Political Culture

Pester Lloyd

Using historical 19th century photographs this KuBus article on Budapest's German language newspaper, "Pester Lloyd" shows impressions of the Danube metropolis and reports on the present standing of the newspaper since its beginnings in 1854.

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Author: Michael Kluth
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On the 1st of January 2004 the "Pester Lloyd" will be 150 years old. (Between 1945 and 1994 it did not appear.) This German language newspaper founded in 1854 developed during the 19th century into one of the most important newspapers in the Danube monarchy of Austria-Hungary. There was both an early and a late edition. Its main areas of interest were politics, economics and culture.

In 1873 the two halves of the city, Buda and Pest, were amalgamated. Then began the rapid growth of a new European metropolis. In just a few decades its population grew from 100,000 to 1 million by 1900. Until the outbreak of World War 1 there were 900 German language publications in Budapest. Most of the citizenry spoke German.

Falk Miksa, an adviser to Kaiserin Elizabeth was the most important chief editor of the "Pester Lloyd". Many of Hungary's significant writers wrote for the newspaper. Among regular contributors were many German language writers and commentators, amongst others Franz Werfel, Alfred Polgar, Egon Erwin Kisch, Franz Molnar, Stefan Zweig, and Heinrich Mann. Thomas Mann wrote articles against Hitler Germany in "Pester Lloyd" (1936/37).

In 1945 publication temporarily came to an end. The last edition came out during the flight from the German SS, the Hungarian fascists and the Russian army. During the Kádár-Regime the "Pester Lloyd" did not appear. Five years after the political change in Europe the German arts journalist, Gotthard B Schicker acquired the licence to continue publishing this traditional newspaper. It now appears weekly. With the same traditional values – politics, economics and culture. It has a print order of 15,000 and a subscription list of 8,000 throughout all of Europe. Among the authors are Hungary's leading writer Peter Esterházy, György Konrád, Imre Kertész, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, István Eörsi, Peter Nadás, and László F. Földenyi.

"Pester Lloyd" is the largest circulation foreign language newspaper in Budapest. From May 2004 when Hungary becomes a member of the European Union the "Pester Lloyd" could fill a bridging role between Hungary and Western Europe.
Goethe-Institut e. V. 2004
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