Rudolf Augstein

Rudolf Augstein

Rudolf Karl Augstein (November 5, 1923 - November 7, 2002) was one of the most influential German journalists, founder and part-owner of "Der Spiegel" magazine.

Born in Hanover, Germany, he was a radio operator and artillery observer in the German Wehrmacht during World War II.

He founded "Der Spiegel" in 1946/1947, which became (and still is) the most important investigative weekly magazine in Germany. During the "Spiegel" scandal in 1961 and 1962, he was arrested and jailed for 103 days, until Franz Josef Strauß was forced to resign as Minister of the Defense under continuing protest from the public and the resignation of the FDP cabinet members.

Augstein became a member of the "Bundestag" in 1972, but gave back his seat by 1973 to focus on his duties as a journalist. It has been speculated that he considered himself much more influential with his magazine.

A hobby historian, Augstein published several successful books, among them "Preußens Friedrich und die Deutschen" (1981, ISBN 3-89190-106-2), "Otto von Bismarck" (1990, ISBN 3-445-06012-6), and, about his lifetime opponent, "Überlebensgroß Herr Strauß. Ein Spiegelbild" (1983, ISBN 3-499-33002-4). During the "Historikerstreit" of 1986-1987, Augstein was fierce in his criticism of Ernst Nolte and Andreas Hillgruber for creating what Augstein called the “New Auschwitz Lie” [Augstein, Rudolf "The New Auschwitz Lie" pages 131-134 from "Forever In The Shadow of Hitler?" edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 133-134] . A controversial statement by Augstein was his description of Hillgruber as a “constitutional Nazi”.

Since Stefan Aust became editor-in-chief of "Der Spiegel," Augstein retreated more and more to private life, although he continued to publish commentaries regularly in the magazine almost until his death. For his lifetime achievements for peace, civil liberties and freedom of the press he was honoured with the title "Journalist of the century" in 2000 by 101 German journalists.

Augstein married five times, the last time in 2000. He died on November 7, 2002 from pneumonia and was buried on the island of Sylt.


External links

* [ Biography at "Lebendiges virtuelles Museum online"] (in German, also used as a reference)

ee also

* "Der Spiegel"
* "Spiegel" scandal

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