IAMCR 2017 – Impressions

A conference report by Mandy Tröger and Kerem Schamberger

July 16 til July 20, 2017, Cartagena, Colombia – right by the Caribbean sea. Some might think of beach and vacation, the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) thought of celebrating its 60th anniversary here. More than 1400 media researchers and scholars from around the world followed the invite for its annual conference. The theme: “Transforming Culture, Politics & Communication: New media, new territories, new discourses.” After thirteen years (2004, Porto Alegre, Brazil) IAMCR took place again in a Latin America country. Here our thoughts and impressions.

Sneak Preview

Here a glimpse into my dissertation project. It is an introduction into issues of press distribution in the German Democratic Republic in late 1989. It shows early market interest influence in media policy issues that had long lasting implications for the press transition in East Germany.

Please do not cite without permission.

I. Introduction

This paper is part of a larger project that aims to analyze the complexity of a transition press and media in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) during the Wende (or transition) period. It asks in how far the democratic potential that existed in the moment of revolutionary change in 1989/1990 found its institutional and/or political implementation in the post-socialist East German press. Contrary to current research, it does so, first, by answering these questions from the perspective of an expanding market economy. It, thus, secondly, traces early influences of East and West German political, social and economic interest groups in the moment of transition from November 1989 until German unification in October 1990 and thereafter. Core concern is the intersection between the normative role the press holds in a democratic society and that of a newly developing, or rather established expanding Western market economy.

For this, the project looks at three interconnected market strategies within a transitioning political frame: first, the opening of the GDR to (and sale of) West German print media; second, changing newspaper ownership structures and joint-ventures in the GDR; and, third, issues of distribution. While the latter might seem the least obvious, it is indeed the most crucial. Partly because the success of about one million sold copies of Springer's Bild in the GDR by June 1990 would not have been possible without the respective distribution strategies. More importantly, however, a free press depends on distribution, and issues of distribution became the battle ground over which issues of a “free press” were debated. It was estimated that a total revenue of about 1 billion DM annually lay in GDR distribution.1 With such revenue outlook, distribution also became the prime example for early influences of West German economic interest groups on GDR policy debates.

Based on qualitative methods and archival material, this paper focuses in particular on early influences of the major West German publishing houses Heinrich Bauer (Hamburg), Axel Springer Publishing House (Berlin) and Gruner+Jahr (Hamburg). Together (with Burda Publishers (Offenburg)), they held a 70 percent share in the total newspaper and magazine circulation in the Federal Republic in 1989.2 Called the “Big Four,” these companies used different strategies to influence media policies and to explore the emerging GDR press market early on. Only days after the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, with a still sovereign German Democratic Republic, Gruner+Jahr and Bauer (and slightly later Springer) presented early business concepts to reform GDR distribution. In them, each publisher aimed at a quasi-(Western) monopoly position in the GDR press and media system. These concepts had lasting influences on future policy proposals, not the least because they introduced ideas of an advertised-based (print) media in the GDR, and offered financial alternatives to a state controlled and financed press system.

These concepts eventually culminated the “press coup of the 'Big Four'” (“Presse-Coup der 'Vier Großen'”) - the joined building of a privately run press distribution system (Pressegrosso) in which all four publishers (after failed negotiations with GDR government institutions) built their own, privately run distribution by March 1990.3 Dividing the GDR into four zones, they distributed largely only their own publications, which caused an upheaval amongst small and medium-sized West German publishers as well as GDR publishers, ministries, reform and civic groups, and politicians. This practice was eventually stopped, but continued, on the one hand, because hard facts had been created and in a politically in-stable situation it proofed impossible to break an already established practice. One the other hand, the building of a local distribution system required time that was not available once German unification and all-German elections stood at the horizon. My overall project shows how the Big Four made use of a “legal vacuum” that had existed due to an inscrutable and extremely fast changing political-economic situation on all levels of society.

This paper gives first glimpses into the initial concepts, negotiations and lobbying strategies that eventually led up to the building of the Big Four distribution enterprise. These concepts stand in their own right. They give intriguing insights into how market strategies of major publishing houses interfered with, but also gave shape to media policies in a country in transition. It does so by relying exclusively on internal communication, protocols and records, and press material of those publishers. This paper, thus, presents the early “the behind the scenes” work that made for media policies still influencing current distribution structures in the Eastern part of Germany.

II. A Collapsing Monopoly

Postal Newspaper Distribution (Postzeitungsvertrieb, PZV) was part of the GDR Postal Service (Deutsche Post, DP), it held a monopoly position in the distribution of all GDR press products.4 The PZV delivered subscription newspapers and managed the individual sale at its 1200 newsstands across the country. In 1989/1990, about 25.000 employees (mainly women) worked for Postal Distribution. Different from the West German Grosso-system, the PZV bought the newspapers in advance, and sold them respectively, without any Remissionsrecht (the right to return unsold copies). It was a system based on high demands and short supply. Most GDR publications were subscription based, partly because it gave more certainty to get the paper one wanted.5

By the 1980s the infrastructure of the DP distribution network had become outdated and ineffective, and the DP faced a constant stream of complains of the GDR population (late deliveries, closed newsstand on Saturdays). A report from the Institute of Postal- and Telecommunication (Institut für Post- und Fernmeldewesen) from February 1988 compared the PZV to the distribution standards in the “capitalist economic territory” (“kapitalistischen Wirtschaftsgebiet”) as well as to those within the “socialist economic territory” (“sozialistischen Wirtschaftsgebiet“) and emphasized the urgent need for modern data-processing, and high-performance technology and logistics to meet current and future demands.6 Due to the generally bad economic situation of the GDR in the late 1980s, however, little investment happened, and the head of the PZV Germer, wrote an official report in 1987 underlining that the high number of recorded complains “is an expression of a growing dissatisfaction of the population with the continuously worsening supply situation here. The content of these complains shows that the population has no more sympathy for it.”7 With the political turn and the major political shifts also came tremendous challenges to Postal Distribution.

It was clear early on that it required a substantial reform. As early as November 1989, ideas on how to reorganize and/or brake the monopoly of GDR Postal distribution circulated within governmental bodies, and amongst East and West German publishers. The Media Act of the GDR People's Chamber from of February 5, 1990 eventually lifted the distribution monopoly of the East German Post, allowing for “publishers' own distribution/sales channels” and giving all natural and legal persons in the GDR “the right to publicize newspapers, magazines and other publications.”8 Distribution was now free to everyone. However, much had happened in between.

III. Early Policy Proposals

In November 1989, the political demand of the population for access to more and also West German print media was fully recognized by GDR officials. By early December, the Ministry of Culture (MfK) being in charge of the matter, drafted a policy document titled “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR.” While the title suggests that its main concern was the import of print media from the Federal Republic of Germany, its core concern was the reform of GDR press distribution. The second draft of this document made clear why by stating that with “the import and distribution of Western press products in the GDR come up completely new problems on many levels of society.”9 One core problem was the “reorganization of the distribution system … with the aim to significantly increase the transshipment capacities.”10 Here the goal was to substantiate the political monopoly of the German Post in distribution with an economic one. To guarantee equal distribution and access to retail sale for all print media, however, it needed “a mechanism that also needs to be accepted by any government. The securing of this non-partisan and democratic principle must be enshrined in new media laws of the GDR as a distribution system and, thus, obstructs all initiatives of private partial solutions for newspaper and magazine distribution.”11 On the one hand, the document underlined the direct link between press imports and a free press, and the need for a quick adaptation of the GDR press distribution system. It made clear that an equal distribution of print media was part of democratic media; thus matters of distribution were political issues that asked for a legislative foundation. On the other hand, the document asked for a comprehensive nation-wide distribution system that was accepted by the government, kept out private groups but maintained Postal monopoly.

The core problem were finances. According to Dietrich Germer, director of newspaper distribution at the Post Ministry, the annual profit in newspaper distribution in 1989 was about 54 million (GDR) Mark with an annual revenue of about 900 million (GDR) Mark.12 Still, with the worsened economic situation and a general lack of resources, GDR press distribution was to be expanded and improved “without additional Valuta-expenditures” (“ohne zusätzlichen Valutaaufwand”), that is without any hard currency spending.13 That meant, no convertible currency was to be spent for any expansion of distributing publications from West Germany.

III.I. 'Concept of Universal Import of Western Press Products to the GDR'

In December 1989, the “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR” was drafted under the leadership of the MfK and to be submitted to the GDR Council of Ministers. Four different drafts of this policy document exist in the national archives, either in the personal reference files of Rudolf Müller, Director of the Interior and Organization at the Ministry of Media Policy (part of the Press Office of the Chair of the Council of Ministers of the GDR) until March 1990, or the holding of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication of the GDR (MFP).14

According to the notes of Dietrich Germer, director of newspaper distribution at the MPF, the person in charge of drafting the proposal was Manfred Schuberth, Head of the Center for Foreign Cultural Relations (Zentrum für kulturelle Verbindungen mit dem Ausland) at the GDR Ministry of Culture of which Peter Lorf was the Deputy Minister.15 Though none of the documents contain a specific date, the progress in content and wording as well as references to events and actors give implications for their temporal order. Furthermore, since the earliest draft contains a reference to the month of December, and the earliest follow-up communication regarding the third draft is dated December 19, it is save to assume, that the first three drafts, including the eventual policy proposal, originate from before that date.16 The last draft of the proposal differs in that the MFP took over leadership. It names Dr. Hans-Jürgen Hammer as the person in charge of having drafted the proposal.17

All documents, similar in title, were drafted for the purpose of building a national press distribution joint-venture. While this was the common theme, the development in scope were based on specifics that led to significant differences in outcome. In particular the two final drafts focused on the purpose of a national joint-press distributor. Initially, the third draft was to be submitted to the Council of Ministers the week of December 18, the joint-venture distributor was to be built by February 1.18 The import of FRG print media was to start by Monday, February 5, 1990.19 Due to competing interests of different GDR institution and internal struggles (see below), the leadership over the respective negotiations as well as the draft of the document was moved to the MFP. By January 4, 1990, a draft was ready to be submitted as a policy proposal to the Council of Ministers.

In the following, three out of the four proposals are put into comparative analysis. An analysis of the forth document follows at its end. It will become clear that from the beginning West German publishers took a central position in this policy document. This analysis sets the basis for following the question why that was.

III.II. First Draft

The broadest of all drafts was the first version entitled “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR in the recognition of the commitment of Kob 3, the Helsinki Final Act and the Vienna follow-up conference.”20 The title suggests, the focus of this seven page draft lay on the political imperatives of the populations's access to a free press according to international agreements and the GDR's place within the international community. Attached to this document was also an additional two page document, outlining a financing concept for the import of Western press products.21 Though this document has never made it to the Council of Ministers, it is significant for several reasons. First, because it is the first of its kind (probably late November) but more so for the reform measures presented. Only weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the proposed means of reform and financing present a rigorous cut with socialist ideas of a “free press.” This document lay the foundation for all drafts to follow and its ideas and concepts reappeared in different ways for months to follow. It is, therefore, to be read and presented in detail.

The document was drafted “with the objective of allowing free access to Western print media in the GDR and ensuring a reasonable political and economic basic conditions for this process.”22 It was based on six fundamental premisses, which included the strengthening of Modrow's coalition government at the Round Table talks, as well as the “full implementation” (“[u]neingeschränkte Erfüllung”) of CSCE obligations. The third premise was to ensure “economically favorable conditions that preempt an additional hard currency burden on the state budget.”23 At the same time, it was, forth, to “prevent monopoly positions of individual Western media companies in the GDR”24 What was desired instead was, fifth, a “cooperation with economically strong and politically independent Western partners.”25 Finally, all of these measures were to serve the objective of “expanding the possibilities for a sovereign self-representation of the GDR in international mass media in the interest of strengthening state sovereignty.”26

For this, it needed the “building of a strong, market-oriented national press distribution system (NVP) as a joint-venture with a Western partner,” while existing distribution infrastructures were to be expanded and economized.27 The Post, keeping its monopoly rights over delivery and subscription services, was to make use of the capacities of GDR trade organizations and other GDR enterprises. The NPV, on the other hand, was to provide a country-wide supply of national and international print media. For this, it was to take over retail facilities of the Post (with the exception of Post offices).28 Prices were to be fixed with a “reasonable” (“angemessener”) profit margin, and the NPV was obliged to “distribute domestic and foreign press products on an equal basis regardless their political orientation.”29

A Außenhandelsbetrieb, that is a GDR enterprise specialized on international trade, working in the cultural sector was to be in charge of the import and export of domestic and international press products. This was to be done in cooperation with an international media corporation. The Außenhandelsbetrieb “will simultaneously be in charge of marketing the advertising rights for print media still to be established.”30 Print media from Western countries were to be imported according to fixed quotas “which are based exclusively on economic feasibility.”31 Existing import and export agreements were to be maintained and developed as long as they did not hinder better political and economic options.

III.II.a. Advertising as the main Source of Revenue

The hard currency needed for importing Western print media was to be “generated entirely through advertising revenue” mainly via selling advertising airtime on GDR public television to Western companies.32 The estimated revenue for the GDR economy was to increase according to the following scheme: While in the year 1990, 30 minutes of advertising per day were to generate a revenue of 60 million DM, two years later, with the doubling of airtime to 60 minutes per day also the revenue was expected to double to 120 million DM. The advertising slots were to be marketed by the same Western media company that was also to be the partner in the NPV joint-venture as well as co-partner in the enterprise for importing and exporting domestic and international press products. For its marketing activities, this company was to receive a provision of 15 percent.33

Fifty percent of the net revenue, that is thirty million DM in the first year, was to go DDR-FS (GDR television) for the development of its programming, the other fifty percent was to be “made available for the purchase of print media via the Außenhandelsbetrieb.”34 An attached document, entitled “Explanatory notes on the financing mechanism … ” gave more specifics on that point.35

It outlined the import-revenue ratio according to individual prices. Given a profit of 30 million DM a year with 52 annual weeks, the amount to be spent on import would be 600.000 DM per week. With an average import price of 0.50 DM for a newspaper and 1.50 DM for a magazine, a weekly import of about 300.000 newspapers (50.000 copies per day) and 300.000 magazines was possible. Retail prices in GDR Mark should be rounded up according to a 1:5 ratio based on the import price in DM. That would mean, a newspapers for 0.50 DM was to cost 2.5 Mark, a magazine for 1.75 DM was to cost 9 Mark).36 For an additional 25.000 to 30.000 DM, the amount of imported magazines could be further increased by about 100.000 copies through the sale of returned copies (Remittenden) for the same price in Mark. “By including the additional financing sources presented in the concept, the amount of copies available increases.”37 The document underlined the emphasis of the concept that all profits, also those of the distribution enterprise, were to be used for the purpose of importing West German print media.38 No references were given regarding to what these estimates were based on either relating to general concepts or specific estimates on prices and revenues.

While a closer analysis of this document is given below, three remarks deserve mentioning here. First, the proposal does point at the imperatives of a free press, of access to a variety of press products and its supply in sufficient amounts for a transitioning GDR. Media access and distribution were regarded deeply political acts, while a “free press” is being identified as one that is based on advertising revenue. It thus, secondly, introduces advertising as the main and sole source of revenue for financing the reforming of GDR press distribution. Third, though the draft makes it an explicit premise to avoid any monopoly position of a West German media company, the solutions presented give leeway to and, in fact, foster such position. According to the proposal the centralization of all print-media related activities within the NPV, such as import and export, the majority of distribution as well as advertising were to happen in cooperation with a sole partner from West Germany. It also listed the benefits that were to come along with one all-embracing distributor, which was, on the one hand, a 50 percent reduction of costs when importing print media. On the other hand it was to “secure the introduction and expansion of GDR television into international satellite and cable systems without any costs for the GDR.”39 The increasing numbers of viewer would also increase the advertising revenue. It was added that a further reduction of costs was to be achieved through the sale of day old returns.40

III.III. Third Draft

The first draft of proposal was reworked several times under great pressure, until its final version was discussed during a meeting between Germer and Schuberth on December 18, 1989. During the meeting, Schuberth made clear that the core content of the proposal was to eliminate existing quota and admission rules for press imports from West Germany and West Berlin. He also explained that it had furthermore been decided to aim for a “mandate for negotiations with the publishing group Gruner+Jahr … over the building of a joint-venture enterprise for press distribution for retail sale in the GDR.”41 Respectively, the second and third draft refer solely to G+J as the exclusive joint-venture partner for all planned cooperations. Thirdly, the proposal was to be submitted to the GDR Council of Ministers that same week.42

This final proposal was officially developed by Peter Lorf, Deputy Minister of Culture, and be submitted by Dr. Dietmar Keller (Minister of Culture), Wolfgang Meyer (Spokesman of the Government and Head of the Press Office ), Dr. Klaus Wolf (Minister of Posts and Telecommunication), Hans Bentzien (Director of DDR-FS) and Heinz Kamnitzer (President of the state bank).43 Similar to the initial draft, the reasons for the proposal were, next to CSCE obligations that:

“The free access to international print media for the people of the GDR can be an important signal for the population regarding the sincerity of the coalition government' intentions, and, thus, have a stabilizing influence on the situation in the GDR. This step can be taken fast and without any costs for the GDR”44

For this the Minister of Culture was to be authorized “to come to an agreement with the West German publishing house Gruner + Jahr that guarantees the extensive import of Western print media into the GDR on favorable terms. Import must start by Monday, February 5, 1990.”45 That was the day, the Media Act was to lift the postal monopoly over distribution.

The draft proposed the same measures as did the initial one, only this time with G+J as the sole Western partner. Accordingly, a national press distribution system (NPV) was to be built as a limited liability company in joint venture with G+J who was not to hold more than 49 percent. The share of the GDR was to be taken by GDR-owned enterprises, in particular the press distributor of the German Post. The state bank of the GDR was to secure its financing.46

While the monopoly of the Post for delivery and subscription services was to be maintained (a statement that was missing in the second draft), the NPV was to distribute all domestic and international print media that did not conflict with GDR constitutional principles on an equal basis, regardless their political orientation. It furthermore, with the support of G+J, was to promote the export of domestic press products. The GDR Außenhandelsbetrieb handling the import and export activities was Buchexport Leipzig.47

The NPV was also to be in charge of marketing of press advertising rights. Existing import/export agreements were to be kept and developed further.48 Necessary hard currency funds for the import of Western press products were to be generated entirely by providing advertising airtime for “Western companies/enterprises ” on GDR public television.49 The three year revenue scheme was the same one as in the initial draft (see above).50 The sale of advertising was to happen via an advertising agency affiliated with the NPV, G+J was to take over the marketing in the West and receive a 15 percent provision. As a hand written note on the final document stipulated, that meant during the first year, G+J was to receive 9 million DM of the advertising profit.51 And while in an earlier draft GDR television was to receive 50 percent of all net ad revenue, in the final one it had been cut down to 40 percent. The remaining 60 percent were to be spent for the acquisition and import of print media.52

IV. MFP's Response and Take Over

During the meeting of Germer and Schuberth on December 18, both talked over the final draft that was to be submitted to the Council of Ministers that same weeks. By the end of the meeting, Germer asked that the proposal was not be submitted to the Council this week but instead to allow the administration of the MFP to submit a “well-founded position on the plans.”53 One day later, Germer wrote a two page statement in which he gave a clear and unambiguous response to the proposed plans. Germer claimed, “the proposal cannot be accepted in its current form” because “there [are] no advantages for the German Post in the proposal.”54 Germer's main points of criticism: the national distributor “is, de facto, to be put 'next to the German Post''” going along with a transfer of monopoly rights from the Post onto the distributor for the entire retail sector.55 In his notes on the meeting with Schuberth, Germer gave an long list of further reasons why he did not approve of this concept: the joint venture was to be a limited liability company affiliated to the Ministry of Culture with a minority share of the German Post. “The monopoly of the state over retail sale distribution is to be transferred from the MFP to the company.”56 In his official statement he emphasized what he thought was the major flaw in this: “The cost-intensive subscription service is to remain with the DP while the low-cost distribution for retail sale … is to be managed by the new enterprise (also for print media from the GDR!).”57 While Germer's criticism did not touch upon the fact that G+J was to be the exclusive partner but was rather concerned with the shaky monopoly position of the German Post, it corresponded with two documents that very likely date from that same time, and circulated in the MFP.

One document gave details on the distribution “models of the MfK,” the other gave responding “basic principles of the MFP on the plans of the MfK” regarding press distribution.58 Both documents underlined the importance and the central position of the Post, and its non-negotiable stand on its monopoly rights over retail and subscription services.59 The two MfK distribution models, one being a limited liability company in joint venture with the DP, one without the DP, both envision G+J as the sole West German partner for the distribution of retail sale only. Neither was supported by the DP.

IV.I. Rejection of the Proposal by the MFP and a 'new' Proposal of the MFP

On December 20, 1989, a letter was drafted in the Ministry for Postal and Telecommunication (MFP) to be sent in slightly different versions to Dr. Keller (Minister of Culture), Wolfgang Meyer (Spokesman of the Government and Head of the Press Office), and Dr. Beil (Minister for Foreign Trade). In the letter, the MFP rejected the “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR” and the idea of founding a distribution company that contained “the complete divestment of press distribution for the retail sector from the German Post.”60 According to Germer, during a meeting on December 18, the representative of the MfK, had not given him the full picture.61 He underlined, that any reorganization of distribution was only possible with the German Post, which, according to the law, was in charge of subscription and retail distribution.62 Adapting the language of the earlier mentioned “basic principles of the MFP on the plans of the MfK,” Germer stated that both were integral parts of a complex system of postal distribution that included the transport, handling, processing and distribution of press material, and could only be realized efficiently in “close cooperation” (“enger Verzahnung”) with the very same.63

In response to the proposal, the MFP now aimed at “direct negotiations with the distribution company Gruner and Jahr” on the reorganization of GDR distribution.64 Assigning the senior head of the Department of Post and Press Operations and Transport (Hauptabteilung Betrieb und Verkehr des Post- und Zeitungswesens), Heinz Schunke, as the representative for the MPF for further negotiations, Wolf asked the other ministries to do the same.65 A day later, Beil sent Norbert Mahn as a representative for Ministry of Foreign Trade, and Keller re-assigned Manfred Schuberth, Head of the Center for Foreign Cultural Relations, for further negotiations. From that point on, the MPF was the central GDR institution that took charge of negotiations, and by January 4, 1990, it had its own “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR” drafted and ready to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.66 In it, again, Gruner + Jahr was the sole West German partner for rebuilding GDR press distribution.

V. Early Lobbying Work of Gruner + Jahr, and Bauer

The central role of Gruner + Jahr in these first GDR policy drafts on the import and distribution of West German press, as well as any alternatives presented to it, might seem surprising. All drafts of the proposal blurred the lines between media outlets, content, financing, technology, facilities, printing and editorial offices, approaching media as one apparatus. One could argue this all-inclusive centralist approach owed much to the centralist media system in the GDR. While it can be expected that the given infrastructures and financing mechanism of a state media system did influence certain measures proposed in these proposals, there is sufficient evidence that all drafts were based, in fact, on an initial proposal provided by G+J.

Already on November 29, chief executive of Gruner+Jahr, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, had written a letter to then Prime Minister Hans Modrow, explaining that “in the course of increasing economic cooperations between both German states we are interested cooperations, joint-ventures or independent economic activities in the GDR,” in particular the founding of new publications.67 Talks had been held already with the major of Dresden, Wolfgang Berghofer, but Schulte-Hillen asked for further contacts. Attached to this letter was also the very first draft of the “Concept on the universal import of Western press products to the GDR.”68

V.I. Gruner+Jahr's Early Concept

Entitled “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR in the recognition of the commitment of Kob 3, the Helsinki Final Act and the Vienna follow-up conference,” the proposal carried the same name as the first GDR policy document. Its content, however, differed in the absence of political imperatives, and brought out the central role of G+J for the building of a free press distribution. While the GDR policy document initially referred to the “building of a strong, market-oriented national press distribution system (NVP) as a joint-venture with a Western partner,” this proposal focused entirely on G+J being this partner.69 It stated, “the NPV will be founded as a joint venture of one or several partners in the German Democratic Republic and the Gruner+Jahr publishing house. The partners in the German Democratic Republic and the Gruner+Jahr publishing house hold each 50 percent of the shares of this joint venture” which was to be financed by a reasonable profit margin.70 Containing a similar order of points and employing a similar language as the policy document, G+J's proposal aimed for the provision of a country-wide supply with domestic and international press products via a joint venture NVP. Different from the first and similar to the later policy proposals, however, this was to be done with the exception of subscription services which were to remain with the Post. For its services, the joint venture was to make use of distribution and retail facilities of the Post.71 This joint venture was also to handle the export of GDR publications for hard currency.

Just as in the initial policy document, G+J stated that the import and distribution of international publications were to be handled by an Außenhandelsbetrieb (an enterprise specialized on international trade) but now with a fifty percent share holding of G+J.72 Absent in the policy document, G+J estimated that press products could be purchased for half the “foreign retail price” (“ausländischen Endverbraucherpreises”) and pointed out: “Within the scope of this package deal, the Gruner+Jahr publishing house is willing to take into serious consideration making its products available for a price of less than 50 percent.”73 While remittees had remained only a side note in the policy proposal, G+J put particular emphasis on the joint-venture coordinating the import and distribution of foreign remaindered publications for an interim period via the Außenhandelsbetrieb. The estimated organization and transportation costs of about 0,20 DM per copy were the same in both proposals. The publishing house added: “Gruner+Jahr guarantees for this price and for a volume still to be negotiated the supply of returned copies of our publications.”74 G+J was to sell its unsold copies to the GDR.

With great similarity in phrasing, the proposal of G+J just as the policy draft pointed out that the NPV must “give all domestic and foreign press products equal access to its distribution system.”75 It differed in its explicit support for the exclusive position of the NPV being the sole organization in charge of the tasks above. According to G+J only “such a universal distribution system with country-wide price fixing and maintenance by the publishers as well as reasonable profit margins is the optimal guarantee for a universal supply with press products regardless their political orientation.”76 This centralist approach made G+J a core institution on each and every level of media import and export and distribution in the GDR

Possibilities in media production were added by G+J by proposing specific projects for possible future cooperations, such as the founding of an independent daily newspapers with one or more GDR partners and/or the founding of a magazine on the same conditions. In both instances, journalists and editors from the GDR were to be employed, and more such initiatives were desirable. Further, for developing necessary printing capacities, G+J envisioned a joint venture in the printing sector and the building of printing plants. For this, the GDR partner was to contribute the facilities and property while G+J was to provide the machinery, know how and capital.77 While this part was missing in the policy draft, the financial estimates underlying these plans, though less detailed, were the same in numbers, language and reasoning. In the G+J proposal they were listed under the heading “Provision of needed hard currency for the financing of the package deal / comprehensive package and risk protection.”78 It was suggested that with GDR public television broadcasting a limited amount of advertising for Western companies the needed hard currency could be earned. This meant, 30 minutes of advertising per day in the first year, 40 minutes per day in the second, and 60 minutes per day in 1992. G+J was to take over the marketing of advertising airtime for a provision of 15 percent, and it would do so with the exclusive marketing rights. Eventually, though the concept had been submitted to Modrow on the initiative of G+J, it was stated that its participation was still conditioned on the approval of the board of director of Gruner+Jahr.79

V.II. Pushing the G+J's Concept

On December 13, Dr. Karl Heinz Arnold, Modrow's personal assistant responded to Schulte-Hillen's letter from November 29.80 Stating that the “importance of your company and its integrity are well know also in the GDR,” Arnold made clear that “already from that point of view, your intentions as outlined are more interesting.”81 “As far as can be made out in the current situation, most likely certain measures of cooperation with existing or 'revivable' GDR media are eligible/can be considered.”82 Arnold had his own ideas and gave specific examples, such as the magazine Für Dich, which was to soon come out with a new name and concept and could fill a market gap also in the FRG, or the reissuing of the magazine Die Wirtschaft. Joint-ventures, on the other hand, were “generally useful” (“[g]enerell sinnvoll”) if “the respective sales revenue in the FRG made the import of additional paper … financially feasible.”83 For further negotiations, Arnold handed the issue over to Wolfgang Meyer, Head of the Press Office.

In-between the writing of the letter of Gerd Schullte-Hillen (November 29, 1989) and Arnolds response (December 13, 1989) lay about two weeks. During this time, G+J's proposal had been modified and worked on by Manfred Schuberth, Head of the Center for Foreign Cultural Relations, in charge of drafting the proposal. When he met with Germer on December 18 to talk over the final draft (see above), Germer noted that during the discussion it “became obvious that for weeks now Schuberth has dealt with the proposal of G+J and wants to follow through with it in all circumstances / come what may.”84 During the meeting, Schuberth presented what he thought were the benefits of the package deal. To him, it ensured maximum benefits for the intake of hard currency as well as GDR currency serving the overarching goal of financing cultural objectives of the Ministry of Culture, such as press imports.85 Schuberth's argument was similar to what had been stated in the second policy draft that “the advantage of the project finance lies in the opportunity to import print media into the GDR without causing any costs to the GDR balance of payment.”86 In this draft, however, G+J had also been held accountable for its promised profits in that it stipulated “Gruner+Jahr guarantees the level of volume and revenue given above.”87 Though this part was erased from the third version (and then would re-appear in the final proposal), it were the estimates, language and calculations introduced initially by G+J that remained the base-line for the initial GDR policy proposals as well as for further financial concepts on Western press distribution in the GDR.

VI. Heinrich Bauer Publishers

And though G+J was the central publisher in these proposals, it was not the only publisher with such early ambitions. In fact, the reason for choosing G+J was partly that “the proposed partner Gruner and Jahr is the only offerer who guarantees a comprehensive project to finance the NPV.”88 By December 7 several offers of West German publishers and interest groups had been made and they came up during a meeting of various GDR ministries on the import and export of press products at the Office for Press and Information Service. During the meeting, “different cooperation-, joint venture- and other special offers of western media corporations to GDR enterprises [came up for discussion] that left the circle of attendees …. 'strongly impressed.'”89 It were in particular the offers of G+J and Heinrich Bauer publishers that were regarded to be most attractive.90 In fact, during the meeting on December 7, Bauer was introduced as the West German partner in negotiation with the GDR Post over a national distribution joint venture for which the Post would provide facilities, and Bauer would provide technology.91

V.I. Bauer's Concept

Bauer had had a detailed offer regarding the distribution of press products in the GDR ready by November 17, 1989, only eight days after the fall of the Berlin Wall.92 It is not clear whether this proposal had been sent right away or if it was sent after a meeting with GDR representatives early December. Regardless the timing, Gerd Bolls, Bauer CEO, and management member Günther Schöttler, and others, had an “offer of the publishing house Bauer for press distribution for the territory of the GDR” ready by November 17, 1989.93 In this document, Bauer presented itself as a strong and leading distribution company “especially involved in distribution.”94 Similar to G+J, Bauer envisioned a joint venture with a GDR partner for press distribution for GDR publications, as well as “imported publications, especially from the FRG,” with three to five locations for its distribution network.95 The GDR side was bring in property, building facilities and personnel while Bauer was to contribute know-how, computer systems and operating supplies.96 Part of the proposal was an overview of the press market in the FRG, as well as “principles ideas for a distribution system in the GDR to be newly established.”97 Bauer admitted that because of “a lack in detailed knowlegde” (“geringer Detailkenntnisse”) this was only an exemplary concept, and required experts from the GDR to be elaborated in more detail. The same was true “for the selection of FRG publications to be sold that would need to be talked about in more detail. Our approach only considers mass publications and major special interest magazines,” a selection that could be extended without problems.98 To the Post, the Bauer deal entailed a way “out of the problems in retail sale (demand for a 5-day week for deliverers, missing newsstand personnel), since any additional domestic distribution would otherwise not be possible.”99 And while this offer was similar to G+J, an advantage of Bauer: its prior business relations with the GDR. The publisher had, in cooperation with the Art and Antiques Ltd. (Kunst und Antiquitäten GmbH), for about a year distributed four of its publications via subscription to the GDR. It now aimed to expand the product range by ten publications.100

V.II. Early Lobby Work

During a meeting on November 24, 1989, Bauer discussed different options for business activities and joint projects in the GDR. Present at the meeting were A.F. Bauer and a Mr. Blank for Heinrich Bauer publishers, Manfred Schuberth, as well as representatives of Art and Antiques Ltd.101 Bauer believed that with the expansion of its publication range imported to the GDR the base was set for “further future perspectives for a close cooperation with your ministry, public authorities, institutions and companies in the GDR will open up.”102 With Bauer being “Europe's biggest magazine publisher,” one idea for such cooperation was the distribution of up to 300.000 copies of the magazine Neue Mode for a retail price in GDR currency via the GDR Postal Distribution.103 This was to be the trial for a joint publication project. The publisher underlined, however, that it was interested in a “cooperation on the widest possible scale in the different sectors in publishing (editing, distribution and sales, marketing etc.),” and expressed its willingness for further in-depth negotiations to bring about specific results.104

About a week after the meeting between Heinrich Bauer publishers, on November 30, Manfred Schuberth wrote a letter to Wolfgang Meyer giving details on the Bauer deal. Schuberth pointed to the “complexity of the entire issue” having to negotiate political imperatives of media reform and the economic necessities coming along with it.105 Schuberth explained that “substantial efforts in expanding commercial work abroad” have been made and business connections with “renown foreign publishing groups, such as Bauer publishers” had been kept for some time.106 “This is to allow – where it makes sense – for political and economic interests … to be taken up purposefully and connected with one another in the field of international cultural relations,” for the benefit of the GDR.107

This remark of Schuberth might be understood as a response to the way press matters were being discussed amongst East German institutions and ministries. While there was a general emphasis on the necessity of political decision making and policy guidelines for a free and more diverse press, discussions on the economic necessities were not addresses in detail, partly because of lacking ressources. This is where West German publishers stepped in. During the meeting on December 7, for instance, after the political talk was over, representatives of the executive board of Heinrich Bauer Publishers met with Hans-Jürgen Hammer, Deputy Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, Heinrich and Germer (PZV), to discuss the proposal of Bauer.108

V.II.a. Bauer's Proposal on December 7

This meeting on December 7 took place between Irion and Gums (according to the notes of Hammer representatives of Bauer Publishers, according to a letter of Bauer, representatives of the Public Relations agency Salaction) and the GDR representatives Hammer, Heinrich and Germer. Bauer made again an offer for the “building of a joint enterprise … for the press distribution in the GDR” for which it would provide material assistance, technology and management know how, while the Post was to contribute its facilities and properties, as well as the personnel.109 While the import of West German publications was to happen in GDR currency, Bauer offered a trade margin of forty percent of the administered retail price (EVP). The remaining sixty percent, going to Bauer, were to be paid onto an account of a GDR credit institute.110 According to an internal note of Hammer:

“The publisher expects a prospective annual revenue of about 250 million Mark (the current press revenue of the PZV is about 750 million Mark) by exporting about 3.5 million copies of 72 publications on a weekly basis into the GDR.”111

This offer was forwarded to the MFP with a request for further examination. Internally, however, suggestions were made to give approval to the Bauer offer. Based on current costs, the given trade margin promised sufficient revenue, and it was estimated that “the market of the GDR” was “receptive for the import in the estimated scale.”112 The distribution system was to do retail distribution only. To reach the estimated 3.5 million copies per week, however, it should be increased gradually depending on the material and personnel capacities.

The day after the meeting, Günther Schöttler from the Bauer management sent a letter to Hans-Jürgen Hammer, thanking him for the meeting the prior day. Inviting Germer for a tour through the publishing house's production and marketing/distribution department to talk over details for a cooperation with the Ministry.113 Attached also the proposal from November 17 to the MFP (see above). It underlined that any distribution network for retail sale required parallel efforts of expand retail locations.114

According to Hammer who was generally in favor of the deal, it required specific and concrete steps to make it come about. First, the inquiry of Bauer on the import of the its fashion magazine Neue Mode (estimated GDR circulation of 300.000 copies starting in January 1990) needed to be decided positively, preferably by December 12.115 It furthermore needed principle decisions regarding the transfer of import and distribution rights of Bauer publications to the German Post, and the opening of an account for Bauer (both by December 31, 1989). It also needed a clear directive for further negotiations with Bauer regarding the founding of a joint venture with Bauer for press distribution.116

In spite of lobbying efforts by Bauer and generally favorably conditions, the deal fell through. Hammer, after having consulted with the Minister of Operation and Traffic, added handwritten notes on December 11, noting that no premature talks should be led (“keine voreiligen Verhandlungen anstreben!”); for now there should also be no import of printing matter. Instead, common positions should be elaborated first.117 Bauer's request to import Neue Mode was eventually rejected on December 12 with reference to the unclear legal condition.118

In spite of Bauer's detailed effort, in the end, G+J had the better concept and stronger ties to GDR insitutions. Even Germer, who was generally not in favor of the G+J proposal stated that “in some points, it still is clearly economically more feasible than the offer of Heinrich Bauer publishers.”119 G+J took the lead.

VI.Springer: The Late Comer

The same day the Ministry for Post and Telecommunication rejected the “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR," Peter Tamm, chair of the board at the Axel Springer AG, wrote to Hans Modrow.120 Similar to Gruner + Jahr's Gerd Schulte-Hillen three weeks earlier, Tamm explained that “the introduced reforms” in the GDR gave reason “to offer advice and support for the advancement of existing [GDR] media as well as the establishment of new newspapers and magazines,” the goal was “to very soon come to a concrete collaboration.”121

Attached was an eight-page document entitled “Cooperations in the Media Sector between Institutions of the German Democratic Republic and Companies in the Federal Republic of Germany” that, according to Tamm, listed essential projects that should be given priority for any such efforts.122 And though the title implied the involvement of various companies on the West GErman side, it focused on Springer as the sole potential partner. Tamm explained, not only did Springer possess in-depth experiences in all segments of national and international media markets and had decidedly helped build the West German press, but, it also offered knowledge transfer “as well as the direct corporate commitment in joint ventures and projects.”123 Springer was willing to be the sole shareholder in any such joint ventures but, if necessary, was also willing to cooperate with other West German partners. Tamm closed by stating: “Needless to say, we respect the sovereignty of media in your country and, therefore, see our responsibilities mainly in a collaborative partnership in the spirit of the CSCE agreements,” before asking for the permission of opening an editorial office in East Berlin and short notice talks “in order to soon generate specific results”124 All of these points were included in the attached proposal. Similar to the proposal introduced by G+J, the concept of Springer deserves a detailed analysis to bring to the fore its all-encompassing approach, aiming for a quasi monopolistic role of Springer on the GDR media market.

VI.I. The Springer Proposal

Underlining the political dimensions of media in the GDR and the country's current development towards complying with international agreements (CSCE), the goal according to Springer must be “to allow all political groups [in the GDR] the access to media.”125 For this and the challenges coming along with it, Axel Springer Publishers offered its partnership for it was “qualified for such partnerships like no other West German publisher.”126 Underlining its various activities and expertise in the national and local press sector, in foreign print media markets, in the broadcasting sector, as well as in distribution, the proposal deals with the GDR media. Different from G+J and Bauer, Springer claimed:

“We believe the biggest problem currently lies with the provision of adequate financial resources and foreign currency for developing further existing activities, and for starting of new ones. This is why for the time being the priority must be to mainly promote those projects that directly lead to a foreign currency intake for the German Democratic Republic.”127

This revenue could then be used for new investments in the GDR, such as the import of press products.

Springer put particular emphasis on the financial aspect, and on the material difficulties in the GDR. Thus, only “those kinds of projects should be supported that lead to an increase in efficiency and productivity in the media sector without requiring foreign currency.”128 The proposal framed several such projects, giving propositions on the broadcasting sector, print media, and press distribution. Springer acknowledged, however, that the development of any specifics “requires the setting of media policy priorities through the German Democratic Republic.”129 The basic assumption of Springer was that advertising served as the central source of financing. Respectively, central concern of the proposal was the introduction of advertising and marketing services to all media related enterprises for the purpose of revenue intake. The proposed projects were to be financed by, first, the sale of advertising time, second, by the sale of advertising space in GDR print media to West German clients, third, the marketing of TV productions and, fourth, the sale of printing and other service.130

Relating to broadcasting it was suggested that by increasing the amount of advertising time on GDR television and radio, air time could me marketed to Western advertising agencies. Depending on the development of the range of consumer goods and the purchasing power in the GDR, “under favorable conditions, sales revenue in the order of more than 200 million DM is possible.”131 Airtime marketing was to be organized by a joint venture between Springer Publishers and a GDR partner or, alternatively, could be handled by the Axel Springers marketing department for a standard commission of fifteen percent.132 Springer also envisioned a joint venture for the productions of television shows for the GDR and the FRG market. Holding a majority share in CAPITOL, a company specialized in the acquisition and sale of film and TV series rights, Springer offered the company's services for acquiring international television rights for the GDR and marketing GDR products internationally in return.133

As for print media, Springer offered consulting assistance for developing GDR newspapers and magazines in particular with regard to the introduction of electronic text and ad booking systems. Springer was also willing to establish new local and national newspapers and magazine (i.e. TV guides, supplements, trade journals) in joint ventures with GDR partners. These project were to be financed through the gradual expansion of advertising in GDR print media. “For this, West German advertising clients can be solicited via the advertising sales network of Axel Springer Publishers.”134 In addition, Springer offered its support in modernizing printing technology and printing plants (possibly through a joint venture), and was also willing to use it competency being “one of the largest purchasers of paper for improving the supply with raw materials to the extent possible.”135 In order to “achieve direct solutions for the German Democratic Republic in the short term,” the publisher was furthermore willing “to provide assistance in the technical production of printing products in its own printing plants to the extent possible.”136 This was an immediate measure. In the long run, GDR newspaper and magazines could be distributed and marketed in the Federal Republic on favorable terms via the Axel Springer sales network. In return, West German publications could be imported into the GDR via a joint-venture company. “For this, Axel Springer Publishers is willing to offer its newspapers and magazines,” on an interim basis unsold copies of magazines such as Journal für die Frau, Hobby, Tennis Magazine, Auto-Bild, Sport-Bild.137

For press distribution, Springer, just like G+J and Bauer, suggested a joint venture. While GDR investment partners could be the German Post and/or other suitable trade and distribution enterprises, “investment partner on West German side can be Axel Springer Publishers alone or also in cooperation with other major publishers.”138 It was made clear: “The distribution joint venture must guarantee the same market entry criteria for all legally permitted domestic and international newspapers and magazines. This happens on the basis of a reasonable trade margin by a nation wide price fixing.”139 Springer furthermore offered its training facilities and business premises for education and training programs of journalists, publisher trainee etc., and was willing to train aspiring GDR journalists in its own editorial offices. It was to make available advisory teams and offer know how in computer and organizational systems. Other possible areas of cooperation included the book market (via Ullstein), medical journals (via the trade journal group Medical Tribune) and market research.140

Similar to earlier proposals of G+J and Bauer, Springer reasoned with a free press and CSCE agreements, had an all-inclusive and comprehensive approach reforming the GDR media mainly by financing its efforts through advertising based revenue. Similar to the other publishers, also Springer framed its own efforts as political imperatives not as economically beneficial, such as taking over printing orders from GDR publishers, marketing advertising time, marketing GDR print media in the FRG etc. Ad-hoc and short term measurements are presented as being in the service of reform.

VII. Conclusion

Springer had sent its proposal the same day the Minister of Postal and Telecommunication had drafted a letter to reject the G+J based “Concept of universal import of Western press products into the GDR” (see above). In spite of this initial setback, Gruner+Jahr's concept still circulated in different ministries, which eventually culminated in a proposal for the Council of Ministers that was later signed off by all respective offices on January 4, 1990. Also here, G+J was the sole West German partner.

In the meantime, however, the situation had changed and also this last proposal was rejected. The MfK as well as the MPF had been approached by various West German interests groups that were interested in cooperating in the GDR print media sector, offers had been made by different major publishing houses for reorganizing GDR distribution and sale, and an informal exchange of print media between both German states had become lived reality. Also, in response to the rejected policy proposal, Wolf had suggested to reorganize the group in charge of further negotiations, and had assigned the senior head of the Department of Post and Press Operations and Transport (Hauptabteilung Betrieb und Verkehr des Post- und Zeitungswesens), Heinz Schunke, as the representative for the MPF.141 He was joined by Norbert Mahn (Ministry of Foreign Trade) and the re-assigned Manfred Schuberth (Head of the Center for Foreign Cultural Relations). With the upcoming new round of negotiations, past concepts and ideas that had partly been introduced by the publishing houses, had left their impressions, so that arguments and ideas initially proposed by them, were now presented as “native” to policy makers in the GDR. Core concern: the building of a joint venture distribution company based on advertising revenue.

Between January 5 and January 11, 1990, separate meetings were held between the GDR Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication (MPF) and the executive directors of G+J, Axel Springer, Bauer and Burda over importing Western press products and a joint venture for their distribution in the GDR. These meetings to were to culminate in the joined effort of the Big Four publishers with the GDR Post to build a joint-venture press distribution.

In closer analysis two issues need to be separated. First, the content of the policy documents and, second, the consequences of such early lobbying influence of West German media confrontations. The first draft of the policy document can be taken as a written manifestation for the aims and priorities of the GDR government during early transition period. Though it was never presented to the Council of Ministers and eventually vanished in the depths of the Press Office of the Chair of the Council of Ministers of the GDR, the proclaimed goals in the document are of great significance. They stand for broader policy aims relating to a free press of the coalition government a month after the falling of the Berlin Wall. On the other hand, the document stands symbolic for the very early lobbying influence of Western media groups in media policy matters.

According to federal law, all publishers' concepts would have been deemed illegal and absurd. Each proposal aimed at a monopoly position of the respective publisher not simply in matters of distribution but in all media related sectors in the GDR. All blurred the lines between media outlets, content, financing, technology, facilities, printing and editorial offices, approaching media as one apparatus. And while media and press were centralized in the GDR, these concepts introduced an idea of a “free press” that was inherently rooted in Western democracies. By doing so, they disregarded any political, economic and ideological implications of introducing advertising as the major source of financing. And to GDR policy makers, problems lay in distribution rather than in sovereignty or long-term consequences of such model for a still sovereign state.142

At this point in time it is impossible to tell whether Schuberth or any other official involved in drafting these proposals gave their reasons only officially while their motivations were different. As with Schuberth, if he truly believed the proposal of G+J to accomplish the proposed goals, the proposal by G+J fit right into the hybrid mindset between familiar socialist centralist media structures disguising monopoly capitalist corporate strategies.

And while Germer's critique of this monopoly position was based on his fear of the German Post losing its exclusive rights to the same extend the NVP was receiving its separate competencies, there were also other voices putting different emphases. In a letter that aimed at “proposing solutions for the import and distribution of press products from the FRG” a point yet unmentioned was made clear: “The principle for all decisions must be to satisfy the needs of the population of the GDR for press products primarily with domestic press products. The import of press products can only serve the role of adding information.”143 This, however, was not the intent of the major publishing houses, such as Bauer that aimed at selling mass publications from the Federal Republic.

The two policy proposal, however, give evidence for the close connection between importing West German print media, distributions issues and joint-ventures between GDR and West German publishers, as well as the very early impact of West German lobbying activities. They shows the complex interactions between political and economic objectives in the print media sector in the GDR, and prove that none of the above can and should be seen as a distinct political or economic concern.

More generally, the research findings presented in this paper show clearly that nothing that happened in the GDR during and after the Wende happened in isolation, nor was it a decisively East German problem. Instead East Germany became the battle ground for various interests groups, East and West, but with clear and all-overshadowing interests of West German political and economic groups. These groups generally expanded and continued their long-established interests and disputes onto the newly opened political arena and economic market. Examples are manifold. Presented in this paper are those of the major West German publishing houses (Großverlage) and the German Post (GDR). Aiming for power at different levels, all of them had an interest in influencing media and its policies or, in simply circumventing them, creating hard facts barely changeable once put into place.

 

Sources

All archival material presented in this paper was retrieved from the Bundesarchiv (BArch) in Berlin and Koblenz, Germany.

1Stern und Geo für Suhl und Gera. Vier westdeutsche Verlage wollen ein Vertriebssystem in der DDR aufbauen, Andreas Kühner, Horizont, January 26, 1990, attachment V to letter, Thomas Ganske, Jahreszeitenverlag et. al. an Runden Tisch, Hamburg, February 3, 1990, BArch DA3/34.

2Deutsche Presse Agentur, “Hintergrund. Pressemarkt der DDR – Dezember 1989 bis Juli 1990,” August 10, 1990, pp. 1-17, p. 2, BArch DC9/1050.

3Deutsche Presse Agentur, “Hintergrund. Pressemarkt der DDR – Dezember 1989 bis Juli 1990,” August 10, 1990, pp. 1-17, p. 4, BArch DC9/1050.

4Note: BArch DC9/1052 contains extensive documentation on the press distribution in the GDR.

5Protocol, Postal Minister Wolf, Protokoll Runder Tisch, February 12, 1990, p. 7, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

6Report, Institut für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, Stellvertreter des Leiters für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, Die Aufgaben des IPF auf dem Gebiet des Postzeitungsvertriebs, Berlin, February 1988, BArch DM302/4969.

7“ist ein Audruck der wachsenden Unzufriedenheit der Bevölkerung mit der sich ständig verschlechternden Versorgungssituation auf dem Gebiet. Aus dem Inhalt der Eingaben ist erkennbar, daß die Bevölkerung für diese Entwicklung keinerlei Verständnis mehr aufbringt.” Internal document, Eingabeanalyse II. Quartal 1987, PZV/ Germer, July 8, 1987, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

8“Eigenvertrieb durch den Herausgeber … Das Recht zur Herausgabe von Zeitungen, Zeitschriften und anderen Publikationen” cited in Deutsche Presse Agentur, “Hintergrund. Pressemarkt der DDR – Dezember 1989 bis Juli 1990,” August 10, 1990, pp. 1-17, p. 5, BArch DC9/1050.

9“Mit einer Grundsatzentscheidung für den Import und Vertrieb westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR entstehen völlig neue Problemstellungen für viele Bereiche unserer Gesellschaft.” Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

10“Neuorganisierung des VE Vertriebssystems ... mit dem Ziel die Umschlagskapazitäten wesentlich zu erweitern.” Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

11Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

12Letter, Dietrich Germer (Director), Stellungnahme zur Ministerratsvorlage „Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR“, December 19, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

13Beratungsmaterial, Grundsätze für den Import und den Vertrieb von Presseerzeugnissen aus der BRD und Berlin (West) in der DDR, n.d. [January 11, 1990?], p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3). Copy also available in BArch DC9/1052.

14Policy draft IV, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [January 4, 1990], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3). Note: Though no explicit date is given on the document, the revision date of the different ministries is January 4, 1990. Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3); Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., BArch DC9/1052, note: a copy of this version is also available in BArch DM3/21121 (2/3); Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., BArch DC9/1052.

15Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

16Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3); Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., BArch DC9/1052; Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., BArch DC9/1052.

17Policy draft IV, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [January 4, 1990], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

18Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, pp. 1-3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3)

19Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

20Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., BArch DC9/1052.

21Explanatory notes, Erläuterungen eines Finanzierungsmechanismus für den Zeitschriften-Import entsprechend der Konzeption …., Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., Attachment to policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., BArch DC9/1052.

22“Mit dem Ziel der Gewährleistung des freien Zugangs westlicher Print-Medien in der DDR und der Sicherung politisch und ökonomisch tragbarer Rahmenbedingungen für diesen Prozeß.” Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., p. 1, BArch DC9/1052.

23“Sicherung ökonomisch vorteilhafter gewinnorientierter Rahmenbedingungen, die eine zusätzliche valutaseitige Belastung des Staatshaushaltes ausschließt.” Ibid.

24“Verhinderung der Monopolisierung von Positionen einzelner westlicher Medienkonzerne in der DDR.” Ibid.

25“Zusammenarbeit mit wirtschaftlich leistungsfähigen und politisch unabhängigen westlichen Kooperationspartnern.” Ibid.

26“Erweiterung der Möglichkeiten zur souveränen Selbstdarstellung der DDR in den internationalen Massenmedien im Sinne der Stärkung der Eigenstaatlichkeit.” Ibid.

27“Gründung eines leistungsstarken am DDR-Markt orientierten nationalen Pressevertriebssystems (NPV) als Gemeinschaftsunternehmen mit einem westlichen Partner.” Ibid, p. 2.

28The exact quote: “Gewährleistung einer flächendeckenden Versorgung mit nationalen und internationalen Print-Medienerzeugnissen durch das Gemeinschaftsunternehmen bei Übernahme der Verkaufseinrichtungen (außer Postämter) der Deutschen Post und Nutzung der Handelsorganisationen sowie anderer Einrichtungen der DDR.” Ibid.

29“in- und ausländischen Presseerzeugnisse gleichberechtigt zu vertreiben, unabhängig von ihrer politischen Ausrichtung.” Ibid.

30“wird gleichzeitig zur Vermarktung von Werberechten für die einzuführenden Print-Medien beauftragt.” Ibid, p. 3.

31“die sich ausschließlich an der ökonomischen Realisierbarkeit orientieren.” Ibid.

32“vollständig aus Werbeeinnahmen erwirtschaftet.” Ibid.

33Ibid, p. 4.

34“für den Kauf der Print-Medien über den Außenhandelsbetrieb zur Verfügung gestellt.” Ibid.

35Explanatory notes, Erläuterungen eines Finanzierungsmechanismus für den Zeitschriften-Import entsprechend der Konzeption …., Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., Attachment to policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., BArch DC9/1052.

36Ibid. p. 1.

37“Die Einbeziehung der in der Konzeption genannten weiteren Finanzierungsquellen erhöht die zur Verfügung stehenden Stückzahlen.” Explanatory notes, Erläuterungen eines Finanzierungsmechanismus für den Zeitschriften-Import entsprechend der Konzeption …., Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., p. 2, Attachment to policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., BArch DC9/1052.

38Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., p. 4, BArch DC9/1052.

39Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., p. 4, BArch DC9/1052.

40Policy draft I, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., p. 4, BArch DC9/1052.

41“ein Mandat für Verhandlungen mit der BRD-Verlagsgruppe Gruner und Jahr … über die Gründung eines Gemeinschaftsunternehmens für den Pressevertrieb im Einzelverkauf in der DDR.” Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

42Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

43Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

44Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

45Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3). Note: In the second proposal, also Klaus Wolf, Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, was included in this paragraph.

46Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

47Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3). Note: In the second draft, it stated that this was to be done “in firm cooperation” (“in fester Kooperation”), a part that got erased in the final draft.

48Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

49“für Firmen aus dem westlichen Ausland.” Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 4, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

50Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 4, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

51Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 4, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

52Policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], p. 4, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

53“fundierten Standpunkt zum Vorhaben.” Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

54“Der Vorlage kann in dieser Form nicht zugestimmt werden ... in der Konzeption [sind] keine Vorteile für die DP erkennbar.” Statement, Dietrich Germer (Director), Stellungnahme zur Ministerratsvorlage „Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR“, December 19, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

55“soll faktisch 'neben die DP' gestellt werden.” Letter, Dietrich Germer (Director), Stellungnahme zur Ministerratsvorlage „Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR“, December 19, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

56“Das staatliche Vertriebsmonopol soll für den Einzelverkauf vom MFP auf das Unternehmen übertragen werden.” Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

57Statement, Dietrich Germer (Director), Stellungnahme zur Ministerratsvorlage „Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR“, December 19, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (1/3).

58Document, Modelle des MfK, and, Grundpositionen des MPF zum Pressevertrieb, n.d. [December 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

59Document, Modelle des MfK, and, Grundpositionen des MPF zum Pressevertrieb, n.d. [December 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

60“die völlige Loslösung des Pressevertriebs im Einzelverkauf von der Deutschen Post.” Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Dr. Keller, Minister für Kultur, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

61Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Dr. Keller, Minister für Kultur, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

62Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Meyer, Regierungssprecher und Leiter des Presse- und Informationsdienstes der Regierung der DDR, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

63Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Meyer, Regierungssprecher und Leiter des Presse- und Informationsdienstes der Regierung der DDR, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

64“direkte Beratungen mit dem Vertriebsunternhmen Gruner und Jahr.” Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Meyer, Regierungssprecher und Leiter des Presse- und Informationsdienstes der Regierung der DDR, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

65Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Dr. Keller, Minister für Kultur, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

66Policy draft IV, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [January 4, 1990], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

67“Im Zuge der zunehmenden wirtschaftlichen Kooperation beider deutscher Staaten interessieren wir uns für Kooperationen, Joint-ventures oder eigenständige wirtschaftliche Tätigkeiten in der DDR.” Letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

68Note: In the BArch files, this concept (though not attached and not mentioned in the letter) is the document written on the same kind of paper, directly following the letter of Schulte-Hillen to Modrow from November 29, 1989. Generally, all documents in the file BArch DC9/1052 are well sorted and in timely order, allowing for the conclusion that both documents were sent together. Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Pressepordukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), BArch DC9/1052, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

69“Gründung eines leistungsstarken am DDR-Markt orientierten nationalen Pressevertriebssystems (NPV) als Gemeinschaftsunternehmen mit einem westlichen Partner.” Policy draft, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in der DDR zur Realisierung der Verpflichtung aus Kob. 3, der Schlußakte von Helsinki und der Wiener Folgekonferenz, n.d., p. 2, BArch DC9/1052.

70“Das NPV wird gegründet als Gemeinschaftsunternehmen eines oder mehrerer Partner in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und dem Verlag Gruner+Jahr. Die Partnerunternehmen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und der Verlag Gruner + Jahr halten je 50 Prozent der Anteile an diesem Gemeinschaftsunternehmen.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Pressepordukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 1, , attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

71The direct quote of G+J: “Zur Sicherstellung der flächendeckenden Versorgung mit Presseprodukten nutzt das Gemeinschaftsunternehmen die bestehenden Vertriebseinrichtungen der Deutschen Post und die Verkaufsstellen der Handelsorganisationen sowie weitere Einrichtungen gegen eine angemessene Handelsspanne.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Pressepordukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 1, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

72Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Pressepordukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), pp. 1-2, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

73“Der Verlag Gruner+Jahr erklärt sich im Rahmen eines dieses Gesamtpaketes bereit, ernsthaft zu prüfen, seine Erzeugnisse für einen Preis von unter 50 Prozent zur Verfügung zu stellen.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 2, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

74“Der Verlag Gruner+Jahr erklärt sich im Rahmen eines dieses Gesamtpaketes bereit, ernsthaft zu prüfen, seine Erzeugnisse für einen Preis von unter 50 Prozent zur Verfügung zu stellen.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 2, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

75To compare with policy proposal, see FN ? () “allen in- und ausländischen Presseerzeugnissen den gleichen Zugang zu seiner Vertriebsorganisation zu gewähren.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), pp. 2-3, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

76“Ein solches einheitliches Vertriebssystem mit landeseinheitlicher Preisfestlegung und -bindung durch die Verleger sowie angemessener Handelsspannen für die Handelsstufen sichert in optimaler Weise eine umfassende Versorgung mit Presseproduktion unabhängig von ihrer politischen Ausrichtung.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 3, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

77Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), pp. 3-4, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

78“Bereitstellung der erforderlichen Valuta zur Finanzierung des Gesamtpaketes und zur Risikoabsicherung.” Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 4, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

79Concept, Konzept zur umfassenden Versorgung der Bevölkerung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik mit in- und ausländischen Presseprodukten zur Verwirklichung von Korb 3 der KSZE-Schlußakte von Wien, n.d. (November 29, 1989?), p. 5, attachment (?) to letter, Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner + Jahr, to Hans Modrow, Ministerrat der DDR, Hamburg, November 29, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

80Letter, Dr. Arnold to Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner und Jahr, December 13, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

81“Bedeutung Ihres Unternehmens und seine Seriosität sind auch in der DDR wohlbekannt … schon aus dieser Sicht sind die von Ihnen dargelegten Absichten mehr als interessant.” Letter, Dr. Arnold to Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner und Jahr, December 13, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

82“Soweit die gegenwärtige Situation zu übersehen ist, kommen am ehesten bestimmte Formen der Zusammenarbeit mit bestehenden oder 'wiederzuerweckenden' DDR-Medien in Betracht.” Letter, Dr. Arnold to Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner und Jahr, December 13, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

83“durch entsprechende Verkaufseinnahmen in der BRD der zusätzliche Import von Papier … finanzierbar wäre.” Letter, Dr. Arnold to Gerd Schulte-Hillen, Gruner und Jahr, December 13, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

84“war erkennbar, daß der Kollege Schuberth sich seit Wochen intensiv mit dem Vorschlag von G+J befaßt und ihn

unter allen Umständen durchsetzen will.” Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

85Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

86“Der Vorteil des Finanzierungsmodells besteht darin, daß Printmedien in der DDR eingeführt werden können ohne daß Belastungen der Zahlungsbilanz der DDR entstehen.” Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 4, BArch DC9/1052.

87“Gruner + Jahr garantiert, Umfang und Einnahmen in oben aufgeführter Höhe.” Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 3, BArch DC9/1052.

88“Der vorgesehene Partner Gruner und Jahr gewährleistet als einziger Anbieter ein geschlossenes Finanzierungsprojekt für das NPV.” Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 4, BArch DC9/1052.

89“Zur Sprache kamen verschiedene Kooperations- Joint Venture- und Spezialangebote westlicher Medienkonzerne an DDR-Unternehmen, die den kreis der Angesprochenen .. 'stark beeindruckten.'” Internal note, Aktennotiz über eine Beratung beim Amt für Presse- und Informationsdienst, Berlin, December 7, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

90Internal note, Aktennotiz über eine Beratung beim Amt für Presse- und Informationsdienst, Berlin, December 7, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

91Internal note, Aktennotiz über eine Beratung beim Amt für Presse- und Informationsdienst, Berlin, am 7.12.1989, VE AHB Bbuchexport, Leipzig, December 8, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

92Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

93“Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR.” Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

94“besonders stark im Vertriebsgeschäft engagiert.” Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

95“importierter Titel, insbesondere aus der BRD.” Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, pp. 1-2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

96Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

97“grundlegende Ideen für ein neu zu schaffendes Vertriebssystem in der DDR.” Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

98“für die Auswahl der anzubietenden Objekte aus der BRD, die im einzelnen abzustimmen wären. Unsere Betrachtungen schließen nur Massen- und große Spezialzeitschriften ein.” Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, November 17, 1989, p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

99“aus der Misere beim Z/Z-verkauf (Forderung nach 5-Tage-Woche für Zusteller, fehlendes Kiosk-Personal), herauszukommen, da ein zusätzlicher Inlandsvertrieb sonst nicht durchzuführen wäre.” Internal note, Aktennotiz über eine Beratung beim Amt für Presse- und Informationsdienst, Berlin, am 7.12.1989, VE AHB Bbuchexport, Leipzig, December 8, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

100Telex, Günther Schöttler Geschäftsleitung, Heinrich Bauer Verlag, to Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit, MfK, Hamburg, November 28, 1990, attachment to letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

101Telex, Günther Schöttler Geschäftsleitung, Heinrich Bauer Verlag, to Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit, MfK, Hamburg, November 28, 1990, attachment to letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

102“sich fuer die zukunft weitere perspektiven einer intensiven zusammenarbeit mit ihrem ministerium, behoerden, institutionen und firmen der ddr ergeben.” Telex, Günther Schöttler Geschäftsleitung, Heinrich Bauer Verlag, to Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit, MfK, Hamburg, November 28, 1990, attachment to letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

103“europas groesster zeitschriftenverlag.” Telex, Günther Schöttler Geschäftsleitung, Heinrich Bauer Verlag, to Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit, MfK, Hamburg, November 28, 1990, attachment to letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

104“zusammenarbeit auf breitester ebene in den unterschiedlichen bereichen des verlagsgeschaeftes (redaktion, vertrieb, anzeigen etc.)” Telex, Günther Schöttler Geschäftsleitung, Heinrich Bauer Verlag, to Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit, MfK, Hamburg, November 28, 1990, attachment to letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

105“Kompliziertheit dieser gesamten Problematik.” Letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

106“umfangreiche Anstrengungen zum Ausbau der kommerziellen Auslandsarbeit … renomierten Verlagsgruppen des Auslandes, darunter der Bauer-Verlag.” Letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, p. 1, BArch DC9/1052.

107“Damit sollen in den internationalen Kulturbeziehungen – da wo sinnvoll – politische und wirtschaftliche Interessen ... zielgerichtet aufgegriffen und miteinander verbunden werden.” Letter, Manfred Schuberth, Zentrum für Kulturelle Auslandsarbeit beim Ministerium für Kultur, to Wolfgang Meyer, Presseamt der Regierung, November 30, 1989, p. 1, BArch DC9/1052.

108Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3); also Internal note, Zusätzliche Hinweise zum Vermerk über Gespräch mit Bauer-Verlag, December 7, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

109 “Aufbau eines gemeinsamen Unternehmens … für den Pressevertrieb in der DDR.” Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

110Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

111“Der Verlag rechnet perspektivisch mit einem Export in die DDR von wöchentlich ca. 3,5 Mio Exemplaren bei 72 Titeln mit einem voraussichtlichen Jahresumsatz von ca. 250 Mio M (derzeitiger Presseumsatz der PZV ca. 750 Mio M).” Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

112“der Markt der DDR … für den Import in der geschätzten Größenordnung aufnahmefähig.” Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, p. 1, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

113Letter, Günther Schöttler, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

114Proposal, Angebot der Verlagsgruppe Bauer für einen Pressevertrieb auf dem Gebiet der DDR, 17. November 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to Letter, Günther Schöttler, Heinrich Bauer Verlag to Hammer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, December 8, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

115Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

116Internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, p. 2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

117Handwritten notes on internal note, Hammer, Information über ein Gespräch mit Beauftragten der Geschäftsleitung des Heinrich Bauer Verlages am 7. Dezember 1989, December 7, 1989, pp.1-2, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

118Letter, Germer, Ministerium für Post- und Fernmeldewesen, to Schöttler, Bauer Verlag, December 12, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

119“ist aber offensichtlich in einigen Punkten ökonomisch günstiger als das Angebot vom Heinrich Bauer Verlag.”Internal Note, Dietrich Germer, Vermerk über ein Gespräch beim Stellvertreter des Ministers für Kultur, Kollegen Lorf, am 18.12.1989, December 19, 1989, p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3), attachment to policy draft III, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d. [Dezember 1989], BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

120Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

121“die eingeleiteten Reformen … für die Fortentwicklung der bestehenden Medien sowie die Gründung neuer Zeitungen und Zeitschriften Rat und Unterstützung anzubieten...sehr schnell zu einer konkreten Zusammenarbeit zu kommen.” Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 1, BArch DC9/1052.

122Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

123“als auch das direkte unternehmerische Engagement in gemeinsamen Projekten und Gesellschaften.” Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 1, BArch DC9/1052.

124“Selbstverständlich respektieren wir die Eigenständigkeit der Medien Ihres Landes und sehen unsere Aufgaben deshalb vor allem in partnerschaftlicher Zusammenarbeit im Geiste der KSZE-Vereinbarungen. … um möglichst schnell zu konkreten Ergebnissen zu kommen.” Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 1-2, BArch DC9/1052.

125“allen politischen Gruppierungen Zugang zu Medien zu ermöglichen.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, BArch DC9/1052.

126“eignet sich zu derartigen Partnerschaften wie kein anderer westdeutscher Verlag.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 1, BArch DC9/1052.

127“Nach unserer Einschätzung besteht in der augenblicklichen Konstellation das grösste Problem in der Bereitstellung ausreichender Finanzmittel und Valuten für den Ausbau bestehender und Aufbau neuer Aktivitäten. Deshalb muss es zunächst vorrangiges Ziel sein, jene Projekte zu fördern, die unmittelbar zu Deviseneinnahmen für die Deutsche Demokratische Republik führen.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 2, BArch DC9/1052.

128“sollten alle jene Projekte gefördert werden, die zu einer Steigerung der Effizienz und Produktivität im Medienbereich führen, ohne dass hierfür Devisen benötigt werden.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 2, BArch DC9/1052.

129“setzt die Festlegung der medienpolitischen Prioritäten durch die Deutsche Demokratische Republik voraus.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 8, BArch DC9/1052.

130Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 8, BArch DC9/1052.

131“Unter günstigen Voraussetzungen können die Umsätze eine Grössenordnung von mehr als 200 Millionen DM erreichen.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 3, BArch DC9/1052.

132Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 3, BArch DC9/1052.

133Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 3, BArch DC9/1052.

134“Dabei können westdeutsche Unternehmen für die Insertion über den Anzeigenverkaufsapparat des Axel Springer Verlages geworben werden.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 4, BArch DC9/1052.

135“einer der größten Papiereinkäufer im Rahmen der gegebenen Möglichkeiten für eine Verbesserung der Versorgungslage mit Rohstoffen.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

136“unmittelbar und kurzfristig für die Deutsche Demokratische Republik wirksame Lösungen zu erzielen … z.B. Hilfe bei der technischen Herstellung von Druckerzeugnissen im Rahmen verfügbarer Kapazitäten in seinen eigenen Druckereien zu leisten.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

137“Der Axel Springer Verlag ist bereit, dafür seine Zeitungen und Zeitschriften anzubieten.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

138“Beteiligungspartner von westdeutscher Seite kann der Axel Springer Verlag allein oder auch zusammen mit anderen Großverlagen sein.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 6, BArch DC9/1052.

139“Das Vertriebs-Gemeinschaftsunternehmen hat für alle gesetzlich zulässigen in- und ausländischen Zeitungen und Zeitschriften den Marktzugang nach gleichen Kriterien zu garantieren. Dabei wird eine angemessene Handelsspanne bei landeseinheitlicher Preisbindung zugrunde gelegt.” Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, p. 6, BArch DC9/1052.

140Proposal, Zusammenarbeit im Medienbereich zwischen Institutionen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und Unternehmen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, attachment to Letter, Peter Tamm, Axel Springer Verlag to Hans Modrow, December 20, 1989, pp. 6-7, BArch DC9/1052.

141Letter (draft), Entwurf, Minister Post und Fernmeldewesen, to Dr. Keller, Minister für Kultur, December 20, 1989, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

142Policy draft II, Vorlage für den Ministerrat der DDR, Konzeption zur umfassenden Einführung westlicher Presseerzeugnisse in die DDR, n.d., p. 5, BArch DC9/1052.

143“Grundsatz für alle Entscheidungen muß sein, die Bedürfnisse des Bevölkerung der DDR nach Presseerzeugnissen primär mit Presseerzeugnissen der DDR zu befriedigen. Der Import von Presseerzeugnissen kann nur die Funktion einer ergänzenden Information haben.” Letter, PZ to Müller, Presse- und Informationsdienst der DDR, Position und Lösungsvorschläge für den Import und Vertrieb von Presseerzeugnissen aus der BRD, Berlin (West) und anderen Ländern des nichtsozialistischen Wirtschaftsgebietes in der DDR, December 13, 1989, p. 3, BArch DM3/21121 (2/3).

Findings and Frame

Since I started my research in Germany, several points have become clearer, others have changed compared to my initial proposal.

Audience

First, my thesis fills a gap in research, literature and our understanding for the transition of media and media systems in transitioning countries. Due to its unique position of being written for a U.S. academic institution and audience while engaging largely with the German-German historical media discourse it aims to bridge a gap between national, continental and academic disciplines.

In my proposal I underlined that its target audience was non-German and its theoretical outlook was firmly based in the Anglo-American context of critical political economy of media and communication (PEoC). While the latter still holds true, I expanded the former. The audience should and must be German as well. On the one hand, because a historically informed political economy of media and communication does not exist as a field in Germany, and my thesis might serve as an example for a forgotten academic tradition. On the other hand because my study might be enlightening for a better understanding of the development of media markets and infrastructures in recent German history, as well as of the dynamics that made a large part of East German Wende (transition) experience. Changing this focus comes with the challenge of placing my thesis also within the German academic discourse, its literature and theoretical outlook.

Both audiences, German and non-German, might read this thesis as one attempt to make the unique and politically highly interesting German media history accessible to an audience outside of Germany, and to apply a PEoC to issues specifically relevant to German media and its current media system.

Scope

The second difference to my initial proposal relates to the scope of the thesis. While my proposal focused largely on the GDR context, asking for media policies and media initiatives in a country in transition, my research findings show very clearly that nothing that happened in the GDR before, during and after the Wende happened in isolation, nor was it a decisively East German problem. Instead East Germany became the battle ground for various interests groups, East and West, but with clear and all-overshadowing interests of West German political and economic groups. These groups generally expanded and continued their long-established interests and disputes onto the newly opened political arena and economic market. Examples are major West German publishing houses (Großverlage) that contested small, and medium-sized publishers; associations of newspaper and magazine publishers that contested unions; different West German parties contesting. each other for the upcoming elections. Aiming for power at different levels, all of them had an interest in influencing media and its policies or, in simply circumventing them, creating hard facts barely changeable once put into place.

Big Four

Here, my thesis analyzes in particular the dealings and strategies of the major publishing houses Springer, Bauer, Gruner+Jahr and Burda. Called the “big four” these companies used three different strategies to explore the GDR market. First, starting in December 1989, they started to sell their own publications, partly with special GDR editions, early on at a price ratio of 1:1. This meant that the sales price in East German Mark was just as high as it was in West German Deutschmark, while the official exchange rate was 3:1. While publishers had been legally required to sell at a ratio of 1:3 (to somehow allow for a somehow fair competition with East German publications), the early undercutting of the price had several reason, one was to secure future readership.

The second strategy was a joined building of privately run press distribution system (Pressegrosso). As the postal distribution system in the GDR had not been able to deal with the high increase of publications, the four publishers had built their own system. They divided the GDR into four distribution zones, distributing largely only their own publications. This caused an upheaval amongst small and medium-sized West German publishers as well as GDR publishers and politicians. Eventually the practice was stopped, not the least because of West German pressures by a resolution of the GDR Media Ministry. It continued, however. On the one hand, because hard facts had been created and in a politically in-stable situation it proofed impossible to break an already established practice. One the other hand, the building of a local distribution system, independent of publishers and based on medium-sized press wholesalers (as established in the Federal Republic) required time that was not available once German unification and all-German elections stood at the horizon.

The building of the “big four” distribution system, privately-run by major publishing houses, had been possible only because an inscrutable and extremely fast changing political-economic situation on all levels of society, which had created a sort of “legal vacuum” with almost no transparency.

The third strategy of the four publishing houses was to secure future market interests through joint-ventures with East German newspapers and magazines, a strategy employed also by small and medium-sized West German publishers. Thus, by June 1990, over ninety percent of East German newspapers were either in negotiations or had already signed contracts over investment shares of West German capital. These investments were needed because the East German press had outdated printing and editorial technology, a lack in know how and resources. It now handicapped GDR publications on a press market that was defined by fierce competition created not the least because of the massive import of West German publications. Different to other West German publishers, the “big four,” having the financial resources, were mainly interested in the 16 well-established former district Party papers of the state party SED (Bezirkszeitungen). Their high circulation and subscription numbers had remained stable, their readership consistent and their future outlook seemed most promising. Joint ventures took very different forms, from providing technology only to moving all the editorial work to the parent company in West Germany.

GDR Media Ministry

The newspapers that struggled the most and often disappeared soon were smaller publications of the former bloc parties or newly established publications, often those that had been major carriers of the protest movement or had grown out of it. Newly elected GDR Media Minister Dr. Gottfried Müller, generally welcoming joint-ventures with West German publishers, underlined repeatedly that the newly grown press diversity was endangered if no publisher was willing to invest in those smaller newspapers. He furthermore emphasized that it was a problem if formerly dominating Party papers where now being bought by market dominating publishers. While his Ministry lacked the resources of aiding small papers, it, by June 1990, knew of 100 planned mergers out of the press, not because any had been reported to his Ministry (with the exception of three).

The Media Ministry had established the above named resolution for press distribution, which proofed inefficient, and was working on an all-encompassing Media Act that became obsolete with German unification. In the end, it proofed too weak to deal with the aggressive strategies of West German publishers in a developing market economy.

GDR Media Policy Institutions

How urgent the situation on the transitioning media market really was, is shown by the fact that next to the Ministry, two other institutions aimed at dealing with these problems. The Media Control Council, established early on, was to ensure a general compliance with the resolution for the freedom of information, opinion and media had had been adapted by the People's Chamber February 4, 1990. Overwhelmed with this task, the People's Chamber created the Media and Press Commission in May 1990. All three institutions were uniquely East German with no West German equivalent, diverting from the otherwise often used West German blueprint for the reformation of GDR political institutions. All three, however, had little influence on the actual practice of media distribution and joint-venture agreements between East and West German enterprises. Another institution created in May 1990 was the Competition for Competition Protection, a Cartel Office that eventually gave great leverage to possible market dominating positions of publishers because its overall aim was to keep newspapers from folding.

Newspapers

All of this happened while GDR newspapers and their staff struggled with their own history and compliance in a propaganda state, with internal reform processes (or the lack thereof) and the constant confrontation with Western ideas of a free press and expertise. Different interest groups in editorial offices (i.e. old party loyal, reformers) combated over new ideas of journalism, of freedom of opinion and speech while simultaneously having to face fierce market competition with products severely lacking behind West German publications. The loss of subsidies in April 1, 1990 and the introduction of advertising as a major source of revenue required marketing and advertising know how and, again, West German expertise.

Still, one major issue, especially among small newspapers, was the distribution problem. With the almost breakdown of the postal system and the exclusive distribution system of the “big four,” a common and constant complain of GDR publishers was their inability to sell their products because they could not get them to the newsstands or subscribers. The Post, still responsible for distributing East German publications, single-handily canceled subscriptions, did not deliver entire stacks or did not put publications at display at its own newsstands. There is evidence that the Post had been in negotiation with the major West German publishing houses but at this point, I am not clear in what exactly they negotiated.