Stern (magazine)

Stern (magazine)
Stern Logo.svg

"Hitler's Diaries Discovered" cover (1983)
Editor Andreas Petzold, Thomas Osterkorn
Categories news magazine
Frequency weekly
Circulation 1.07 million / month
First issue 1948
Company Gruner + Jahr
Country Germany
Language German
ISSN 0039-1239

Stern (English: "Star") is a weekly news magazine published in Germany. It was founded in 1948 by Henri Nannen, and is currently published by Gruner + Jahr, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann. In the first quarter of 2006, its print run was 1.019 million copies and it reached 7.84 million readers according to Media-Analyse.

Internationally, it is most famous for publishing the Hitler Diaries in 1983. Soon after their publication, they were revealed by scientific testing to be forged. This led to the resignation of the magazine's editors and a major scandal that is still seen as a low point in German journalism. The incident caused a major crisis for the magazine. Its credibility was severely damaged and it had to rebuild its reputation from an abysmal level.

In Germany, it is also remembered for the publication of "We had an abortion!" in 1971, initiated by Alice Schwarzer. 374 women publicly declared that they had had an abortion in spite of its illegality at the time in West Germany.



Nannen created the magazine out of the youth paper Zick Zack,[1] and the first issue appeared on 1 August 1948. This was possible after obtaining a licence from the British military government to rename Zick-Zack to Stern,[2] for which Nannen had taken over the licence a few months before. The first issue had 16 pages, with the cover showing actress Hildegard Knef.[3]

In 1950, after publishing an article about the waste of money by the Allies, the British administration banned the magazine for one week.[3] In 1951 Nannen sold his holding in the paper to Gruner + Jahr. In 1968, Stern and Die Zeit began publishing the Stern-Zeit bi-weekly paper for the blind, which stopped publication in mid 2007 due to financial problems.

In 1990 Stern published the title story "I am a masochist", in which author Sina-Aline Geißler discussed her literary coming-out as a member of the BDSM scene. This caused an intense public debate, and radical feminists occupied the editorial office of Stern.

Stern has lost four journalists killed while reporting. In January 1995, Jochen Piest was killed by a sniper near the Chechen capital of Grozny. Gabriel Grüner and Volker Krämer were killed near Dulje, Kosovo. November 2001 saw the death of Volker Handloik in an ambush in northern Afghanistan.[4]

Political direction

Stern is considered to be liberal-critical, partially left-liberal. However, it also publishes views and authors with economically-libertarian, conservative and left-wing positions.[citation needed]


External links

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