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Our guest on 24.08.2008

Stefan Aust, Journalist


For 13 years, he was editor-in-chief of Germany’s most influential current affairs magazine, "Der Spiegel". Stefan Aust is equally at home as a television producer, creating the in-depth news program "Spiegel TV". He has also published several influential books on German post-war politics.

Stefan Aust, the oldest of five children, cut his teeth as the editor of a school newspaper. His first paid job was in 1966 with the magazine "Konkret", where he gained notoriety by publishing a do-it-yourself recipe for LSD. And it was through "Konkret" he made his first contact with Ulrike Meinhof, who later helped form the Red Army Faction, one of post-war Germany’s most active left-wing terror groups.

In 1970, Aust began a career as an investigative reporter with the public broadcaster NDR. During this time he uncovered a Nazi death sentence signed by Hans Filbinger, the serving state premier of Baden-Württemberg. The revelations eventually led to Filbinger’s resignation.

Stefan Aust was back in the headlines in 1985 with his book "The Baader-Meinhof Complex." His best-selling history of the RAF was later adapted into a movie by Reinhard Hauff. This year will see the release of a new film version of the book.

Parallel to his work in print, Stefan Aust has produced a number of television documentaries, including a three-part series about the effects of globalization. In 2007, he revisited his research into the Red Army Faction in a two-part TV special.

The 62-year-old journalist is a passionate horse rider and breeder, spending much of his free time in the countryside. Stefan Aust lives on the outskirts of Hamburg with his wife and two children.

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