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Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer$
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Volker R. Berghahn

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179636

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179636.001.0001

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Journalists and Freedom of Expression in the Twentieth Century

Journalists and Freedom of Expression in the Twentieth Century

(p.1) Introduction Journalists and Freedom of Expression in the Twentieth Century
Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer

Volker R. Berghahn

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter briefly reviews the lives of the three journalists under discussion—Marion Countess Dönhoff, Paul Sethe, and Hans Zehrer—and places them within the context of German history under the shadow of World War II. It shows that the three journalists were all anti-Nazis in the Weimar Republic who had been enjoying liberal press freedoms under Article 118 of the Constitution. According to this article, “every German” had “the right, within the limits of general laws, to express his opinions freely.” Their freedom became threatened when from 1930 onward they witnessed the rise of Nazism and then Adolf Hitler's seizure of power in January 1933. Sethe, Zehrer, and Dönhoff (though she was not yet a journalist) continued to keep their distance from the regime thereafter. Unlike millions of other Germans, they never became members of the Nazi Party, nor did they emigrate or join the early underground resistance. Instead, this chapter argues that these three journalists went into “inner emigration.”

Keywords:   Marion Countess Dönhoff, Paul Sethe, Hans Zehrer, press freedoms, Nazism, Adolf Hitler, German history, journalists, World War II

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