Theo Sommer (born 10 June 1930) is a German newspaper editor and intellectual. He has been at Die Zeit since 1958, rising to Editor-in-Chief and Publisher. He is considered one of Germany's foremost authorities on international relations and strategic issues.
Life and career
Born in Konstanz, Republic of Baden, Sommer grew up in Schwäbisch Gmünd and was educated at a National Political Institutes of Education. He attended Manchester College in Indiana and the University of Chicago, then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen with his thesis on Germany and Japan between the Powers, 1935-1940.
At Die Zeit, he became Foreign Editor in 1958, Deputy Editor in 1968; Editor-in-Chief in 1973; Publisher in 1992; and became an Editor-at-Large in 2000.
Since 2004 Sommer is Editor-at-Large for the publishment Times Media, which includes the newspapers The Atlantic Times, The German Times, The Asia-Pacific Times and The African Times. He also served as Chief of Planning Staff for the German Ministry of Defence in 1969 to 1970. He is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group. Ukrainian-American historian Alexander J. Motyl has criticised Sommer for "closing his eyes to the mass murders of the Soviet regime", "disregard" for the Baltic states and Poland, and a "classically colonial" attitude toward Ukraine.
Honours and awards
- 1966: Theodor Wolff Prize
- 1998: Federal Cross of Merit 1st class (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse)
- 2002: Bundeswehr Cross of Honour in Gold
- 2012: Honorary Senator of the Helmut Schmidt University