Otto Schulmeister

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Otto Schulmeister (born April 1, 1916 in Vienna ; † August 10, 2001 there ) was a publicist and editor-in-chief and publisher of the Austrian daily newspaper Die Presse for around three decades . He was considered the doyen of journalism and one of the most important, but also most controversial editors-in-chief of the post-war period.


Otto Schulmeister was born the son of a councilor in Vienna. According to Gauakt, he was already active before 1938 in the Hitler Youth, which was still illegal in Austria, and in an allegedly National Socialist wing of the Catholic youth movement Bund Neuland . After graduating from high school , he studied political science and social economy in Vienna. In March 1941 he wanted to join the NSDAP , but was only accepted a year later. His doctoral thesis “The growing large-scale economy” was published by a Nazi publishing house in Berlin . In it he justified the German expansion to the east as "restoring the (German) living space ".

Schulmeister began his journalistic career as a journalist for the Nazi business newspapers Südost-Echo and Europa-Kabel . From 1942 he worked for a propaganda department of the Wehrmacht in Russia , in the Balkans (among others with the later editor-in-chief of the press , Ilse Leitenberger ) and in Sicily . At the end of the war he was captured by British troops and released in 1946.

Ernst Molden first brought Schulmeister to the weekly press , which is closely related to the press. From 1946, however, Schulmeister switched to the sister paper as foreign policy editor. For almost his entire career, Schulmeister stayed with the press, which he shaped to a considerable extent. He was promoted to deputy editor-in-chief and finally became editor-in-chief in 1961, which he remained until 1976. After leaving as editor-in-chief, Schulmeister was editor of the press from 1976 to 1989.

In addition to his work for the bourgeois newspaper, Schulmeister was also co-editor and head of the editorial team of Word and Truth from 1947 to 1968 .

In addition, the father of six children acted as co-editor of the historical-sociological compilation Spectrum Austriae and the illustrated book Imago Austriae as well as editor of the letters to the Austrians .

His son Paul was also a journalist and for many years was a foreign correspondent for ORF in Germany. The second son Stephan is an economist. His youngest daughter Terese Schulmeister is a painter and was a leading member of Otto Muehl's community .

Otto Schulmeister was buried at Neustifter Friedhof (12-2-21) in Vienna.

Otto Schulmeister's grave

Unmasking as CIA informers

In April 2009 an article appeared in the news magazine profil documenting evidence of the work Schulmeister's for the CIA by the scientist and contemporary historian Siegfried Beer . Beer is head of the "Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies".

According to files that were already released by the CIA in 2006, Schulmeister had been given the code name GRCAMERA and, according to profil, “had his editorials in line with the wishes of the CIA, suppressed stories when they harmed the US position, and information from background discussions with Austrian politicians and Eastern Bloc ambassadors ” , whereby the last entry in the CIA dossier is said to be from 1983.

It was also announced that Otto Schulmeister did not take any money for his work - and with his behavior, which was problematic for a journalist, he was not an isolated case. According to the profile , other journalists with employees of the US embassy and secret service people working undercover were also well off.



  • The future of Austria, 1967
  • The world we're leaving, 1970
  • The exhausted revolution, 1978
  • The second connection, 1979
  • Emergency in Austria, 1995


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Christa Zöchling: Ex-press chief in the service of the CIA: Otto Schulmeister acted for the secret service profile no.17 (April 18, 2009), accessed on July 31, 2020.
  2. ACIPSS - Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies
  3. "Patriot" as a "collaborator" ( memento of the original from April 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Article by ORF on April 19, 2009, accessed on April 19, 2009 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links