Behind the scenes of the Sunday newspaper

by Max Barth

At first 1924 made Dr. Schairer suggested that he come to Heilbronn because his colleague Hermann Mauthe was about to emigrate to Mexico. So I was 1924 from the spring 1932 until the end of July at the "Sonntags-Zeitung", temporarily as a member of the editorial staff, in the meantime as a regular external employee. In the days when I did not live in Heilbronn or in Stuttgart, where Schairer and his paper had moved to 1925 in the summer, Hermann Mauthe, who had had enough of Mexico after a few months, and later Hermann List, took my place. In spring 1931 List took over the Sonntags-Zeitung as editor; on the 1. Schairer took her back in August 1932 and dismissed me. From then on, I worked only occasionally.

A logical consequence of Schairer's preference for common sense, general understanding, and straightforward, direct speech was that part of the contributions of his paper came from non-politicians and non-writers, readers who knew some area. He did not really appreciate the professional scribes, though we were both. When Emil Ludwig once agreed to send us some contributions, he said: "We will send him back! This is such a writer. "Other sheets accepted works of the then very well-known author with a kiss, because his name threw a reflection on them. Among our employees was z. For example, a man who had two doctoral degrees but was a vagabond. He appeared on the editorial office once or twice a year, just came from Italy or Africa, stayed a while, told and left two or three articles there. Another, who appeared from time to time, was a real vagabond, one of principle, anarchist worldview. He carried a huge brown beard and had a rich and resonant voice, in his wide-swinging coat he walked along like a king. Schairer had a weakness for originals. Normal visitors - who often went to the editorial office because they wanted to see him - went away cool, if none of them aroused Schairer's interest. He could then be of astonishing verbiage and of deliberate primitiveness and woodiness.

We also had all kinds of owls among the readers. In a corner of the Bavarian Forest, for example, sat a simple but politically interested man who had nothing in himself to identify him as a like-minded person, but because he was poor, he got the “Sunday newspaper” for free. Another free recipient was a man in a Bavarian prison. He's had two murders on his conscience, and obviously very bad ones. From time to time he wrote a letter in which he expressed his expectation that he would soon be pardoned. When I once had an argument with a colleague in New York, where I was working at Hearst, an old nationalist American German, he suddenly broke out angrily: "And the newspaper you were at was just an angle sheet!" he must have read the "S.-Z." sometimes. Perhaps he was the man who from time to time wrote long letters dated Chicago and sent from Chicago. He signed “exchange professor” and the letters were full of abuse. There was a hail of traitors, high traitors, rags, A ... holes, etc., and threats of what they would do with us. I suggested to Schairer that we reprint such an effusion, but he said, “This is a psychopath; he just wants you to print your things. It hits him a lot more if you ignore him at all. ”Which he was certainly right about.

The authorities were of course not very weighed by the "Sonntags-Zeitung". True, the individual officials - as I know at least from the time in Stuttgart - were keen to read the completed deposit copy right after they left; but the authority as office tried again and again, the Dr. Schairer to put a leg. That started when the first number appeared. Schairer told the story in the 1929 anthology, "With Different Eyes."

One day, still in Heilbronn, I came back from the post office. Frau Schairer let me in. “Just don't go in,” she said, “the police are there.” Of course I went in. Schairer stood pale with anger at his standing desk while two detectives rummaged through a closet. I asked what was going on; Schairer showed me the last number in front of him. In an article about the reorganization of Germany, he had said that this would also require the "smashing of Prussia". That was an economic expression; one speaks of the battered state of a large estate, for example. It was nothing with the high treason that Schairer wanted to accuse. The officers came across a photograph: men in frock coats stood on a wide staircase, as well as high-ranking officers and crowd members. He had to explain. "That is the German ambassador in Constantinople, that General So-and-so ..."; I think one or two Turkish officers were there too. During the war, Schairer had been assigned to the German embassy in Constantinople for a while; he had also published a German-Turkish dictionary together with a Turk. The officers turned to other matters. The next one was a document with strange characters, possibly in a conspiratorial script. It was a handwritten letter from Sultan Abdul Hamid II's office to Schairer, in recognition of his work for Turkey.

When it was the Nazis' turn, of course, things really started. In the spring of 1933 the “Sunday newspaper” was banned; the ban was lifted after four weeks. Half a year later, in September 1933, the Altona Gestapo submitted three numbers to the Berlin office that were supposed to show that the "S.-Z." was "hostile". "Its printing in Latin script," it also says, "suggests that it is also intended for shipping abroad." The informer was the Hamburg Post Office; she had given the three numbers to the Gestapo. Berlin turned to the Political Police in Stuttgart, who replied that the continued existence of the “Sonntags-Zeitung” was desirable “for special political reasons”. It can therefore be assumed that the leaf was initially left alive for camouflage. One wanted to show - especially abroad (think of the Latin script and the meaning it had for Gestapo brains!) - that independent papers would also be tolerated. The persecution also extended to others. Two partners, Dr. Schairer, rejected one after the other, one in November 1935, the other in January 1936: every time it was said that further publishing activities by the NN could not be advocated. This verdict was also pronounced against the printer Friedrich Späth in Waiblingen. Späth was then placed in protective custody for some time.

Schairer himself was approached in March 1936. The Reich Association of German Newspaper Publishers was given a description of his curriculum vitae by the Wuerttemberg Political Police Office, to which he was "known in the files", as it was reported: Pastor who had left the church, editor of the "Neckar-Zeitung", publisher of "Sonntags -Zeitung ”,“ which he directed in a radically pacifist sense ”. Reported three times for political offenses, twice with the Oberreichsanwalt, in 1926 and 1927, once with the Stuttgart public prosecutor's office, in 1928. All three proceedings had been discontinued: although they were very keen to add something to him, one could not construct treason from the objectionable texts. Pieces from his articles were printed (incriminating, of course, for Nazi brains); His dark past was uncovered: important functions in the peace society, German League for Human Rights, republican complaints office, membership in the Freethinker and Monist Association, temporary membership in the international workers' aid. And of course "the continuation of his publishing activities could not be approved."