Heilbronn press scandal with consequences

He is considered one of the most courageous journalists of the Weimar Republic, who used his power of speech and wit to target political hypocrisy, nationalism and anti-Semitism: Erich Schairer.

Ernst Jäckh recommends him as Theodor Heuss's successor to Heilbronn, when Heuss gives up the post of editor-in-chief of the Neckar-Zeitung to become managing director of the Deutscher Werkbund in Berlin. Like Heuss, Schairer also worked for Naumann's magazine "Die Hilfe". In 1918, Schairer not only took over Heuss' position at the Neckar-Zeitung, but also his apartment in Lerchenstrasse.

But he soon fell out with the publisher, who did not like the fact that Schairer attacked deniers of German war guilt in his paper. When he again railed against the advocates of the war guilt lie in an article, he had Schairer's text scratched out of the printing plate. The newspaper appears on November 15, 1919 with a white spot on the front page. On the very same day of this press scandal, the publisher informs his editor-in-chief that he no longer needs to appear in the editorial office.

Schairer quickly founds the “Heilbronner Sonntags-Zeitung”, in the first edition of January 4, 1920 he writes: “To the letter, we live in a social and democratic republic. But the spirit of socialism and democracy, which means respect, understanding, benevolence and justice, has not come to life. This newspaper will serve this spirit.” The Heilbronner Sonntags-Zeitung soon changed its name to the Süddeutsche Sonntags-Zeitung, then the Sunday newspaper, and quickly spread throughout Germany and became one of the most important weekly newspapers. She proudly emphasizes her independence: "In the future, the Sunday newspaper will appear without advertisements and will provide proof that it is still possible for a newspaper to exist today without advertisements." Schairer fought resolutely against the rise of National Socialism in the Weimar Republic. In October 1932, for example, he announced “Das Kleine Hitler-Album” for his publishing house, with malicious caricatures by the Sunday newspaper’s illustrator, the woodcutter Hans Gerner. In March 1933, Schairer opposed the Reichstag's approval of the Enabling Act, which he branded as parliament's disempowerment. So it is not surprising that on March 26, 1933 the Sunday newspaper appeared with just one message: "Prohibited until further notice". Editors of the newspaper are taken into protective custody, and Schairer himself has to report to the Gestapo every day.

After the war, Schairer first became editor-in-chief of the Schwäbisches Tagblatt in Tübingen before the American military government brought him to Stuttgart. Schairer and his friend Josef Eberle become the first editors of the Stuttgarter Zeitung.

Source: https://verlagshaus24.de/zeitreise-heilbronn

See also: https://www.stimme.de/regional/heilbronn/stadt/lokales/schoene-zeitreise-neues-buch-zur-stadtgeschichte-heilbronn-art-4547671