The arrest of editor-in-chief Rudolf Augstein and other Spiegel employees on charges of treason was roundly condemned in the left-wing press and triggered student protests on behalf of freedom of the press, including this one at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. For some critical observers, the so-called Spiegel Affair was uncomfortably reminiscent of the Weltbühne trial in the Weimar Republic. Protests by the FDP against the actions of Defense Minister Franz-Josef Strauß (CSU) triggered a coalition crisis and ultimately also led to the resignation of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Photographer unknown. Some of the students’ signs read: “Fällt die FDP wieder um?” [“Is the FDP falling over again?“], “Schützt die Pressefreiheit“ [“Protect freedom of the press”], and “Eine Zensur findet nicht statt! Grundgesetz Artikel 5/1/3” [“There shall be no censorship. Basic Law, Paragraph 5/1/3”]. Photographer unknown.

Munich Demonstration for Freedom of the Press in Response to the Spiegel Affair (c. October/November 1962)


Source: Student protest in Munich. Date: c. October/November 1962. German Information Center. 

Courtesy of the German Information Center