10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Friede Springer’

When mentioning the top influential figures in the German Media industry, Friede Springer isn’t a name to overlook. Well-known for her exceptional role in managing one of Germany’s largest publishing house, Axel Springer SE, her life is an interesting tale of hard work, resilience, and outstanding leadership. This article explores ten surprising facts about Friede Springer that you probably haven’t come across.

1. Humble Beginnings

Friede Springer was born on August 15, 1942, in Oldsum, Germany. Her early life was anything but lavish. She grew up in a small village and started her professional life as a housemaid and a nanny. Evidently, her transition from being a house maid to one of Germany’s most influential women is nothing short of inspiring.

While working as a nanny in Berlin, she met the German newspaper publisher Axel Springer. This chance meeting would eventually change her life.

2. Transition to Media Industry

Friede’s initiation into the media sector was somewhat unconventional. She moved from being a nanny for the Springer Family to the sector’s pinnacle, becoming a respected figure in the country’s publishing space. Springer was introduced to the industry by her late husband, Axel Springer, who had significant influence in shaping Germany’s post-war media landscape.

During her husband’s lifetime, Friede Springer played a crucial role in the company’s dealings, decisions, and overall operations. Axel saw in Friede a keen business sense, intelligence, and a vision for the company that matched his own.

3. Journey to Springer SE

When Axel Springer passed away in 1985, his wife Friede inherited 26% of the publishing company. By 1990, she became the majority stakeholder of the company, with control over approximately 54% of the shares. Her influence over Springer SE had been growing.

This authority made her an influential figure in the media industry, steering a company that owned major media outlets such as “Bild” and “Die Welt”. She took a hands-on approach in managing the company and made significant contributions to its success.

4. Personal Life

It’s well-known that Friede Springer was the fifth wife of the media mogul Axel Springer. However, less known fact is that she was once a nanny for the Springer family. The couple didn’t have children together, but Friede took care of Axel’s children from other relationships.

Friede has remained single since the death of her husband. Her spare time is often filled with philanthropic works and managing the company that her late husband entrusted her.

5. Contributions Towards Reconciliation

Friede’s influence in the media industry also extended to diplomatic efforts between Germany and Israel. Friede Springer has made significant contributions to the Jewish community and the state of Israel. The publishing house under her control has promoted positive stories about Israel, contributing to a strengthened relationship between the two countries.

Axel Springer, in his lifetime, ventured into Israel and did much toward reconciliation. Following in his footsteps, Friede continues to own up to Germany’s historical responsibility and work towards maintaining the established peaceful relationships.

6. Honorary Roles

Beside her involvement in media and publishing, Friede Springer has had various honorary positions and roles due to her remarkable skills and influence. In 2006, she was appointed an Honorary Chairperson of the German Press Foundation, providing her a platform to use her influence to nurture growth, innovation, and freedom within the press.

In addition, she’s an honorary senator of the Hebrew University Jerusalem and an honorary citizen of Berlin. These honorary titles are a testament to her impact not only within the media industry, but also as a public figure.

7. Philanthropic Ventures

Friede Springer is not only known for her successful role in the media industry but also for her philanthropic works. With her substantial wealth, she has funded many charitable causes in a bid to create a positive societal impact.

She is especially involved in initiatives aimed at promoting education and scientific research. The Axel Springer Foundation is one of such initiatives, acting as a conduit for promoting journalism, literature, and language, among other things.

8. Commitment to Independent Journalism

One of Friede Springer’s major accomplishments has been upholding the values of independent journalism. She has ensured that the Axel Springer SE publishing house adheres to stringent journalistic standards, maintaining its reputation as a source of credible news.

This commitment has propelled Axel Springer SE to continue being a significant player in an often tumultuous media landscape, influencing public opinion and fostering debates on important social issues.

9. Influence on German Politics

Friede Springer’s influence often extends beyond the precincts of media and publishing. With her firm grasp on influential media outlets, she plays a significant role in shaping narratives and influencing public opinion. Springer’s endorsement or criticism can make or break political careers.

This influence was particularly evident when former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder bitterly complained about her support for his political rival, Angela Merkel. It is widely believed that her support played a significant role in Merkel’s ascension to power.

10. Friede Springer’s Net Worth

With her controlling shares in one of Europe’s largest publishing houses, Friede Springer’s net worth is quite impressive. According to Forbes, as of 2021, her net worth is estimated to be around $3.2 billion, ranking her amongst Germany’s richest women.

Despite her immense wealth, Springer leads a rather private life, with few glimpses into her luxurious lifestyle. She is known to have a strong work ethic and spends most of her time managing her vast business empire and nurturing the legacy her late husband left behind.

In conclusion, Friede Springer is a fascinating figure in European media. Her journey from a humble nanny to one of Germany’s most influential women has been nothing short of inspiring. Despite the might of her influence, she remains dedicated to a vision of a freer and more reliable press.

Useful Links:

Axel Springer SE
Friede Springer Foundation