Robert Saudek | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 7 Number 4
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X



Robert Saudek (1880-1935) was a versatile man of letters. He was born in Bohemia in the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy. What moved him to leave Berlin and settle in The Hague during the First World War to start a new life as a journalist? How did he manage to lead an international press agency and make it a success enterprise under difficult circumstances? What role did this press agency with the inconspicuous name (HNB) play in the news provision for Dutch and foreign dailies? How did the HNB news service distinguish itself from the competing offerings of (inter)national news agencies? What was the relationship with governments of neutral and belligerent countries? How could Saudek, as a newcomer in an existing network, organize the gathering and distribution of news from The Hague? And not unimportantly, how could he finance the technical equipment, despite the limitations of wartime telecommunications? What to think about his relationship with the Austrian-Hungarian government in Vienna and his brim over to the Czech independence movement? These questions are addressed in this article, focusing also on the context of Saudek’s activities in the years 1915-1918.


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