Cologne Newspaper

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Cologne Newspaper
Kölnische Zeitung Logo.jpg
description daily newspaper
publishing company M. DuMont Schauberg
First edition July 19, 1798
attitude April 8, 1945
Frequency of publication from 1829 6 times a week
editor M. DuMont Schauberg
ZDB 1309640-0

The Kölnische Zeitung was one of the leading national German daily newspapers in the 19th century and in the 20th century until the beginning of National Socialism . The other two major newspapers of the time were the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Allgemeine Zeitung .

Alignment and Importance

The paper saw itself in the spirit of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution as democratic, bourgeois and liberal. Her fame was based on solid, up-to-date reporting and an attitude that was critical of authority. The editorial team - like the Gazette de Cologne a century earlier  - often got into disputes with representatives of the Prussian Empire and was an important mouthpiece for the March Revolution in 1848 .

Its first major publisher, Joseph DuMont , used state-of-the-art printing techniques in the 1830s and was the first German publisher to set up a communication link via mounted couriers to the world's most important newspaper at the time, the Times in London. Hence the flattering name of the Kölnische Zeitung as "the German Times". In 1838, the paper introduced a fixed cultural section and thus the first feature section . Until the end of the Weimar Republic , the Kölnische Zeitung remained one of the most important national German daily newspapers. Its end ushered in a relatively quick turn to the National Socialist course. At the end of the Second World War , the Kölnische Zeitung ceased its publication after 147 years. After the Second World War it was banned by the Allies. The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger emerged from their remnants .


Precursors and beginnings

According to some sources, the name "Kölnische Zeitung" goes back to July 19, 1798. Before that, the newspaper had the titles "Imperial Reichs-Ober-Post-Amts-Zeitung" (since 1763), "Reichs-Ober-Post-Amts-Zeitung" (from 1795), "Postamtszeitung zu Cölln" and "Kölner Zeitung" and changed hands several times. Franz Dieudonné wrote in his critical chronicle of the newspaper in 1903:

“The day the 'Kölnische Zeitung' was founded can be seen on June 9, 1802, the day on which the Schauberg'sche Druckerei acquired the Kölner Zeitung, which had only been printed by it, and was henceforth called the Kölnische Zeitung. Three years later the newspaper came to Marcus Dumont, the progenitor of the Cologne newspaper dynasty, through his marriage to Fraulein Schauberg. "

The newspaper writer Ludwig Solomon developed the development phase of the Kölnische Zeitung in more detail in his history of the German newspaper system from 1906:

"When the French occupied Cologne in 1794 and all communication with the Reichspostmeister ceased, the former long-time editor and post office clerk Johann Arnold Otten continued the newspaper under the title Post-Amts-Zeitung and, as it was before, left it print at Schauberg-Erben. A few years later - the left bank of the Rhine, and with it Cologne, had meanwhile been incorporated into the French Republic - the paper passed to the Cologne citizen Franz Röntgen, who now simply called it the Kölner Zeitung . As before, the subscription price remained CHF 12 per year. The editor became the former professor at the Laurenzianer Gymnasium Lugino. The hoped-for upturn in the newspaper did not materialize, however vigorously Lugino assured him that “only appear with the Aegide or the sacred shield of truth”, so that, on May 8, 1802, Röntgen was happy to send the paper to the heirs of Schauberg and the Prefectural Council JM Nicolaus du Mont sold for a cheap. He set himself a monthly pension of 2 Kronenthalers for life, to which half a Kronenthaler should be added if the number of subscribers rose to 400. The new owners could not bring the circulation to more than 250 copies, which is why the Prefectural Council of Mont withdrew from the business that same year. The heirs of Schauberg struggled unsuccessfully for a few more years and would then certainly have let the paper go, if not a young, active legal scholar Marcus du Mont, who married one of the Schauberg heirs, Maria Katharina Jacobine Schauberg, on June 10th 1805 acquired the printing works and the newspaper for 1400 thaler and also took over the editing of the paper. With his keen eye for the contemporary, his energy and prudence, he saved the paper from ruin and brought the number of customers to 400 in the first year. "

Politically, the small editorial team saw itself in the very first few years in the tradition of the French Revolution - and the French state power. Like many Cologne residents, she expressly welcomed Napoleon's occupation of the Rhineland. In 1802 the Kölnische Zeitung printed a hymn to Napoleon:

“With tired wings in dusty and bloody robes it fled there, the ninth year . [...] But what do I see? Second rank, ignorance, fanaticism flee. Messenger of deity, hope of mortals, divine peace, you descend from heaven, your home, you take its reins. […] With your benevolent look encompass the entire circumference of the earth […] Against you, cheer from the banks of the Seine, the Thames, the Danube, the Rhine, the Spree, the Rewa, the Nile, and cry out with fiery delight on: Heil, Heil him, the noble great man / Heil Bonaparten, who sent you, O goddess, down to me from heaven! "

When in 1805 the lawyer Marcus DuMont took over the Schauberg printing works, where the Kölnische Zeitung was produced in a circulation of 250 copies, and thus also the newspaper, only about 10% of the population could read. Nevertheless, the circulation increased. In 1806 tensions between Napoleon and Prussia came to a head, and the political orientation of the Kölnische Zeitung became more critical of France. In August 1809 the circulation had risen to 400. In the same year the French occupying forces banned the publication of the newspaper. With the entry of Prussian troops into Cologne in January 1814, Marcus DuMont received a license again.

The new first edition of the Kölnische Zeitung appeared on January 16, 1814. It initially appeared four times, from 1829 six times a week, with a circulation of almost 3,000 copies. Since 1816 the publishing house has been in the center of Cologne, at Hohe Straße 133.

The supplement as a Sunday edition

Kölnische Zeitung, supplement of March 17, 1816 with an anti-Semitic article

Every two weeks from March 3, 1816, the "Beiblatt der Kölnische Zeitung" appeared on Sundays, probably the first German Sunday newspaper . Standard sections were “Anecdotes”, “Various”, “Poetry” and the “Literary Gazette” - a self-promotion of the publishing house “DüMont Bachem'schen Buchhandlung”. The supplement also moved scientific events that were easy and funny to prepare, statistics and detailed quotations from books if they eloquently presented the opinion of the editors.

This is what happened in the example shown from March 17, 1816, where the Kölnische Zeitung advertises an anti-Semitic book sold in its own bookstore and cites it over two pages. The editorial introduction begins harmlessly from an educated bourgeoisie, but chooses the most populist chapter, an apparently rational pamphlet about the oppression of the Jewish population:

“We count on a font in this genre that deserves excellent attention, that which was published by Kupferberg in Mainz: 'Germany's demands on the German Confederation.' […] (To have in the DüMont-Bachem'schen Buchhandlung.)
In the introduction, the unknown author throws a comparative look back into the better past, and shows how since the outbreak of the French. Revolution, Germany's earlier happy condition has deteriorated in all respects, so that the present only presents the spiritual eye with a gruesome picture of destruction and shattered prosperity. Then he gives under the undemanding headings: 'Lottery, the Jews, reprinting of books, begging, the military roads, the language, laws, servants' order , measure and weight, equivalent coin, English makes, German antiquities, German federal palace' so many well-thought and Well-founded proposal for the effective cure of the evils, which he has frankly uncovered beforehand, that every impartial reader, even where he does not completely agree with the author, certainly does him justice, that everything he says springs from one heart, which is glowing with the welfare of the fatherland.
In order to prove our judgment, let us take a passage from the chapter: the Jews here, which may serve at the same time as a test of the representation and writing style of the author. After a faithful account of the moral condition of the German Jews, the author continues:

“They (the Jews) in their present condition are usury plants that suck up the forces of the state by expanding; those with whom the advantages granted to them in the most recent times bring ruin over time, and become extremely dangerous to the morality of the inhabitants, which at the same time make them poor. "

[...] "

- From the supplement to the Kölnische Zeitung of March 17, 1816

Texts like this fueled the political mood. The Kölnische Zeitung thus made itself the tool of a movement that led to the violent riots against Jewish fellow citizens during the Hep-Hep riots three years later.

The supplement to the Kölnische Zeitung was discontinued in 1838 for reasons unknown.

Joseph DuMont

Levin Schücking, from 1845 culture editor of the Kölnische Zeitung under Joseph DuMont
Extraction from the newspaper as a book: “On the punishment of the clergy”. The Kölnische Zeitung, often viewed as too Prussian-friendly, gave a clergyman here in 1848 the space to critically examine the new criminal law for clergy.

In 1831 Joseph DuMont took over the newspaper from his father Marcus and carried out numerous innovations that brought the newspaper greater circulation and reputation in German cities. He initially invested in new steam pressure technology from Koenig and Bauer, thereby increasing efficiency by a factor of 3 - the run of 3300 copies could be printed much faster.

The topicality was a driving element for the growing number of subscribers, which is why Joseph DuMont set up his own network of correspondents as well as a news link via mounted couriers to the world's most important newspaper at the time, the Times in London. Times articles were immediately translated into German and were thus available to readers of the Kölnische Zeitung in a timely manner. Not only because of this, but also because of their neutral spirit, they were called "the German Times" at the end of the 19th century. Occasionally, though rarely, the Times made reference to the Kölnische.

The "Kölnische Zeitung" was first mentioned in the Times on January 8, 1886. However, the Anglo-Saxon newspapers of the 18th and 19th centuries often referred to newspapers as gazettes, so that “Cologne Gazette” or “Gazette de Cologne” probably means the Kölnische Zeitung in these contexts . The Times first mentions a "Gazette de Cologne" on August 3, 1840. This has nothing to do with the French-language Gazette de Cologne , which appeared in Cologne and which ceased its publication in 1799.

In 1838 Joseph DuMont integrated the previously independent literary supplement as a permanent section in the Kölnische Zeitung , creating the first feature section in a German daily newspaper. He hired several liberal-minded editors who proved to be trend-setting for the paper, including Levin Schücking , whose direct contacts with the literary scene of the time significantly increased the quality and topicality of the cultural section. For the political part, Joseph DuMont risked employing Karl Heinrich Brüggemann, a journalist who was classified as “communist-subversive” by the Prussian Ministry of the Interior and who had a criminal record for high treason . Positioned in this way, the newspaper was one of the important engines in the formation of public opinion that led to the March Revolution in 1848 . In the same spring, the editor made the Prussian eagle disappear from the Kölnische Zeitung's logo. Because of the criticism of the state by his editors ("Majestätsbelenung des König"), the publisher Joseph DuMont came to court on January 10, 1850 and was acquitted after four hours of hearing to great applause.

Bismarck's interior views

The successors of Joseph DuMont († 1861) initially stuck to the liberal course. In 1866 the publisher began to publish a weekly newspaper that summarized the articles that were created within the Kölnische Zeitung. This publication turned out to be very successful, especially abroad (and especially in Brazil). During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 , the Kölnische Zeitung took patriotic positions in its political commentaries, for which the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck came to appreciate it so much that he passed government information to the Berlin correspondent. The paper also received funding from the Guelph Fund .

The Cologne newspaper was the late 19th century as the currently best-informed publication, consolidating its position as the most widely read German-language daily newspaper. At the same time, the criticisms of being too close to the state increased.

As a counterbalance to its international importance, the publishing house launched a supplement free of charge for subscribers in Cologne in 1876, the first page of which consisted entirely of classified ads. The local newspaper was called "Stadt-Anzeiger" (and after the Second World War it became what was left of the Kölnische Zeitung : the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger ). From 1882 onwards, under the new publishing director August Libert Neven, a separate magazine appeared for the newly created empire of Alsace as a result of the war against France - much to the pleasure of Bismarck.

First World War and Weimar Republic

With the beginning of the First World War , the circulation of the Kölnische Zeitung climbed to a record of 200,000 copies that had never been seen before in any German newspaper. During the war, on the other hand, subscriber numbers fell dramatically, particularly abroad, and the publisher struggled for the first time with economic difficulties. Under its editor Alfred Neven DuMont, the newspaper took a clear position for the political center and did not change anything when his son Kurt Neven DuMont increasingly determined the course at the end of the 1920s . The Cologne newspaper was in the Weimar Republic with Gustav Stresemann and the German People's Party DVP associated. According to Alfred DuMont's own assessment, it was to the right of the three other national German newspapers that have since grown up, the Frankfurter Zeitung , the Vossische Zeitung and the Berliner Tageblatt .

The increasing influence of right-wing radical groups and the NSDAP's significant electoral gains from 1930 forced the four newspapers to take a position on Hitler's declared enemy of Weimar democracy . The Kölnische Zeitung did this less than the other papers. For example, in connection with the Reichstag election in 1930 , in which the NSDAP was the second strongest party with over 18% of the votes , the Frankfurter Zeitung took a critical look at Hitler's party program, while the Kölnische Zeitung continued to insist on the political center. Ultimately, however, all liberal newspapers fell into increasing paralysis. Hitler and his thugs were too primitive for the editors. Tactical comments were made that, for example, advocated the inclusion of the National Socialists in a central government in order to prevent Hitler from becoming Reich Chancellor.

Historians today largely agree that the wait-and-see, deliberate, frozen stance of the democratic press towards National Socialism lost a realistic chance of at least slowing down Hitler's political rise. A single newspaper like the Kölnische could not have done anything here.

Defamation Campaigns and National Socialism

Kölnische Zeitung of May 11, 1936 - cheers for Italian fascism

In the early 1930s, the newspaper lost a lot of subscribers because of its undecided direction, but also because of the banking crisis. The newspaper Westdeutscher Beobachter , built up by the NSDAP, started a defamation campaign against the DuMont Schauberg publishing house in the spring of 1932: under the heading “The daily city gazette cancellation” one printed true and fake cancellation letters from subscribers to the Cologne local edition of the Kölnische Zeitung . The NSDAP-Blatt also accused the publisher and in particular the Kölnische Zeitung, with its "refinement turned into paper", that they owed their survival to dubious donors and with this argument openly played out its anti-Semitism: "The major advertisers, the department stores, the ready-to-wear Jews, the big brand companies - we are thinking in particular of the expensive magazine advertisements - in Jewish possession ”.

After Hitler's " seizure of power " in January 1933 began within a few months a DC circuit one of all media. Except for the articles in the feature pages, the editors of the Kölnische Zeitung also had to submit every sentence to the National Socialists' censors. Even the Kölnische Zeitung could not escape this pressure and, like all other formerly democratic papers, continued to skim critically on the cultural pages for a while. Basically, the National Socialists also exchanged the staff themselves. This is the only way to explain that the weekly Kölnische Illustrierte Zeitung, launched in 1926 with great ambitions by the DuMont Schauberg publishing house , was on the party line before 1933 and celebrated Mussolini as a hero.

The end

On April 8, 1945, the last edition of the Kölnische Zeitung appeared in a city center of Cologne destroyed by months of bombing by the Allies. After the end of the Second World War, the Kölnische Zeitung , like all newspapers that had published during the Nazi regime, was banned. Even after that, the sheet no longer received a license from the British occupying forces.

In 1949, after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, the M. DuMont Schauberg- Verlag revived the former local edition of the Kölnische Zeitung ; to this day it appears as the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and has been subtitled "Kölnische Zeitung" since 1962 as an homage to the great journalistic era.

The newspaper at the end of the 19th century
In 1876 a spelling reform was pending in the German Empire. The Kölnische Zeitung followed the debates critically and benevolently. a. with a special issue.
A book by the Catholic publisher of the Niederrheinische Volkszeitung takes a critical look at the Kölnische Zeitung. (1877)
Kölnische Zeitung, editorial and correspondent information in the title (1893)
The Kölnische Zeitung in the first morning edition of June 17, 1893



Web links

Commons : Kölnische Zeitung  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Digital copies of the issues from April 5, 1857 to February 18, 1858; Berlin State Library

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz Dieudonné: The Cologne newspaper and its changes in the course of the times . Publisher H. Walther, 1903
  2. ^ Ludwig Salomon: History of the German newspaper system . First volume. Oldenburg / Leipzig 1906, p. 151 ff.
  3. Kölnische Zeitung , September 23, 1802. A year later, Cologne was expecting Napoleon's visit, and the newspaper wrote on July 24, 1803: “Hero Bonaparte is at home here as once in the camp of his brothers-in-arms, and is here from his balcony in front of him with the most joyful proud appearing troops of soldiers can give the look of joy. "
  4. As in most of the anti-Semitic writings of the time and up to the Holocaust , the systematic social exclusion of the Jewish population since the Middle Ages, which, among other things, prohibited them from doing handicrafts, was suppressed here
  5. This refers to topics that are to be discussed in the general Bundestag
  6. The text changes into a regulation scenario typical for the time: “In order to render the Jews harmless, one would have to take the following measures: No Jew would have to, under whatever conditions, in future directly or indirectly receive a delivery for the account of the Be left to the state. The trade in paper money, as well as the trade in bills of exchange, should absolutely be forbidden to them. Changing money must be forbidden to them as an acquisition. The trade in old things, especially old clothes, must be forbidden. The Jews must be forbidden from lending money once and for all under all circumstances, if the entire capital is lost. […] Correspondence in the Hebrew language would have to be forbidden to them with a considerable punishment, since this would allow many criminal things to be done and hidden. [...] These would be the main means of rendering the Jews less harmful to society. It is true that this is only an uninterrupted struggle between good and evil; but it must be passed until a coming generation has attained a higher degree of morality and makes these measures unnecessary. Once this is the case, then we would like to treat them as our brothers with love and respect, and let them enjoy all the advantages that we have to enjoy without envy. "
  7. The Times of March 5, 1894, for example, quotes a comment by the Kölnische Zeitung on the resignation of the liberal English Prime Minister William Gladstone, which was transmitted via the Reuters news agency . The only other German newspaper whose commentary the Times quotes on the subject is the Frankfurter Zeitung .
  8. The Times of January 8 quotes the Kölnische Zeitung on foreign policy issues for two paragraphs.
  9. ^ "Letters from Bessarabia, published in the Gazette de Cologne , speak of the marck of large bodies of troops from Poland, followed by a considerable quantity of siege artillery," writes the Times. She probably quotes the edition of the Kölnische Zeitung of July 10, 1840 for four paragraphs on foreign policy issues.
  10. ^ Kurt Weinhold: The history of a newspaper house 1620-1945 . Cologne 1969, ISBN 3-7701-2478-2 , p. 159
  11. ^ Gordon A. Craig : German History 1866-1945 . Translated from the English by Karl Heinz Siber. 2nd Edition. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-42106-7 , p. 87.
  12. On this racist made-up word see Uwe Westphal: Berliner Konfektion und Mode 1836–1939, The Destruction of a Tradition . 2nd Edition. Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1992
  13. ^ Kurt Weinhold: The history of a newspaper house 1620-1945 . Cologne 1969, ISBN 3-7701-2478-2 , p. 274 f.
  14. Nöggerath delivered countless articles on scientific topics, but also tried to get his hobby subject in the Kölnische Zeitung : the witch trials.