Ullstein was, without a doubt, one of the most important cultural and political actors in Weimar Germany. As the country’s biggest book publisher and the home of such influential publications as Vossische Zeitung, BZ am Mittag and Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, the company exerted a major influence on contemporary culture. A staunch proponent of liberal politics and the democratic system, it was viewed by many as one of the pillars of the Weimar Republic. Not surprisingly, it quickly became a target for Nazi attacks and was one of the first Jewish companies to be “Aryanized” after 1933.
Based on a major conference at the University of Mainz, his new book is a collection of essays on Ullstein’s history in the first half of the 20th century and covers, among other topics, the history of the Ullstein family and its Jewish roots, the company’s role in the establishment of a new visual culture and the position of the company in the Nazi war effort.