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Neues Deutschland in 1953 on the death of "the greatest human being of our era, comrade J.W. Stalin"
|Format||Rhenish (Between broadsheet and Berliner)|
|Owner(s)||Neues Deutschland Druckerei und Verlags GmbH and Left Party|
|Editor||Karl Maron (1946 - 1950)
|Political alignment||Democratic socialism
Neues Deutschland (ND) (English: New Germany) is a small German daily newspaper. It was originally the official party newspaper of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which governed East Germany (officially known as the German Democratic Republic), and as such served as one of the party's most important organs. More than the other newspapers in the GDR, ND not only endorsed all policy decisions of the government, frequently changing its editorial position to support the new party line, but also sought to elevate the prestige of each member of the leadership, perhaps most importantly Erich Honecker.
While the Neues Deutschland that existed in East Germany as an official newspaper of the regime had a circulation of one million and was the country's most important newspaper, the Neues Deutschland that exists today is a tiny newspaper with a much lower circulation of less than 5% of its former size. It currently has its headquarters in Berlin and retains a socialist outlook, but it has renounced its former stands. The newspaper is both politically and financially tied to The Left (PDS) (Die Linke), the successor party of the SED, which owns the publishing house and printing presses.
ND was formed in 1946 as a Lizenzzeitung after the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) were forcibly merged to form the SED in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany. The first edition of ND was published on 23 April 1946 in conjunction with the founding of the SED. ND replaced the SPD organ Das Volk and the KPD organ Deutsche Volkszeitung. Karl Maron was the first chief editor of the daily and served in the post until 1950.
Before the reunification of Germany in October 1990, ND had a circulation of a million and was second only to the youth newspaper junge Welt in readership. During this period the editor-in-chief of ND was Wolfgang Spickermann. However, it has been claimed that Neues Deutschland failed to reach much of the East German population.
ND was one of the most important propaganda tools for the SED and the SED's key piece of media used to maintain their control of the state. ND had a very heavy focus on East German party and government leaders. For example, on 16 March 1987, in the edition produced for the opening of the Leipzig Fair, there were over 41 photographs of SED Secretary-General Erich Honecker. In contrast to other GDR newspapers, ND used high quality paper and printing materials and was not affected by the traditional materials deficiencies common in the GDR.
After reunification, ND's readership diminished greatly. In 2006, ND had a circulation of 45,247. Like most large newspapers in Germany currently, ND has a problem in that the majority of its readers are over 60 years old. ND produces both national edition and a regional edition for Berlin and Brandenburg.
Jürgen Reents, who has political roots in both the Party of Democratic Socialism and the Green Party, has been the editor in chief of ND since 1999. One of his major goals has been to transform ND's image from a propaganda leaflet to a more respected newspaper. In October 2005 the editors moved from Elsenbrücke to Franz-Mehring Platz in Berlin. Three months later, Olaf Koppe took over management of the newspaper.
ND is still oriented towards a socialist viewpoint and is owned partially by The Left party. The twin goals of the newspaper are to give those in eastern Germany a voice and to represent the democratic socialist viewpoint without being the organ of The Left or any other political party. While eastern German themes dominate the features and the community pages, the political section looks at leftist politics throughout Germany. Authors and politicians from diverse political backgrounds have also been represented on the pages of the newspaper. For example, Friedrich Schorlemmer, a known critic of The Left party and the political left in general, has been a guest writer.
Other traditional sections of a newspaper are also included, such as an advice page, a television guide, notifications and classifieds, opinion columns, and theme sections dealing with health, environment, and other issues. The letters to the editor are often cited as examples of viewpoints of the Left party from other media sources. As with most daily German newspapers, ND is published daily Monday through Friday, with a weekend edition published on Saturdays.
In November 2006, the newspaper also started a youth insert called Sacco and Vanzetti. Beginning in March 2007, ND has successfully started publishing online.
- Wilder, Charly (27 June 2013). "Digitizing the GDR: East German Papers Offer Glimpse of History". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
- Caroline Schaumann (27 August 2008). Memory Matters: Generational Responses to Germany's Nazi Past in Recent Women's Literature. Walter de Gruyter. p. 255. ISBN 978-3-11-020659-3. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- Lars Willnat (December 1991). "The East German press during the political transformation of East Germany" (PDF). International Communication Gazette. 48. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Allinson, Mark (23 March 2000). Politics and Popular Opinion in East Germany, 1945-1968. Manchester University Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0719055546.
Media related to Joachim Herrmann at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (German)
- Open access archive of Neues Deutschland / Berlin edition from 23 April 1946 to 3 October 1990 in the portal DDR-Presse of the Zeitungsinformationssystem (ZEFYS) of the [Berlin State Library]; access via xlogon.net (registration needed)