Alfred Hugenberg

From Kaiserreich


Alfred Hugenberg

Alfred Wilhelm Franz Maria Hugenberg (born on June, 19 1865 in Hanover, Germany) is a German press tycoon and politician. Hugenberg's media group controls the majority of German-written newspapers published internationally, and is one of the main advocates of Pan-Germanism.


Born in Hanover to Karl Hugenberg, a member of the Prussian parliament, Alfred Hugenberg studied law in Göttingen, Heidelberg, and Berlin, as well as economics in Strassburg. In 1891, Hugenberg co-founded the ultra-nationalist Alldeutscher Verband, eventually having a leading role in the German settlement of the Posen province. From January, 1 1908 he was member of the board of the Francfort mining and metal bank and from October, 1 1909 to 1918 he was chairman of the financial sector of Friedrich Krupp AG.

In 1916, Hugenberg began building the Hugenberg-Konzern (Hugenberg Group), a conglomeration of publishing, film, advertising and newspaper companies. At the beginning of the 1920s, Hugenberg exerted substantial influence on the right-wing press in Germany with his publishing firm Scherl House. A National Liberal in the Imperial period, in 1918, Hugenberg joined the Deutschnationale Volkspartei, or DNVP, founded by Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, which he soon represented in the Reichstag.

In 1923 he launched a campaign against the Hildenburg-Ludendorff dictatorship, exploiting the scandal of the suicide attempt of Prince Joachim (caused by his unhappy marriage and the failure of his short-lived reign as King of Ireland) and managed to turn the public opinion against the two was heroes. Thanks to this situation, the Kaiser was able to dismiss the two dictators and appoint Tirpitz as Reichskanzler in 1924.

Thanks to his role in the appointment of Tirpitz, Hugenberg's political and financial career took a different path. Serving as State Secretary for Information from 1924 to 1930, he quickly bought existing German newspapers back or created new ones in German-controlled countries, obviously helped by the government. The Hugenberg-Konzen soon became the official organ of the Tirpitz administration, advocating German domination and anti-Syndicalism, opponents to the German government even dubbing Hugenberg as a "conductor of propaganda". However, after Tirpitz died, Hugenberg eventually felt deceived by the German policies, and criticized in his newspapers the Imperial administration as its enemies. If he never officially rallied to the National-Populist GDVP, due to his Pan-Germanist past, many consider him as one of their fellow travelers.


Hugenberg married in 1900 Gertrud Adickes, daughter of the former mayor of Francfort and his second cousin. Together, they had a son and three daughters.

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