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Axel Springer
Axel Springerbronze.jpg
Bronze sculpture of Springer at the court yard of the Hamburger Abendblatt
Axel Cäsar Springer

(1912-05-02)2 May 1912
Died 22 September 1985(1985-09-22) (aged 73)
Occupation Business, Publishing
Spouse(s) Martha Else Meyer (1933–1938) divorced
Erna Frieda Berta Holm (1939–) divorced
Rosemarie Alsen (1953–1961) divorced
Helga Ludeweg(1962–) divorced
Friede Springer (1978–1985)
Children Barbara (born 1933)
Axel Springer Jr. (1941–1980)
Raimund Nicolaus (born 1962)

Axel Cäsar Springer (2 May 1912 – 22 September 1985) was a West German publisher, founder in 1946 of what is now Axel Springer SE, the largest media publishing firm in Europe. By the early 1960s his print titles dominated the West German daily press market. His Bild Zeitung became the nation's tabloid.

In the late 1960s Springer entered into confrontation with the emergent New Left. Hostile coverage of student protests and a continuing rightward drift in editorial comment were met with boycotts and printing-press blockades and, in 1972, the bombing of the company offices by the Red Army Faction (the "Baader Meinhof Gang").

In the late 1970s exposés of journalistic malpractice by the investigative reporter Günter Wallraff led to Press Council reprimands. Sometimes referred to as Germany's Rupert Murdoch, Springer, with counter suits and minor divestments, was able to ride out public criticism of his editorial ethics and market dominance.

Springer engaged in private diplomacy in Moscow in 1958 and, with greater recognition, in Jerusalem in 1966 and '67. In addition to promotion and defence of the values of the "Western family of nations" and the North Atlantic alliance, Springer declared "reconciliation of Jews and Germans and support for the vital rights of the State of Israel" to be a leitmotif of his company's journalism.

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