Brief Biography of Axel Springer (1912-1985)

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Brief Biography of Axel Springer (1912-1985)


Axel Springer is born in Altona on 2 May 1912.


After attending secondary school he becomes an apprentice compositor and printer at the publishers Hammerich & Lesser-Verlag, his father´s company. This is followed by: Practical training in the news agency „Wolff´s Telegraphisches Bureau” and work as a local reporter for the newspaper Bergedorfer Zeitung.


Journalist with the Altonaer Nachrichten until the compulsory closure of the newspaper.


Publication of literary works in Hammerich & Lesser Verlag.


Establishment of Axel Springer Verlag.

January 1958

Axel Springer travels to Moscow and meets Nikita Krushchev. He tries in vain to gain the Kremlin´s support for the reunification of Germany.

May 1959

Foundation stone laid for publishing building in Kochstrasse, Berlin (opened 1966).

July 1966

Axel Springer´s first visit to Israel.

October 1967

Axel Springer announces his publishing principles in an address to the Hamburg ”Overseas Club“.

1. January 1970

The publishing company is converted into a joint stock company (AG) The sole shareholder is Axel Springer.


Axel Springer´s first book „Von Berlin aus gesehen” („Seen from Berlin”) is published. It is followed in 1980 by „Aus Sorge um Deutschland” („Out of concern for Germany”).


In connection with the student unrest there are riots in front of the publishing building in Berlin. Until the mid-seventies attacks are made on the Hamburg publishing building and on Axel Springer´s private houses.


Shortly after the publishing company goes public, Axel Springer dies on 22 September 1985 in Berlin.