In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2010. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 67–80
In 1969 the German Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe finally brought to an end the long lasting litigation between the committed Stalinist Ernst August Aust – the publisher of a communist newspaper Blinkfüer – and the Axel Springer Company, West Germany’s most successful newspaper publishing company. Despite the fact that the newspaper Blinkfüer was obviously financed by the prohibited Communist Party of Germany (KPD), Aust won his constitutional complaint. The catalyst for the conflict had been a circular letter sent to newsagents in September 1961, just a few days after the construction of the Berlin Wall. In this letter the Springer Company urged newsagents to boycott West German newspapers that were still printing TV programmes broadcasted by the German Democratic Republic, arguing that the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) exploited TV broadcasting to propagate its communist ideology and to agitate against the Federal Republic of Germany. It can be concluded that the decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court was not only important for later decisions concerning the freedom of press, but that it also had a particular sociopolitical influence on the West German democracy in that it was a far-reaching step towards a pluralistic democracy.