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Völkischer Beobachter Beziehersbuch

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Nazi Newspaper Subscriber’s Booklet

By Bruce Kipp

 After the rise of the Nazi power, the the Völkischer Beobachter became the Party’s official newspaper. Here, Adolf Hitler smiles as he reads the news in the Beobachter — his favorite newspaper.

After the rise of the Nazi power, the the Völkischer Beobachter became the Party’s official newspaper. Here, Adolf Hitler smiles as he reads the news in the Beobachter — his favorite newspaper.

During the realm of the Third Reich, the Völkischer Beobachter(“VB — “The Peoples’ Observer”) was Germany’s largest daily newspaper. Ultimately, it reacheda circulation of 1.7 million copies per day. Printed in three editions (Berlin, Munich, and Vienna), it dominated Germany’s news reporting and consumer advertising.

The periodical had begun in 1887, as the small, suburban newspaper, Munich Observer. Over the years, the paper changed names and owners. In 1900, the Franz Eher Publishing House bought the paper and published it until 1918, when it sold the paper to the Thule Society (the forerunner of the Nazi Party) which changed its name to Völkischer Beobachter. At the end of 1920, Dietrich Eckart purchased it. On 18 December, the Völkischer Beobachter informed its readers that it had been officially acquired by the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) — the Nazi Party.

 This subscriber booklet for the Völkischer Beobachter newspaper consisted of an outer cover of thin, bright red plastic with a textured finish. it contains sixteen white paper pages. The booklet measures about 15cm x 10.5cm. This particular subscriber’s booklet was issued on 2 February 1938 by the Völkischer Beobachter office (VB-Filiale) in the Halensee suburb of Berlin.

This subscriber booklet for the Völkischer Beobachter newspaper consisted of an outer cover of thin, bright red plastic with a textured finish. it contains sixteen white paper pages. The booklet measures about 15cm x 10.5cm. This particular subscriber’s booklet was issued on 2 February 1938 by the Völkischer Beobachter office (VB-Filiale) in the Halensee suburb of Berlin.

After the NSDAP acquired the Eher Publishing House, Adolf Hitler became the Editor-in-Chief. In February 1923, the Völkischer Beobachter began appearing twice weekly. After the Nazi attempt to seize power in Munich in November 1923, Germany banned the party and its newspaper.

After Hitler’s release from prison, however, the Völkischer Beobachter resumed publication in February 1925. The paper was reestablished as an important conduit for Party propaganda.

 The booklet’s second page presents an inspiring comment from Adolf Hitler on the purpose and value of the Völkischer Beobachter. Page 3 bears the name and address of the subscriber, the date and place where the booklet was issued, and the preprinted signature of [Max] Amann, Managing Director of the publishing company.

The booklet’s second page presents an inspiring comment from Adolf Hitler on the purpose and value of the Völkischer Beobachter. Page 3 bears the name and address of the subscriber, the date and place where the booklet was issued, and the preprinted signature of [Max] Amann, Managing Director of the publishing company.

When the National Socialist regime gained total power in January 1933, the paper came to be viewed as a semi-official governmental organ. Its success, however, probably had more to do with the fact that it was the official Nazi Party newspaper rather than for its journalistic excellence.

Although Hitler was still listed on the masthead as the VB’s Editor-in-Chief, the newspaper’s day-to-day operations were managed by two Nazi Party stalwarts: Max Amann, Managing Director of the Fritz Eher Publishing Company and Alfred Rosenberg, Managing Editor of Völkischer Beobachter.

Eventually, shortages of paper, ink, printing presses and lack of manpower caused many German newspapers and periodicals to cease publishing as the war progressed. However, the Völkischer Beobachter had priority of materials and manpower and continued to print until the very last days of the Third Reich.

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