rapidly - the capacities in the publishing house were temporarily exhausted. The first electronic products appeared in the mid-1990s: at the beginning of 1996, the “VRS Traffic Law Collection CD-ROM ”, the first large collection of decisions for lawyers, was presented as a mobile data carrier. The beginning of the digital age revolutionized publishing at the beginning of the new millennium. The first purely electronic publishing products will soon be developed with databases, e-journals, e-books and extranets. Offers such as the digital knowledge portal ESVcampus for university libraries now enable time and location-independent access to extensive digital media collections.


By founding the publishing house, Erich Schmidt followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Christian Ulrich Altwegg, who ran his own publishing house in St. Gallen / Switzerland from 1859 to the mid-1880s . In the post-war years he was involved in restoring the bookselling association structures. On his initiative, the "German Publishers and Booksellers Association for the British Sector of Berlin" was founded in May 1946, which was followed on November 21, 1946 by the foundation of the "Berlin Publishers and Booksellers Association", of which Erich Schmidt became the first chairman. In July 1947 he succeeded in having the first exhibition of all German books in Berlin in the four zones of occupation after the war. This event is considered to be the forerunner of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which was established two years later . Erich Schmidt died in 1952.

The management of the publishing house subsequently went to his son Erich Schmidt jun. who ran the house for many years. After his death, Claus-Michael Rast took over sole management of the business in 1985. At the end of 1998, Joachim Schmidt, the third generation of the founding family, actively joined the management of ESV. He has continued the tradition of the family-owned publishing house since 2010 as sole managing director.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. [1] - official website. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. - official website. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. - official website. Retrieved August 25, 2014.