Die Weltbühne

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Die Weltbühne (English: "The World Stage") was a German weekly magazine focused on politics, art, and business. The Weltbühne was founded in Berlin on 7 September 1905 by Siegfried Jacobsohn and was originally created strictly as a theater magazine under the title Die Schaubühne. It was renamed Die Weltbühne on 4 April 1918.[1] After Jacobson's death in December 1926, Kurt Tucholsky took over the leadership of the magazine, which he turned over to Carl von Ossietzky in May 1927. The Nazis banned the publication after the Reichstag fire, and its last edition appeared on 7 March 1933. In exile the magazine was published under the title Die neue Weltbühne ("The New World Stage"). After the end of World War II, it appeared again under its original name in East Berlin, where it endured until 1993. In 1997 the magazines Ossietzky and Das Blättchen appeared, following the model of Die Weltbühne.

Weltbühne cover, 12 March 1929

With its famed small, red booklet, it was the key forum of expression for leftist, socialist intellectuals during the Weimar Republic. More than 2600 authors wrote for the paper between 1905 and 1933. In addition to Jacobsohn, Tucholsky, and Ossietzky, the contributors included prominent writers and journalists like Erich Kästner, Alfred Polgar, Arnold Zweig, Manfred George, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Else Lasker-Schüler. Other regular contributors included Julius Bab, Erich Dombrowski, Axel Eggebrecht, Herbert Eulenberg, Hellmut von Gerlach, Moritz Heimann, Kurt Hiller, Erich Mühsam, Rudolf Arnheim, Richard Lewinsohn, Fritz Sternberg and Heinrich Ströbel.

Even at its high point, Die Weltbühne had a relatively low printing of 15,000 copies. It still had several journalistic coups including the discovery of the Veim murders in the Schwarze Reichswehr paramilitary groups as well as reports about the secret rearmament of the military, which later led to the so-called Weltbühne-Prozess. The printing of Tucholsky's famous sentence "Soldiers are murderers" also led to charges against the publisher Ossietzky.


  • Die Schaubühne. Vollständiger Nachdruck der Jahrgänge 1905–1918. Athenäum Verlag, Königstein/Ts. 1978–1980
  • Die Weltbühne. Vollständiger Nachdruck der Jahrgänge 1918–1933. Athenäum Verlag, Königstein/Ts. 1978
  • Die Wiener Weltbühne. Nachdruck der Originalausgabe. 1. Jahrgang 1932. o.A.
  • Die neue Weltbühne. Nachdruck der Originalausgabe. 2. Jahrgang der Wiener Weltbühne, 1. Halbjahr 1933. o.A.
  • Die neue Weltbühne. Nachdruck der Originalausgabe Prag/Paris 4/1933–8/1939.


  1. ^ Transcript of interview with Marta Feuchtwanger, wife of Lion Feuchtwanger Tape Number X, July 15, 1975

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