Cover: Die Zukunft

Die Zukunft

[1.] 1892/93 – 30. 1921/22
Ed. by Maximilian Harden

(Culture – Literature – Politics ; 14)

66,000 pages on 745 microfiches, 2003, ISBN 3-89131-445-0
Diazo (negative): EUR 3,800.– / Silver (negative): EUR 4,560.–

Die Zukunft was, despite the numerous prominent contributors, actually the work of a single man.
Maximilian Harden founded the journal in 1892 (after he had worked in various situations as a journalist, including regular work for the Gegenwart ) in order to realise his own ambitions in publishing without having to bow to any restrictions.

In September 1892 he, in a circular, invited politicians, journalists, artists and academics from home and abroad to contribute, promising that his magazine is open to everyone «who wants to work on improving the health of our state of affairs in all areas of public life and who wishes to express their own opinions in writing».

Harden held to this promise throughout the entire life of Die Zukunft however it became the most personally political journal of all in German journalism. This was due, not least, to Harden’s absolutist management of the journal. Although he was, time and again, able to obtain, above all literary and socio- and economic-political, articles from prominent contributors (such as Stefan Zweig, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke,
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Paul Heyse and Henrik Ibsen) it was not unusual that the entire issue was filled with his own, and that means political, writings. So Harden’s change from Bismarckian disciple and powerful critic of Kaiser Wilhelm II through warmonger in the first half to militant pacifist in the second half of the First World War is clearly recorded in the pages of Die Zukunft. In this period Die Zukunft was a European phenomenon and Harden’s voice found many listeners.

This changed at the beginning of the Weimar Republic. Harden’s idea of a united Europe did not fall on fertile ground in a Europe whose bureaucrats were haggling over reparations. His visions were way ahead of their time and that meant that he could no longer find an audience for his journalism. From a high of 70,000 during the Eulenburg process in 1908, the circulation of Die Zukunft fell to under 1,000 in 1922. The assassination attempt in July 1922, which Harden survived but from which he never really recovered, was the death of the journal.
On 30th September 1922 the final edition of Die Zukunft appeared with the title «After 30 Years», the résumé of a man who despaired over the future of Germany.