Völkischer Beobachter

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Front page of the 31 January 1933 edition. The headline reads: "An historic day: First Acts of Hitler's Reich Government – Völkischer Beobachter interviews Reich Minister of the Interior Frick – New cabinet holds first meeting".

The Völkischer Beobachter ("Völkisch Observer"; VB) was the newspaper of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) from 1920 to 1945. It first appeared weekly, then daily from 8 February 1923. For twenty-five years, it formed part of the official public face of National Socialism in Germany. Since April 1922, the managing director was the NSDAP's Reichleiter for the Press, SS-Obergruppenführer Max Amann (de).


The "fighting paper of the National Socialist movement of Greater Germany" (Kampfblatt der nationalsozialistischen Bewegung Großdeutschlands) had its origin in the Münchner Beobachter ("Munich Observer"), which in 1918 was acquired by the Thule Society and in August 1919 was renamed Völkischer Beobachter. The NSDAP purchased it in December 1920 on the initiative of Chase Bauduin and Dietrich Eckart, who became the first editors. In 1921, Hitler acquired all shares in the company, making him the sole owner of the publication.[1]

The circulation of the paper was initially about 8,000 but increased to 25,000 in autumn 1923 due to strong demand during the Occupation of the Ruhr. In that year, Alfred Rosenberg became editor.[2] With the prohibition of the NSDAP after the Munich Putsch of 9 November 1923, the paper also had to cease publication, which resumed however on the party's refoundation on 26 February 1925. The circulation rose along with the success of the National Socialist movement, reaching more than 120,000 in 1931 and 1.7 million by 1944.

During the rise to power, it reported general news but also party activities.[3] Guidelines for propagandists urged that all posters, insofar as the police allowed, contain propaganda for it, and all meetings should be announced in it, although reports should be sent to the Propaganda Department, which would then forward corrected versions to the paper.[4] Posters did indeed urge reading it.[5] When Hitler was banned from public speaking, it was the main vehicle to propagate his views.[6]

Joseph Goebbels published articles in to attack America for criticizing anti-Jewish measures,[7] and to describe Russia.[8] After the Anschluss, Hitler personally congratulated the first large-format Vienna edition on 1 August 1938 on the front page. On 1 February 1941, the VB gave up the Fraktur font that had been generally used in Germany until then and was typed in the modern Antiqua, which the National Socialists described as “tasteful and clear”.

A few days before the surrender of the German Wehrmacht on 8 May 1945, the Völkischer Beobachter ceased publication at the end of April 1945. The last produced issue from 30 April 1945 was no longer distributed due to the imminent end of WWII.

See also


  1. Claus Hant,http://www.younghitler.com/, Young Hitler, London, 2010, p. 414
  2. Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology p34 ISBN 0-396-06577-5
  3. "Nazis Battle for Harburg"
  4. "Propaganda"
  5. "Early Nazi Posters"
  6. Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology p51 ISBN 0-396-06577-5
  7. "What Does America Really Want?"
  8. "The Veil Falls"