Registered for two years at the University of Munich, he did not take a degree.
In 1911 he joined the German army and served in World War I, where he reached the rank of Captain. Severely wounded (he lost his left leg in air combat) Weiss was posted to the Troop Office of the Bavarian War Ministry, where he wrote military commentaries for the Press Department.
Joined the Bayern Freikorps and a multitude of other para-military and veterans’ organizations. In 1922 he was chief editor of the nationalist paper Heimatland and a year later took part in the Hitler putsch.
Between 1924 and 1926 Weiss was chief editor of the Völkische Kurier and on 1 January 1927 joined the Völkische Beobachter as Alfred Rosenberg's assistant, taking over much of the editorial work and supervising the editorial staff. In 1933 the pliant Weiss became deputy editor and in 1938 he was made Editor-in-Chief, a role he had in fact exercised for some years without the title.
As editor of the official Nazi newspaper with the largest circulation in the Third Reich, Weiss became the leading figure in German journalism. Appointed in 1934 by Goebbels to head the Reich Association of the German Press (Reichsverband der Deutschen Presse).
He was the recipient of many Party honours including the Golden Party Badge and the Service Cross, being promoted to the rank of SA-Obergruppenfuhrer in 1937. A member of the Reichstag from 5 March 1933 (Wahlkreis Potsdam), of the People’s Court and the Reichskultursenat, Weiss rose high in spite of his average intelligence, his reserved nature and the enmity of Reich Press Chief, Otto Dietrich. His efforts to improve the professional standards and the news coverage of the Völkische Beobachter were largely undermined by the dictatorial policies pursued by Hitler and Dietrich during the war. By 1945 Weiss had become completely disillusioned with the coercive system he had once supported.
On 15 July 1949 a Munich de-Nazification court sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment (which he had already served in internment camps), confiscation of one third of his property and suppression of professional rights for ten years.
Weiss died on 24 February 1950, while his appeal was still pending.
Weiss had enthusiastically supported the imposition of coercion and control over the press by the political leadership.
In practice, however, Weiss did not rigorously enforce the Editor’s Law which he had supported as head of the Reich Association of Journalists. On the other hand he never repudiated or distanced himself in any way from the Nazi system.
Quotations: “Journalism today is no longer a middle-class business, and those who inwardly remain Philistines will certainly not be encouraged by us to clothe their tender souls in National Socialist garments.'