Axel Springer Publishing House

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Group.png Axel Springer Publishing House  
FounderAxel Springer
LeaderAxel Springer Publishing House/CEO
Member ofAtlantik-Brücke
Founder ofAxel Springer Publishing House
SubpageAxel Springer Publishing House/CEO
The largest publishing house in Europe.


Axel Springer SE is a German digital publishing house which is the largest in Europe, with numerous multimedia news brands, such as Bild, Die Welt, Fakt and others. It has more than 15,000 employees. It generated total revenues of about €3.3 billion and an EBITDA of €559 million in the financial year 2015.

The Axel Springer company is the largest publishing house in Europe and controls the largest share of the German market for daily newspapers; 23.6%, largely because its flagship tabloid Bild is the highest-circulation newspaper in Europe with a daily readership in excess of 12 million.

It was started in 1946/1947 by journalist Axel Springer. Its current CEO is Mathias Döpfner.


During WW2, Axel Springer spread antisemitic propaganda working for the newspaper Altonaer Nachrichten. In 1946, the British military government gave him a press license for two light entertainment magazines. With financing [1] from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, both known CIA cutouts, Axel Springer bought more media outlets, before he launched the centerpiece in his media empire, BILD, in 1952. Axel Springer surrounded himself with high-ranking Nazi journalists. The most important was Paul Schmidt, propaganda chief for the NS Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Schmidt started using the pseudonym Paul Carrell after 1945, and became Springer's security chief and speechwriter.[2]

Corporate Constitution

On the Axel Springer web site the terms of employment in the media group were listed (since removed, archived [3]). In their candidness and total turnaround since Axel Springer's National Socialist war time past, they are worth quoting in full:

:The Essentials

Media companies have societal responsibility in a democracy, because they shape the way their readers, listeners, viewers, and users form their opinions. This is why Axel Springer is the only independent publishing house to have had a corporate constitution through the Essentials since 1967, to ensure it takes account of this responsibility in a transparent manner.
It was Axel Springer himself, who fixed in writing the idea of freedom as the most important value and the safeguarding thereof as the objective of his company: The Essentials derived from the commitment to freedom have been part of the articles of association as well as the contracts with the journalists in Germany, and have characterized Axel Springer ever since. In conjunction with the German version, an international version of the Essentials, introduced in March 2016, also unites all employees in all the companies belonging to Axel Springer in standing up for freedom.
The Essentials were formulated by Axel Springer in 1967, amended following German reunification in 1990, supplemented in the aftermath of the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 and, in view of the increasing internationalization of the company, introduced with international validity. This gives all employees worldwide an orientation toward the company’s objective of standing up for freedom.
They are derived from the objective of Axel Springer to stand up for freedom. Because freedom is not something which is fought for and won, but has to be continually lived and defended. The Essentials are therefore more relevant today than ever – and they are something special. Something that distinguishes Axel Springer and endows it with meaning over and above pure economic success.
1.We stand up for freedom, the rule of law, democracy and a united Europe.
2.We support the Jewish people and the right of existence of the State of Israel.
3.We demonstrate solidarity with the free values of the United States of America.
4.We uphold the principles of a free market economy and its social responsibility.
5.We reject political and religious extremism.