Championing political Causes (1956-1966)




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Championing political Causes (1956-1966)

Previously a largely apolitical person, Axel Springer became a leading champion of German reunification. He visited Khrushchev in Moscow. Via his newspapers he called on the East German authorities to „open the gate” to the West. Two days before the elapse of Moscow's Berlin ultimatum Axel Springer laid the foundation stone for a new headquarters building immediately adjacent to the Soviet sector. The document cemented into the foundation stone described this building as the expression of our „firm belief in the historical unity of this city and the historical unity of Germany.” This 19-storey „lighthouse of freedom” was erected right next to the Berlin Wall and - as things turned out - outlived this symbol of a divided Europe. The Cold War was in full sway. In the second decade of its existence the company Axel Springer had become a political factor.

1959

The foundation stone of the Berlin publishing house is laid. The company acquires the majority holding in Ullstein AG, including the Berlin newspapers BERLINER MORGENPOST and B.Z. and the Ullstein book-publishing business.

1960

Opening of the gravure printing works in Darmstadt.

1965-67

Construction of the gravure printing facility in Ahrensburg near Hamburg.    

1966

Official opening of the Berlin headquarters.