Patmos Publishing Group

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The Patmos Verlagsgruppe is a German publisher that publishes non-fiction books on society , history , psychology , literature , cultural history and religion as well as classics of world literature, books for children and young people, school books and audio books under the three “ labelsPatmos , Artemis & Winkler and Sauerländer .

The publishing house employs 50 people. Over 250 new publications are published every year, and over 2000 titles are available. The Patmos publishing group belongs to Cornelsen Verlag and has been based in Mannheim since January 2010 .


Original publishers Schwann and Mosella

L. Schwann, book and stone printing company, Charlottenstrasse 86, Düsseldorf, 1902

The Patmos publishing group has its roots in two publishing houses: Schwann and Mosella.

Schwann Verlag was founded in November 1821 by Leonard Schwann (1778–1867), the father of the medical doctor Theodor Schwann . Leonard Schwann was a goldsmith from Neuss, who was looking for new sources of income to support himself and his large family. At first, Schwann only printed forms and “small occasional printed matter”, but theological and soon school books, books for young people, art books and phonograms were published in the next generation. A major project that is still important in research today were the volumes of the art monuments inventories of the Rhine Province published by Schwann , which were published by Paul Clemen .

In 1933 the Schwann Verlag took over the Mosella Verlag, which had been founded in Trier in 1910 for the purpose of looking after the "Eckerschen Schulbibel". This Bible received such broad approval that it was translated into ten languages. In 1931 it was the edition of the Bible that taught half of all German Catholics.

Schwann and Mosella during the National Socialist dictatorship

With the attached bookbinding, printing, typesetting and various other handicraft businesses that were not only directly involved in book production, Schwann employed up to a thousand people until the 1930s. In the period between 1933 and 1945 Schwann Verlag was confronted with considerable difficulties due to its theological program area.

After the National Socialists came to power , all school books were put to the test. The permits were gradually withdrawn from the Schwann publications because they represented decidedly Catholic values. As honorary chairman of the school book publishers, Hans-Georg Francken-Schwann was given the ultimatum to stop printing Catholic magazines and all contact with Catholic organizations. When he refused, Schwann Verlag gradually lost the administrative districts to which it had supplied school books from its own range for generations.

In 1937/38 new ministerial guidelines were issued, which were to be applied to the drafts of textbooks in the shortest possible time. Since the widow of the now deceased Hans-Georg Francken-Schwann, Irma Francken-Schwann, refused to give up the Christian orientation of the publishing house, the Schwann publications were withdrawn or the lowest circulation numbers were assigned in the quota system that was customary at the time. At that time, Schwann Verlag drew 80% of its sales from the school books business, so that economic bankruptcy was only a matter of time.

Since the National Socialists had banned so-called "mixed productions", in 1940 the religious program division of Schwann Verlag was forcibly transferred to Mosella. The aim of the National Socialists was to separate theology from the other program areas in order to gain easier access to religious publishers and to enforce their closure in the long term. From 1942 onwards, the publisher was finally refused all paper allocations, so that the publishing business had to be stopped.

In 1943 Irma Francken-Schwann was killed in a bomb attack on the premises of the publishing group while she was trying to save the archive from being destroyed by the flames.

The immediate post-war period

After the death of her mother, the eldest daughter Adelheid Francken-Schwann, born in 1921, took over the management of the publishing house. She had first completed a bookseller training in her parents' publishing house, then switched to the bookselling school in Leipzig and now broke off her studies in order to rebuild the publishing house.

In 1945 it received one of the first licenses in the British occupation and was able to resume school book production by Schwann Verlag. A key figure in the rapid reconstruction was the then program manager, Hans Hümmeler, who had been hired by Hans-Georg Francken-Schwann and who, due to his unquestionable integrity, was commissioned by the British military administration to build up the book trade in the North Rhine Province.

In 1946 Adelheid Francken-Schwann and her husband Paul Böhringer brought Mosella Verlag to new life, and on May 14, 1946, it was decided to rename Mosella Verlag to Patmos Verlag. On the island of Patmos , the Apostle John wrote his Secret Revelation, the Apocalypse of the New Testament. The new name of the publishing house symbolized a new program development after the apocalyptic experiences of the time of National Socialism .

The publishing house has taken a critical position in theological discourse since the 1960s. In the 70s and 80s theologians like Hubertus Halbfas and the Latin American liberation theologian Leonardo Boff began to publish here. One of the most important authors of the publishing house is Eugen Drewermann .

In 1985, the founders of the publishing house Adelheid Francken-Schwann and her husband, Paul Böhringer, handed over the management of the publishing house to Tullio Aurelio , who had been working at the publishing house since 1978 - first as editor and then as program manager. A programmatic realignment of the publishing house began. On the one hand, the core area of ​​the program has been de-denominationalized and expanded: In addition to Catholic literature, the publisher has since also published Protestant and ecumenical literature for community work and religious education. On the other hand, the program was expanded beyond the religious area to include new areas such as social issues, children's books and audio books.

Cornelsen Holding has been the main shareholder of the Patmos publishing group with 75% since 1988, and another 25% belongs to Karl Rauch KG. In November 2007 Tullio Aurelio handed over the management to Klaus Kampf-Burghardt.

The company's own expansion of content was subsequently supported by the takeover of several publishers, who expanded the overall program to include the areas of psychology, literature and cultural history.

Publishers of the group

The following publishers were integrated into the Patmos publishing group:

"Schwanni" and plans

The existing range of audio books from Patmos Verlag was expanded in 1987 by the takeover of the Schwanni sound carrier division of the Schwann educational publishing house with song and radio play productions. As a useful addition, the children's cassette label from Plans Verlag was added in 1990, offering a comprehensive program from the songs of the song primer to the songwriter Fredrik Vahle with his Anne Kaffekanne. In 1998, Patmos started its own audio book program for adults with Patmos audio .

Walter publishing house

Main article: Walter Verlag

Benziger Publishing House

Benziger- Verlag, founded in 1792, published theological works (including Karl Rahner and Hans Küng), fiction and books for young people. Benziger was taken over by the Patmos publishing group in 1994. The program has not been expanded since 2003. The series Evangelical-Catholic Commentary (EKK) on the New Testament will be continued .

Artemis & Winkler Verlag

The Artemis publishing house was founded in Zurich in 1943. The first publications were the collected works of C. Spitteler, followed by the first volumes of the Library of the Old World and finally the Lexicon of the Old World. The Tusculum Collection series, founded in 1923, is a bilingual edition of texts from Greek and Latin classics. The series Schriften zur Zeit was published from 1942 to 1970.

In 1971 dtv published the dtv-Lexikon der Antike under license from Artemis Verlag, Zurich and Stuttgart, a new edition of the Lexikon der Alten Welt , Munich 1965.

The Winkler publishing house was founded in Coburg in 1945 . The first thin-print editions of classic literature appeared in 1949 and formed the basis of Winkler's world literature .

In 1971 Artemis acquired Winkler Verlag. Artemis & Winkler has been part of the Patmos publishing group since 1995. The Artemis & Winkler literary calendar and the literary non-fiction program are also published here.

The publisher's product with the greatest reputation is Der Große Conrady , a poetry collection from 2008 that spans centuries.


The Austrian DachsVerlag was founded in 1984. Since 2001 he has been part of the Patmos publishing group. The Vienna office of Dachs Verlag was closed on January 31, 2006, and programming has been carried out from Düsseldorf since then.

The DachsVerlag mainly brings original editions by mostly Austrian authors to the book market. The publisher holds the rights to over 50 titles by Christine Nöstlinger . The best-known authors also include Gerda Anger-Schmidt, Friedl Hofbauer, Lene Mayer-Skumanz, Franz S. Sklenitzka, Rosmarie Thüminger , Juttareiber and Renate Welsh.

Sauerländer publishing house

The children's and youth book publisher Sauerländer with the publishing house Aare by Sauerländer and kbv Kinderbuchverlag Luzern belonged to the Patmos publishing group since January 1st, 2002.

Since the beginning of the 19th century, the Swiss company Sauerländer has published books for children and young people in Aarau. However, this area was only expanded to become a program focus in around 1927. Gertrud Häusermann , Kurt Held , Felix Hoffmann , Olga Meyer , Lisa Tetzner and Max Vögeli , internationally known authors such as Ingvar Ambjörnsen , Robert Cormier , Kenneth Grahame , Josef Lada, were relocated , Norma Mazer , Bjarne Reuter , Cynthia Voigt and many others and in the field of picture book artists such as Sam McBratney , Lucy Cousins , Martin Handford , Roberto Innocenti , Anita Jeram , Ingrid and Dieter Schubert as well as Jörg Müller , Quint Buchholz and Dieter Wiesmüller .

Since 2013, Sauerländer no longer belongs to the Patmos publishing group, but to S. Fischer Verlag .


With the establishment of the imprint Albatros in 2000, the Patmos publishing group began to exhaust its now large rights fund itself. Bound books are published under the name Albatros, the original editions of which were published by Patmos Publishing Group, but also by other publishers. These are classics of world literature, antiquity, biographies, history, cultural history, encyclopedias and classics of children's literature.

Repositioning and sales

The Cornelsen-Holding, to which the Patmos publishing group belongs, carried out a far-reaching restructuring of the Düsseldorf publishing house at the end of 2009. The core point is the complete relocation of the house with all program areas to Mannheim to the location of the Bibliographical Institute . According to the Cornelsen board of directors, the Patmos publishing group is to remain independent, but synergy effects are being sought with the Bibliographical Institute.

Shortly before the move to Mannheim, it was announced that the traditional part of the program "Religion / Theology" had been completely sold to Schwabenverlag AG along with the name . With this decision, Patmos-Verlag is parting with its program core piece, which has been successfully and innovatively built up since the publishing house was re-established after the Second World War. Schwabenverlag AG states that it wants to develop Patmos as its own label from its roots and values ​​and to maintain continuity in the programmatic orientation.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. [1]
  2. Over 100 years of L. Schwann printing and publishing , in address book for Düsseldorf city and surroundings, 1931, anniversary companies
  3. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from February 20, 2010 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. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. [2]