About the project

Illustrated magazines from the era of Classic Modernism are a rich and esthetically first-rate source for the history of everyday life, culture, communication, design and photography in the period between the wars.The SLUB Dresden has for the first time compiled digital reproductions of the ten most important German-language magazines of the period – with around 650 issues, 75,000 printed pages and more than 50,000 illustrations. These issues are made them available to scholars and readers interested in cultural history. This project was realized in cooperation with communication researcher Professor Dr. Patrick Rössler (University of Erfurt) and with the support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Deutschen Nationalbibliothek and Axel Springer AG, the legal successor to the former Ullstein-Presse.

The project which started in early 2012 first concentrated on key magazines, such as "Uhu", "Querschnitt", "Das Leben", and "Das Magazin", along with informative niche titles such as "Das Jüdische Magazin", "Auto-Magazin", or "Kriminal-Magazin". Of these periodicals, "Uhu" from the Ullstein Group represents better than any other the general interest magazine of the Weimar Republic: no other editorial staff employed such brilliant authors and photographers, none had so many novel ideas printed with such a high level of professionalism and, if necessary, at extraordinary expense. The editor-in-chief of "Uhu" was at first a collective known tellingly as "Peter Pfeffer" – and later Friedrich Kroner, who had started out writing addresses for Ullstein. "Der Querschnitt" started as a bulletin of the famous Flechtheim gallery, but was later acquired from Ullstein as well. Oriented towards the intellectual elite of Weimar Germany, it was considerably more sophisticated, and with its editor-in-chief of many years' standing, Hermann von Wedderkop, 50 % more expensive to buy than "Uhu". "Jüdische Magazin", printed by a small publishing house in Berlin-Wilmersdorf in 1929, may have resembled the media type in principle, with its mixture of photos, literary texts, as well as sports, books and puzzle corners, but made a more serious and educational impression than, say, "Uhu". One of its unmistakable goals was to illustrate the extraordinary contributions of Jews to international cultural and intellectual life. Selling a monthly to a core target group of less than two percent of the German population (as well as a probably very small number of indomitable philosemites) was a courageous endeavor. Although still bearing an ad for subscriptions on its back cover, the fourth issue was apparently the last.