kids encyclopedia robot

Rudolf Augstein facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Rudolf Augstein
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F058375-0003, Freiburg, FDP-Bundesparteitag, Augstein.jpg
Augstein at FDP-Bundesparteitag, 1980
Member of the Bundestag
for North Rhine-Westphalia
In office
19 November 1972 – 24 January 1973
Preceded by Wolfram Dorn
Succeeded by Rolf Böger
Personal details
Rudolf Karl Augstein

(1923-11-05)5 November 1923
Hannover, Weimar Republic
(now Germany)
Died 7 November 2002(2002-11-07) (aged 79)
Hamburg, Germany
Resting place Sylt, Schleswig-Holstein
Political party FDP
Lore Ostermann
(m. 1948; div. 1960)

Katharina Luthardt
(m. 1960; div. 1968)

Maria Carlsson
(m. 1968; div. 1970)

Gisela Stelly
(m. 1972; div. 1992)

Anna Maria Hürtgen
(m. 2000)
Children 4
Occupation journalist, editor, publicist, politician

Rudolf Karl Augstein (5 November 1923 – 7 November 2002) was a German journalist, editor, publicist, and politician. He was one of the most influential German journalists, founder and part-owner of Der Spiegel magazine. As a politician, he was a member of the Bundestag for the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) between November 1972 and January 1973.

Life and career

Born in Hanover, Germany, he was a radio operator and artillery observer in the Heer (the German Army) during World War II. By war's end, he held the rank of Leutnant der Reserve (reserve officer). He founded Der Spiegel in 1946/1947, which became (and still is) the most important investigative weekly magazine in Germany. During the Spiegel affair of 1961-62, he was arrested and jailed for 103 days, until Franz Josef Strauß was forced to resign as Minister of Defense under continuing protest from the public and the resignation of the FDP cabinet members. Augstein became a member of the West German parliament the Bundestag in 1972 for the Free Democrats for North Rhine-Westphalia, but resigned only a year later, to focus on his duties as a journalist. It has been speculated that he considered himself much more influential with his magazine than he ever was in the legislature.

An amateur historian, Augstein published several successful books, among them Preußens Friedrich und die Deutschen (1981, ISBN: 3-89190-106-2), Otto von Bismarck (1990, ISBN: 3-445-06012-6), and, about his lifetime opponent, Überlebensgroß Herr Strauß. Ein Spiegelbild (1983, ISBN: 3-499-33002-4). During the Historikerstreit of 1986-1987, Augstein was fierce in his criticism of Ernst Nolte and Andreas Hillgruber for creating what Augstein called the "New Auschwitz Lie". A controversial statement by Augstein was his description of Hillgruber as a "constitutional Nazi". Augstein called for Hillgruber to be fired from his post at the University of Cologne for being a "constitutional Nazi", and argued that there was no moral difference between Hillgruber and other "constitutional Nazis" like Hans Globke.

Since Stefan Aust became editor-in-chief of Der Spiegel, Augstein retreated more and more to private life, although he continued to publish commentaries regularly in the magazine almost until his death. For his lifetime achievements for peace, civil liberties and freedom of the press he was honoured with the title "Journalist of the century" in 2000 by 101 German journalists. Augstein was among the International Press Institute's 50 World Press Freedom Hero laureates in 2000 for his role in the Spiegel affair.

Augstein married five times: including Maria Carlsson, a German translator, from 1968 until their divorce in 1970. The couple had two children; Franziska Augstein and Jakob Augstein. His fifth marriage, solemnized in Tonder on 13 October 2000, was to his long-standing companion, the Hamburg art dealer Anna Maria Hürtgen.

He died on 7 November 2002 from pneumonia and was buried on the island of Sylt.

kids search engine
Rudolf Augstein Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.