Franz Eher Nachfolger

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Franz Eher Nachfolger GmbH ("Franz Eher and Successors, LLC", usually referred to as the Eher-Verlag "Eher Publishing") was the central publishing house of the Nazi Party and one of the largest book and periodical firms during the Third Reich. It was acquired by the party on 17 December 1920 for 115,000 Papiermark.

In addition to the major papers, the Völkischer Beobachter and the Illustrierter Beobachter, the publishers also printed novels, maps, song books, and calendars. Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf was also published by the firm from 1925 through many editions and millions of copies.

History[edit]

The publishing house was registered by Franz Eher in the Munich Handelsregister on 2 December 1901. However, the firm was actually founded with the name Münchener Beobachter on 2 January 1887. After Eher's death, Rudolf von Sebottendorf took over the firm in 1918 and on 30 September 1919 transformed it into a limited liability company in order to avoid possible bankruptcy.

The headquarters were in Munich, and from 1933, the entire party literature was printed and published by Eher-Verlag. Later branches in Berlin, Vienna, and additional branches in Munich were established. Between 1933 and 1943, Rolf Rienhard was chief administrator. He was relieved by Wilhelm Baur, who remained until the end of the war.

The key figure leading the publishing house's expansion, however, was Max Amann, who took over the firm in the 1930s. He also doubled as Reich Press Leader and president of the Reich Press Chamber. In addition to the Eher-Verlag, he controlled nearly the entire economic function of the press in Germany. Often, Amann (in his government role) expropriated rival papers whose publishers weren't willing to do the government's bidding. He then had the Eher-Verlag buy them for a pittance, usually in auctions in which the Eher-Verlag was the sole bidder. During the 1930s the Nazi Party purchased parts of the Alfred Hugenberg concerns and a number of other publishing houses. By the 1940s, these tactics turned the Eher Verlag into one of the largest newspaper chains in the world.

In 1945, the publisher was banned and dismantled. The firm's buildings and intellectual property (including Mein Kampf) were transferred to the state of Bavaria.

References[edit]

  • Norbert Frei/Johannes Schmitz: Journalismus im Dritten Reich. 3. Aufl., C.H. Beck: München 1999, ISBN 3-406-45516-6
  • Peter de Mendelssohn: Zeitungsstadt Berlin: Menschen und Mächte in der Geschichte der deutschen Presse Berlin. Ullstein, 1959, 2., überarb. u. erw. Aufl., Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Wien: Ullstein: 1982, ISBN 3-550-07496-4
  • Thomas Tavernaro: Der Verlag Hitlers und der NSDAP. Die Franz Eher Nachfolger GmbH. Edition Praesens: Wien 2004, ISBN 3-7069-0220-6