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The Reich Government has resolved upon the following law, which is hereby published:
The Editorial Profession
The cooperative work carried on as main employment or based upon appointment to the position of chief editor in the shaping of the intellectual contents by written word, dissemination of news or pictures of the newspapers or political periodicals, which are published within the area of the Reich, is a public task, which is regulated as to its professional duties and rights by the state through this law. Its bearers are called editors. Nobody may call himself an editor who is not entitled to do so, according to this law.
(1) Newspapers and periodicals are printed matters which appear in regular sequence at intervals of at most 3 months, without limiting their circulation to a certain group of persons.
(2) All reproductions of writings or illustrations, destined for dissemination, which are produced by means of a mass reproduction process are to be considered as printed matter.
(1) The provisions of this law relating to newspapers are valid also for political periodicals.
(2) This law does not apply to newspapers and periodicals which are published by official order.
(3) The Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda will determine which periodicals are to be considered as political within the meaning of the law. In case the periodical affects a certain vocational field, he will make the decision in agreement with the highest Reich or State agency concerned.
Cooperation in the shaping of the intellectual contents of the German newspapers is also considered as such, if it does not take place in the management of a newspaper, but in an establishment, which is to supply newspapers with intellectual contents, (written word, news, or pictures).
Admission to the Profession of Editor
Persons who can be editors are only those who:
1. possess the German citizenship,
2. have not lost the civic rights [buergerliche Ehrenrechte] and the qualification for the tenure of public offices.
3. are of Aryan descent, and are not married to a person of non-Aryan descent.
4. have completed the 21st year of age,
5. are capable of handling business,
6. have been trained in the profession,
7. have the qualities which the task of exerting intellectual influence upon the public requires.
For the requirement of the Aryan descent and the Aryan marriage, section 1a of the Reich Law for Officials [Reichsbeamtengesetz] and the provisions issued for its implementation will be applied.
(1) Whoever has acquired the knowledge of an editor by training for at least one year (editor in apprenticeship) with the editorial staff of a German newspaper or an establishment of the kind mentioned in Section 4 and can prove this by certificate to the editorial staff will be considered as professionally trained. The apprenticeship served with a foreign newspaper may be made equivalent to the apprenticeship served with a German paper by means of the implementation order.
(2) The provisions of this law also pertain to the editors in apprenticeship with the exception of Section 5, Subsections 4, 5, and 6.
The admission to the editorial profession will be affected by entry upon request in the professional editors' list. The professional rosters are kept by the offices of the regional associations [Landesverbaende] of the German press. (Section 24, Subsection 2). The registration will be passed upon by the head of Regional association. He must decree the registration, if the requirements which are set forth in Section 5 are fulfilled. He has to reject it if the Reichsminister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda protests.
(1) Upon application by the head of the regional association the head of the Reich Association of the German Press (Section 23) with the approval of Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda may permit exceptions from the requirements set forth (Section 5, Nos. 1, 3, and 6). This exception can be limited to certain branches of the activity of an editor. In this case the Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda grants the permission in accordance with the highest competent Reich or State authority.
(2) Exemption from the requirement of German [Reich] citizenship is to be granted to those of German origin if no special objections exist.
The nominator must be notified in writing together with a statement of reasons of a decision by the head of the Land Association [Landesverband] rejecting an entry into the professional roster. The nominator may call for a decision by the professional court within four weeks after the notice. The appeal is not permitted if the circumstances fall within the purview of Section 8, 5th sentence.
The head of the Land Association is required to decree the deletion of an entry in the professional roster if the requirements set forth in Section 5, Nos. 1, 2, 5, are not present, or the data furnished under Nos. 1-6 has been found incorrect, or the editor has given up his profession. Section 10, sentences 1 and 2 are correspondingly applicable.
Exercise of the Profession of an Editor
By registration in the professional roster, the editor becomes entitled to execute his profession with German newspapers or with German enterprises of the kind described in Section 4. If he moves into the district of a different Land Association, he will be transferred to the respective professional roster without further examination.
Editors are charged to treat their subjects truthfully and to judge them according to the best of their knowledge.
Editors are especially bound to keep out of the newspapers anything which:
1. in any manner is misleading to the public, mixes selfish aims with community aims
2. tends to weaken the strength of the German Reich, outwardly or inwardly, the common will of the German people, the German defense ability, culture or economy, or offends the religious sentiments of others,
3. offends the honor and dignity of Germany,
4. illegally offends the honor or the welfare of another, hurts his reputation, makes him ridiculous or contemptible,
5. is immoral for other reasons.
Editors are bound to exercise their profession conscientiously and by their behavior inside or outside their professional activities prove themselves worthy of the respect which this profession demands.
The publisher of a newspaper may compel an editor by means of a contract to observe the fundamental policies of a newspaper. The public duties and rights of the editor which derive from Sections 13 to 15, cannot be affected by policies.
Contracts for the hiring of an editor must be in writing.
The publisher of a newspaper must appoint an editor-in-chief and is required to report his name in writing to the Land Association concerned.
The editor-in-chief is required to draw up in writing a plan for distribution of work, from which must be evident what part of the tasks of editing are to be taken by each editor and to what extent he has the authority to issue directions to other editors, in accordance with the terms of the contracts of employment and the supplementary directives of the publisher.
(1) Editors of a newspaper are responsible under professional, criminal and civil law, for its intellectual content so far as they themselves wrote or selected it. The responsibility under criminal or civil law of other persons is not thereby excluded.
(2) The chief editor is responsible for the over-all editorial policy of the newspaper.
(3) The editor-in-chief is required:
(a) to take care that only such contributions are accepted as have been written or selected for acceptance by an editor.
(b) to take care that the first and last names as well as the residence of the editor-in-chief and his deputies, as well as that of each editor to whom a specific part of the direction of a newspaper is delegated, is reported.
(c) upon request to give information to anyone establishing a legal interest therein, as to which editor bears the responsibility for a contribution, so far as this is not evident from the data under subdivision b.
Editors who cooperate in the shaping of the intellectual contents of a newspaper by their activity with an enterprise of the kind mentioned in Section 4, are responsible for the contents to the extent of their cooperation.
Protection of the Editorial Profession Afforded by the Laws Relating to Association.
The editorial group as a whole will watch over the fulfillment of duty on the part of individual professional colleagues and will look after their rights and their welfare.
Editors are legally united to the Reich Association of the German Press [Reichsverband der Deutschen Presse]. By virtue of his registration on the professional roster every editor belongs to it. By virtue of this law the Reich Association becomes a public corporation. It has its seat in Berlin.
(1) The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda will appoint the head of the Reich Association who will issue a charter for the Reich Association, which will require the approval of the Minister. The head of the Reich Association will appoint an advisory councilor.
(2) The Reich Association is organized in Land Associations. Further details are regulated by the charter. Editors who live abroad must belong to a Land Association in whose district there is a newspaper or an establishment of the kind outlined in Section 4, by which they are employed.
(1) The Reich Association is required:
1. to establish educational, advanced training and welfare institutions for the editors,
2. to give expert advice to Reich and Land authorities,
3. to cooperate in the making of stipulations for employment of editors,
4. upon request of one party, to negotiate among editors, and to settle differences in case both parties agree.
5. to maintain professional courts for the press.
(2) The Reich Association may assume additional duties for the achievement of the purposes provided for in Section 22.
(3) The Reich Association is authorized to impose dues on its members in order to meet its expenses. The regulations governing this must have the approval of Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The dues are to be collected like public taxes.
The Reich minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda will exercise supervision to ensure that the Reich Association fulfills tasks which have been assigned to it.
(1) Professional Courts [Berufsgerichte] will be established for the protection of the editorial profession.
(2) Professional Courts of the first instance are the District Courts [Bezirksgerichte] of the Press. Professional Courts of the second instance is the Press Court [Pressegerichtshof] in Berlin.
The Professional Courts have jurisdiction:
1. to try and to decide whether the registration in the professional roster for cases set forth in Section 10 is to be decreed.
2. to try and to decide upon removals under Section 11.
3. to interpret termination clauses in editors' contracts of employment [anstellungsverhaeltnisses] under Section 30.
4. to try and to decide offenses of a professional nature on the part of editors (proceedings of an honor court).
The termination of employment must be in writing and must contain a statement of reasons.
A publisher may dismiss an editor because of the views expressed by him in the newspaper only if they are in conflict with the public professional duties of an editor or if they contravene the agreed policies. The Professional Court will, at the request of the editor, state whether the dismissal, in its opinion, has been contrary to the provisions of the preceding sentence or amounts to an evasion of them. Legal proceedings before the regular courts, if any have been initiated, are to be deferred until the requested opinion has been obtained.
(1) An editor who fails in his public professional duties, as set forth in Sections 13 to 15, 19, 20, subsection 3, commits a professional misdemeanor. In such case the Professional Court may:
1. warn the editor,
2. punish him with a fine not exceeding the sum of one month's professional earning,
3. decree the removal of his name from the professional roster.
(2) His license to exercise the editorial profession and to call himself an editor is terminated with such removal.
(3) The Professional Court may temporarily deny an editor, against whom proceedings in an honorary court have been instituted, the right to exercise his profession.
Professional Courts shall consist of the President and the lay judges [Beisitzer]. Alternates are to be appointed for the President and the lay judges. The President and the lay judges must be eligible for the office of judge or for higher administrative offices. They must possess judicial independence. The lay judges and their alternates have to be editors and publishers in equal numbers. All members of the Professional Courts are appointed by the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The head of the Reich Association will nominate the editors, while the head of the Organization of Publishers in the Reich Press Chamber will nominate the publishers.
The District Press Courts with five members, the Press Court [Pressegerichtshof] with 7 members, the President being included in both cases.
The procedure before the Professional Courts will be regulated by a code of procedure which is decreed by the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in agreement with the Reich Minister for Justice after obtaining the opinion of the head of the Reich Association.
The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda may decree the removal of an editor from the professional list independent of the proceedings of the Professional Court, if he deems it necessary for pressing reasons of public welfare.
Protection of the Editorial Profession Afforded by the Penal Laws
Whosoever works as an editor despite the fact he is not registered in the professional rosters, or despite the fact that the exercise of his profession has been prohibited temporarily, will be punished with imprisonment up to one year, or fined.
A publisher who entrusts a person who is not registered in the professional rosters or an editor who has been temporarily suspended from the exercise of his profession with the work of an editor as a main profession, or who maintains a newspaper without having appointed a chief editor, according to Section 18, will be punished by imprisonment of up to 3 months or by a fine.
An editor who demands, accepts a promise of, or accepts a remuneration or any other advantage for an action which violates Sections 13 or 14, will be punished with imprisonment or fined.
Whosoever attempts to induce an editor or a publisher or his deputy, by an officer, promise or granting an advantage, to undertake, bring about or tolerate the shaping of the intellectual content of a newspaper, in violation of Sections 13 or 14, will be punished with imprisonment or fined for bribery of the press.
(1) Whosoever attempts to induce an editor or a publisher or his deputy by means of threats to undertake, bring about or tolerate the shaping of the intellectual content of a newspaper in violation of Sections 13 or 14, will be punished with imprisonment or fined for unlawful interference with the press.
(2) If the unlawful interference with the press is exerted by misuse of the dependent employee-status of the editor, then the punishment must be not less than 3 months imprisonment.
In cases under Sections 38 to 40 the judgment may include less of civil rights in addition to imprisonment.
Whosoever assumes the title of an editor, despite the fact he is not registered in the professional roster, will be punished by fine of up to 150 Reichsmark or by imprisonment [haeft].
The license of a publisher against whom there is a final judgment for violation of provisions contained in Sections 37, 39 and 40, may be revoked by the administrative authority having jurisdiction in such matters under the laws of the State.
Regulations enabling delegates of a law-making body to limit prosecutions are not applicable to cases under sections 31 to 35 of this law.
(1) Sections 7, 8, of the Reich Law relating to the Press of 7 May 1874 (RGB I page 65) are not applicable to newspapers and political periodicals.
(2) Otherwise the provisions of the Reich Press Law relating to the responsible Editor in charge [Redakteur] are applicable to the responsible editor [Schriftleiter or Hauptschriftleiter] of newspapers and political periodicals, insofar as Section 20, subsection 1 and Section 21 of this law are concerned.
The Reich Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda in agreement with the other Reich Ministers concerned may issue directives for the execution of these laws and for conversion from the old legal basis to the new one.
The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda will set the date on which this law becomes valid.Berlin, 4 October 1933
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946