At the beginning of the year 1930, Erich Schairer writes:
It's been ten years since I got the well-heeled editor-in-chief of Democratic Heilbronn "Neckarzeitung" because of reasonable suspicion of socialist and other radical tendencies of the Mr. Publisher put the chair in front of the door. The "case" was a day-long talk in the city for a while, and friends advised me to take advantage of this situation to start my own newspaper. I spent a portion of my severance pay, posting posters, printing a call, and collecting signatures for a first-year subscription. If a thousand readers would commit to a year, I would dare. Six hundred came together, and at the 1. January 1920 appeared the first number of "Heilbronn Sunday newspaper", I explained in a programmatic introduction articles"This newspaper will serve the spirit of socialism and democracy, which by no means has come alive in the supposedly socialist and democratic republic.
In many German cities such newspapers were founded at that time. Almost all have returned after a short period. For me too, this fate has often been profiteering. It was impossible, he said, to maintain a newspaper that had neither its own capital, interest group, or party behind it, and crazily renounced listings.
That it was hard, I knew. That it is possible, I believe, to have proved. Right from the beginning I have this my "whimsy" of unsolicited newspaper but not done. In the first year each number had a whole page of my personally acquired advertisements. (Doing everything yourself: that was my business secret, which kept me afloat in the first years, notably in the years of inflation, in addition to the affection and devotion of the readers.) But I had planned and publicly promised to do so each year Quarter page advertisements to dismantle. That's what I've been saying: since the fifth year, there's no ad in the Sonntags-Zeitung, and none will appear in it as long as I publish it.
Why? The listing is, as Lassalle preached, first of all, to blame for the inferiority of our newspapers. How can a newspaper serve the public interest, which at the same time over the advertisement part is available to every solvent private interest? Even the socialist and communist press believe that without this impure combination, they can not exist. She could, if she dared, restrict herself in space or time and allow herself to be paid by the readers rather than by the shopkeepers.
The Sonntags-Zeitung is proud that she can do it. Their readership is, with the exception of two stoppages, in the Inflation time 1922-23 and during the Economic crisis 1926-27, grown slowly but steadily. It will, I suspect, continue to increase.
Shall I tell a few anecdotes from the ten years that have passed now? How I found my employees, had to switch to printing companies, had predicted many things right and much wrong? Or something of legal proceedings, national and high treason lawsuits, house searches and such? There would be a lot, but let's talk about it later, once we've gotten older and more talkative. I just want to warm up a little story: how the name "Sonntags-Zeitung", which some people regard as little happy, has been decisive for their existence without my knowledge.
The "Sonntags-Zeitung" (from January to October 1920: "Heilbronner Sonntags-Zeitung", from then to October 1922 "Süddeutsche Sonntags-Zeitung", since then only "Die Sonntags-Zeitung") is named for the same reason which is called a Monday newspaper "Monday newspaper". But the name has a side-note for some people, which I deliberately ignored at the time. And that's what saved the paper's life in the cradle, so to speak.
At that time, the newsprint was still contingent. If you wanted to publish a newspaper, you needed a subscription slip from the "Economic Department for the German Newspaper Industry" in Berlin. On the 30. December 1919 I had solicited such a request and received it without further ado. Shortly thereafter, when the first issue had appeared, I received a letter from that same agency, but with a different signature, apparently from another department, which said that no paper was released for my newspaper, its publication was against the law and must therefore prosecuted. I returned with a polite note of the authorization in my hands. And then came from Berlin the following delicious answer: "As the result of your gefl. However, you have been granted a subscription right for quarterly 650 kilograms of printing paper for the publication of a Sunday newspaper by the department of the economic department responsible for magazines. The term "Sonntags-Zeitung" becomes a magazine from us religious or at least entertaining Tendency understood, but not a leaf that, like yours, appears only weekly, but deals with political and daily events and therefore has the character of a daily newspaper. We do not want to omit the statement that you have the subscription right to publish this newspaper would never have been grantedif you had explained the true nature of your hand to us. "
For a religious "or at least" entertaining Sunday papers the paper would not have been too short in the poor German republic. But a page like the Sonntags-Zeitung would have easily suppressed the Messrs. Bonzen if they had known how it would turn out.
There are, I believe, even today a few people who would be honestly pleased if this apparently not religious, even entertaining newspaper would cease publication. I hope, dear readers, you are entertaining enough and not too little "religious". We want the old gentlemen, who are more for the "religious or at least entertaining", to defy the old and stay the weitermach.
By the way, the Sonntags-Zeitung, which has not been noticed by all, has been released since 1. July 1925 no longer in Heilbronn, but in Stuttgart.
The edition of the Sonntags-Zeitung
- Center 1920: 2000
- Center 1921: 3100
- Center 1922: 3900
- Center 1923: 3900
- Center 1924: 4300
- Center 1925: 5200
- Center 1926: 5900
- Center 1927: 5700
- Center 1928: 6200
- Center 1929: 6500