8th May 1945

Final issue of Deutsche Guernsey-Zeitung was published

The German occupying forces had their own Guernsey newspaper (or, in German, Zeitung). Launched in 1942, the single-sheet update was a late-comer: the forces on neighbouring Jersey had established their own paper, the Deutsche Inselzeitung, two years earlier.

Deutsche Guernsey-Zeitung (DGZ), which translates literally to German Guernsey Newspaper, was published daily until 24 March 1945. After that, it appeared every other day until 8 May, the day before liberation. Copies of the first and final issues are held by the Imperial War Museum in London.

It was produced under the guidance of the Seventh Army Propaganda Unit 649, and finally gave the occupying soldiers a paper of their own. Previously, the slimmed-down Guernsey Evening Press had carried the German updates in its own pages. These were printed alongside its regular, censored, English-language content.

Editing and production

Herbert Ladda had acted as editor until July 1944. He was replaced, until the end of its run, by Schmidt-Walkhoff. DGZ was produced at the Guernsey Evening Press printing plant and, as well as Guernsey, it was distributed to Alderney and Sark. By the time production began, the printing press was starting to show its age. The Germans were forced to procure some spare parts from occupied France. It seems that the need to do this had been less pressing before they wanted to launch their own paper.

Although much of the content focused on news from home and the progress of the war, DGZ also serialised a translation of Victor Hugo’s Guernsey-set novel, Toilers of the Sea.

Victor Hugo would probably not have approved. For one thing, he a peace-loving man. For another, he had turned down a lucrative offer from a newspaper to serialise the book on its initial publication. He believed that, as an artist, he could not allow it to be published in anything more than three large volumes.


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Other events that occured in May

Priaulx Library opens for the first time 1st
Horse racing returns to L’Ancresse race course 2nd
Guernsey deportee, nurse Gladys Skillett was born
“Twink” goes missing on its way to Guernsey 3rd
Role of Chief Minister of Guernsey abolished 4th
Guernsey Airport opened for business 5th
Alderney debated in the House of Commons 6th
Songs of Praise comes from Guernsey 7th
Final issue of Deutsche Guernsey-Zeitung was published 8th
Guernsey was liberated from German occupation 9th
A Guernsey retiree’s £1m offer attracts 57,000 requests 10th
A liberation celebration ended in disaster 11th
Guernsey plays Tottenham Hotspur 12th
Guernsey’s telephone wars broke out 13th
British papers reported Dame of Sark’s deportation 14th
The States of Guernsey bought Aurigny 15th
Alderney was liberated at the end of the second world war 16th
Herm goes back on the market 17th
A mainland murder with a Guernsey connection 18th
Guernsey declared a State of Emergency 19th
Wartime diplomat Wilfred Gallienne born in Guernsey 20th
Hauteville House is bequeathed to the City of Paris 21st
Guernsey poet and painter Denys Corbet was born 22nd
John Doyle was appointed Lieutenant-Governor 23rd
The Imperial Hotel opened for the first time 24th
Elizabeth College is founded in St Peter Port 25th
Game of Thrones actor Roy Dotrice was born 26th
Head of Guernsey CID is shot in St Peter Port 27th
Work started on the Victoria Tower
Guernsey’s first paid constables were hired 28th
Guernsey woman advised to leave for her safety 29th
Occupation stories occupy the mainland papers 30th
“Overdose” verdict in Guernsey farmer’s death inquiry 31st