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History

2013 was a very special year for the Athesia group as it was the year that saw celebrations take place for the 125th anniversary of its creation. Founded in 1888 as a "Catholic-political group", in 1907 it became the publishing company "Tyrolia" GmbH. The division of the region Tirol, forced at the end of WWI, caused the split of the company Tyrolia into two branches. The South Tyrolean branch was forced to change its name to "Verlagsanstalt Vogelweider GmbH".
Under the fascist rule the company had to change its name for a second time because the government regarded the name "Vogelweider" for still "too German”. Guided by the then President Kan, Michael Gamper, it was decided they should use the Latin name of the river Adige-Etsch, which was “Atesis", as root for the new name, but refined it by inserting a "th" and adding an ‘a’ at the end - "Athesia". What the fascists did not manage to achieve through this was the quashing of the voice of the South Tyroleans.  This was realised by the retiring Nazis one night of September 1943:

They persecuted Kan. Michael Gamper as an enemy of the state, but were not able to catch him. However they successfully deported the executive director, Reverend Rudolph Posch and the Athesia editor Friedl Volgger to the Dachau concentration camp, basically disowning the publishing company Athesia, and in its place they instated the "Bozner Verlag", faithful to the regime. At the end of WWII Kan. Michael Gamper managed, with the consent of the allies and the aid of the South Tyrolean population, to rebuild and further develop the publishing company Athesia.
Newspapers, printing, books, paper, educational materials - in this order Athesia has grown over the last century. The founders wanted to create paper products and give them a strong financial foundation. From the original company arose a versatile enterprise. Not least because of the technological development and changes in the consumers' behaviour but lately the group Athesia has increased its engagement in other fields such as online media, sustainable tourism and telecommunication.

Today, with almost 1.000 employees, the group’s heritage paves the way to make it one of the largest and oldest employers in the region. Thanks to its long tradition and history, the group is closely connected to South Tyrol’s families and to the Christian-democratic traditions and values of the region. After 125 years of company history, between tradition and innovation, the group still places great value on the balance between the wide variety of the different business branches held in the vision of the founding fathers: to support our people and our home.

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