German television broadcasting

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German television broadcasting
Station logo
General information
Reception: analog: antenna
Seat: Berlin , GDR
Broadcasting company: German television broadcasting (television of the GDR)
Start of broadcast: December 20, 1951
Closing date: December 15, 1990 (1st stage of shutdown)
December 31, 1991 (complete shutdown)
Legal form: 1951–1990: State broadcasting company ,
1990: public broadcasting company,
1990–1991: state-independent, legal entity
Program type: Full program
List of TV channels

Deutscher Fernsehfunk ( DFF ; between 1972 and 1990 television of the GDR ) was the state television of the German Democratic Republic .


1950–1956: from the television center to the DFF

German television broadcasting.
Former radio tower,
on the right adjoining the
former editorial building of the AK,
called "Schafstall"

Hans Mahle was the pioneer of television in the GDR . On June 11, 1950, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Berlin TV Center (FZ) in Berlin-Adlershof took place under his general directorate for radio . The first attempts at transmission and reception began on December 20, 1951 - but only for technicians and specialists, because the first public television sets were not installed until July 29, 1952. A first small picture transmitter (800 W) was installed in Berlin-Mitte on the old townhouse in February 1952 and connected to Adlershof via radio relay on June 3rd . In August 1952, the Rhinelander Hermann Zilles became the director of the television center. The first television radio receivers were sold in the GDR from November 16, 1952. The Leningrad device manufactured in the Sachsenwerk Radeberg initially cost DM 3,500 , with an average monthly income of around DM 300 at the time . However, until production ceased in 1954, only around 3,000 Leningrad devices were sold in the GDR, the main production of around 130,600 devices had to be be delivered to the Soviet Union as reparations . The area coverage with televisions in Berlin and the GDR was initially extremely low.

On December 21, 1952 - in honor of the 74th birthday of Josef Stalin  - the “public test program” started with two hours of broadcasting time every day from 8 p.m. and the Brandenburg Gate as the logo. About 60 devices were ready to receive in the GDR, all of them in Berlin. After the greeting by the announcer Margit Schaumäker , greetings from the television management followed and finally the current camera (AK) with speaker Herbert Köfer . As the oldest German television news program, the AK remained until December 14, 1990. However, in the early years , the AK was not yet an SED mouthpiece, as television was not yet a mass medium and anything but up-to-date. Soon the Tagesschau and also the AK became more popular and effective than the newsreels in the cinemas because of their topicality. The DEFA weekly show Der Augenzeuge still provided objective information. This also applies to the events on June 17, 1953 , the day of the workers' uprising in the GDR, and the days that followed. However, intendant Zilles was dismissed. His successor was Heinz Adameck in the summer of 1954 and remained so until the fall of the Berlin Wall .

In order to reach more viewers, the network was quickly expanded. 1953 Berlin-Grünau (in the Müggelberge ), Dresden, 1955 Berlin-Mitte, Brocken, Inselsberg, Helpterberg, Marlow, Chemnitz and 1956 Berlin-Köpenick , whereby Brocken and Inselsberg also shone far to West Germany. Technology and television studios were also expanded rapidly. In the summer of 1953, Studio I was opened on the Berlin-Adlershof site . In 1955 there was a first outside broadcast vehicle and a third broadcasting studio.

1956–1972: from DFF to GDR television

Sender logo 1968: GDR German television radio
Broadcast hours per year

On January 2, 1956, the official test program of the Berlin TV Center ended and on January 3, the German TV Broadcasting Corporation (DFF) began its program. The station was politically not initially called the GDR television . The DFF wanted to be television for all of Germany. Despite broadcasters close to the border, the DFF was physically unable to supply the entire Federal Republic of Germany, while ARD later reached the entire GDR with the exception of the Elbe valley , the so-called " Valley of the Unsuspecting ", and the northeast (including Stralsund, Greifswald).

At the end of 1958, over 300,000 televisions were registered in the GDR. From October 7, 1958, the morning program was introduced as a repetition of the program for late workers. One day later, an evening greeting followed for the first time . The evening greeting from television became an export hit from November 22, 1959 onwards as part of the program Our Sandman , and it survived the station's closure in 1991. Today, however, the name television radio can no longer be heard in the Sandmann Lied, as the second stanza in question has been omitted.

On October 3, 1969, the second program of the German television station DFF 2 went on air for the first time as a color program on the occasion of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the founding of the GDR . This marked the beginning of the age of color television for German television broadcasting. Walter Ulbricht opened the program with the words "The second TV program has opened".

With the addition of the second program, the number of broadcast hours produced also increased. The broadcast was in the color transmission system SECAM III b , in contrast to the West German PAL system (SECAM was and is used in some countries in Eastern Europe and France). However, the video / sound carrier spacing according to CCIR (5.5 MHz) was used, so that German viewers from the other part of Germany could receive the sound, but only a black and white picture (TVs with both color systems were only produced in the 1970s). The sound carrier spacing usual in Eastern Europe was 6.5 MHz according to OIRT - so the GDR system was not compatible with either the West or the East. Resourceful technicians soon found ways of upgrading the GDR devices (the first GDR color television set and the first fully transistorized color television in Europe was the Color 20, later followed by Rubin and Raduga from the USSR) by installing PAL decoders or PAL / SECAM combi decoders. The modules came from handicraftsmen's hands or later from GDR production, because color televisions were now being produced here for the German market. It was not until much later ( Chromat 1060 , approx. 1978) that devices were also sold in the GDR that could receive both SECAM and PAL. The color broadcasts were initially only transferred to DFF 2. A few years later, the main program for color broadcasts was also upgraded.

year 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1988 1989
Broadcast hours / year 786 3007 3774 6,028 6,851 7,704 8,265 9,194 8,900
Average Broadcast hours / week 15th 58 73 116 132 148 159 177 171

1972–1989: TV in the GDR

Pennant of the television of the GDR for the Olympic Games in Montreal - July 17th -1. August 1976

On February 11, 1972, the DFF was renamed and from then on was called the GDR television. The old name only survived in credits, quotes and the sandman in the evening greeting from television .

The rumor that GDR television planned for political reasons at the time to broadcast the Olympic Games in Moscow in PAL and had therefore broadcast PAL test programs beforehand is unfounded. On the one hand, Adlershof television was not materially capable of broadcasting PAL at that time, because the mixer and infrastructure were consistently implemented using SECAM technology. Transcoders were also not available in sufficient quantities. On the other hand, there was no nationwide equipment with multi-standard color television sets at that time, so that PAL broadcasts of sports programs would have been an affront for the GDR population.

The so-called main control room II with Marconi cameras and a SECAM mixer from Thomson went into operation as the first color control room in 1969 . Control rooms II and III in the production complex S4 were converted from SW to color by the image measurement technology and contained a single-level SECAM mixer, with which you could fade in and out smoothly or with tricks, as well as scanning out fonts. In 1975/1976 the new control room 5 of the current camera in the newly built complex S5a with a multi-level SECAM mixer went into operation. This was an anticipation of the later RFZ mixer and was developed by image measurement technology using various components together with the Central Radio and Television Office (RFZ) .

In the mid-1970s, studios A to F in complex S1 (now Studio Berlin) went into operation, but initially did not have their own image control room. It was not until the years 1977 to 1980 that video technology was increasingly installed. Multi-level SECAM mixers from the RFZ Berlin and Soviet camera technology were used, initially the KT-116 cameras and later the KT-132. The concept envisaged a joint direction for two studios because it was assumed that one studio would produce while the next production was being prepared in the neighboring studio. However, it soon became apparent that these preparations were taking much less time than expected. Right from the start there was a bottleneck in directing capacity in S1, which could only be compensated for by producing an OB van. That is why some of the studios were and still are played with OB vans to this day. Because there were both SECAM and PAL OB vans in GDR times, production and recording were carried out there in both PAL and SECAM.

Control rooms 2 to 4 in the new S4a building had multi-level SECAM mixers at the RFZ Berlin when they were commissioned in the early 1980s. Later control room 3 and control room 4 received component mixers from Grass Valley (GVG-300 and GVG-110). At this point in time, control room 5 and HR II were also converted to component mixers (the latter eventually housed Elf 99 ). Here, modified RFZ mixers were used in conjunction with component crossbars from Probel . Around 1989/1990, control rooms 3, 4, 5 and HR II were converted to analog component technology, which made it possible to switch from SECAM to PAL "overnight" by exchanging the coders.

In addition to Sony technology and technology from Darmstadt TV GmbH, which later renamed its name several times and changed its name (Bosch, BTS, Philips, Thomson, today Grass Valley), television technology from many other manufacturers was used, such as Marconi, Philips, Probel, Aston , the RFZ and RFT , as well as cameras, monitors and OB vans from the USSR.

1989–1990: the turning point

The political change in the GDR in 1989 also meant a stronger separation from state power for the media. In the political broadcasts it was possible to report more and more freely and numerous new programs went on air.

When the broadcaster was still under the control of the state, the youth program Elf 99 (based on the station's zip code at that time in 1199 Berlin-Adlershof ) went on air on September 1, 1989 . The SED wanted to attract more young viewers to the GDR programs, which were based on the Western media.

Participating actors from East German television at the beginning of the demonstration in Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse , including Herbert Köfer (1st row, 3rd from left)

Initially the mass exodus and protests were hardly mentioned in the political broadcasts, but at the end of October 1989 that changed suddenly. On October 18, 1989, Erich Honecker and other members of the political bureau in power of the SED Central Committee resigned. Immediately afterwards, radio and television reformed their programs. On October 30, 1989, the propaganda program The Black Channel was discontinued. From now on, plain text should be spoken. The employees of this new magazine program had forced the removal of the Black Canal and of Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler .

On November 4, 1989, employees and actors of the television of the GDR were among the organizers and participants of the Alexanderplatz demonstration in East Berlin . For the unique event in the history of the GDR, at which, according to the organizers, a million people called for fundamental changes, the Association of Film and Television Creators , the Committee for Entertainment Arts and other artists' associations acted as official organizers.

The new issue of AK Zwo of the news program Current Camera began broadcasting. A little later, on the occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the West broadcaster 3sat took over this program . When the DFF became a member of 3sat in February 1990, a number of new programs were developed and started, including the controversial talk show Thursday Talk with audience participation by telephone, which was initially watched carefully in the studio by the Ministry for State Security (GDR secret service).

In February 1990, a media decision declared the People's Chamber , the television of the GDR into a politically independent public service broadcaster . The GDR Media Act of September 1990 confirmed this status.

Logo of DFF 2 from March 12, 1990 to December 15, 1990

On March 12, 1990 the programs DDR-F1 and DDR-F2 became DFF 1 and DFF 2 again .

In mid-1990 it became apparent that the countries that were dissolved in 1952 would be reintroduced, and television and radio were increasingly making reporting more regional. These were produced in the existing studios. A new one was set up in Gera for Thuringia . The broadcast for the state of Brandenburg was produced in Berlin-Adlershof. Regional correspondent offices were set up in Erfurt, Potsdam, Schwerin, Leipzig, Magdeburg and Cottbus. The studios were neither legally nor financially independent. On August 13, 1990, the DFF began broadcasting daily state programs. Initially, each national program broadcast one day a week, later daily with the help of a breakdown.

1990–1991: the shutdown

Former DFF administration building H1A,
today modernized: Studio Berlin

With the German reunification on October 3, 1990, the DFF lost its independence under public law and was continued together with the radio of the GDR and the broadcasting and studio technology of the Deutsche Post as a so-called state - independent, legally competent body according to Art. 36 Unification Treaty. Article 36 of the Unification Treaty also stipulates that the facility with all program material, real estate, employees and other property must be dissolved by December 31, 1991 at the latest. Before reunification, the People's Chamber of the GDR had not appointed its own broadcasting officer. Thus Rudolf Mühlfenzl ( CSU ) as a radio officer determines that the leadership and management took over.

The first stage of the shutdown took place on December 15, 1990 at 7:58 p.m. The first German television took over the broadcasting chain of the previous DFF 1 . The transmission power of the former Brocken (Channel 6) and Inselsberg (Channel 5) transmitters near the border was later reduced. From now on, the DFF used the lower-range UHF transmitter chain of DFF 2 to distribute the DFF country chain . At the same time, on the night of December 14th to 15th, the East German color television standard was changed from SECAM to PAL . A PAL decoder was therefore necessary for color reproduction on older SECAM television receivers.

At that time, the common television program of the ARD in was first between 17:25 to 20:00 connected regionally apart and by the relevant institutions with regional information programs and TV shows recorded. As there were no ARD broadcasters in the new federal states, the institution's regional broadcasters broadcast regional programs on the former DFF 1 channels .

With the second stage of the shutdown, the broadcasting of German television was stopped on December 31, 1991 at midnight. In a speech given by radio commissioner Rudolf Mühlfenzl on the broadcasting regulations in East Germany that came into effect from midnight, which was broadcast on the DFF country chain at 19:50 on New Year's Eve 1991, Mühlfenzl explained the shutdown of the DFF.


Studios A to F are now used by Studio Berlin.

The dissolution of the facility was discussed controversially until the end. Not only their employees wanted to keep the channels, many viewers didn't want to miss the programs either. Not only entertainment and advice programs were popular, but also political programs since the fall of the Wall. The idea of continuing radio and television in a new ARD company for the eastern German states with the DFF country chain as the third television program was not taken up by the eastern German states when they set up new public broadcasters. Instead, after years of centralized media policy, the media locations were decentralized.

The states of Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia came to an agreement very early on and on May 31, 1991 founded the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) based in Leipzig. Various constellations were discussed for north-east Germany, such as B. the establishment of a Northeast German Broadcasting Corporation (NORA) between the states of Berlin , Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or a joint broadcasting company for Berlin and Brandenburg. However, no agreement could be reached, so Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania joined the North German Broadcasting Corporation (NDR), the Sender Free Berlin (SFB) broadcasted for all of Berlin from now on, and in the state of Brandenburg on October 12, 1991, the East German Broadcasting Corporation ( ODR) was founded. This was renamed Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg (ORB) about two weeks before the broadcast began . With effect from May 1, 2003 , the ORB and the Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) merged to form the new Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB).

The new stations started broadcasting on January 1, 1992, midnight - immediately after the DFF had closed. Actually, the DFF was not allowed to continue transmitting a second after midnight - but a few seconds passed before it actually switched. Several stations that now broadcast the MDR television program (including Brocken, Dresden) then broadcast the MDR image for minutes with the sound of the ORB and its director Hansjürgen Rosenbauer .

The MDR in particular is enjoying a high level of public acceptance today. It is viewed by many viewers as the successor, not least because of the numerous DFF productions that are broadcast over and over again, some programs from the earlier DFF program (for example “Outsider Front Runner”) and earlier DFF faces.

The new Studio G from Studio Berlin on the former DFF site

The property was partly taken over by the newly founded institutions. It was considered to sell the programming assets to the Kirch group . Ultimately, however, the German Broadcasting Archive (DRA) Frankfurt am Main took over the holdings, which can also be used by private users. It set up a second office in the premises of the Adlershof archive. The DFF archive is now located in a new DRA building in Potsdam-Babelsberg . However, the period from 1952 to 1962 is missing, as almost nothing could be recorded during this time. The Müncheberg Archive in Schöneiche near Berlin was able to secure and catalog materials from this period . Parts of the extensive DFF fund are now secured in the Adlershof prop and costume fund, which also includes the film Good Bye, Lenin! significantly supported with loans.

Some of the formerly around 10,000 employees were able to find a job with the new or West German broadcasters or with private radio .

Many of the buildings, including those on DEFA's neighboring Johannisthal site , were demolished. The former DFF administration building remained under a preservation order. Some studios and buildings were taken over in 1994 by the newly founded Studio Hamburg subsidiary Studio Berlin Adlershof , which now offers services for television and film productions there. A growing number of small and medium-sized media companies are also based on the site. The former site of the DFF now belongs together with the DEFA Johannisthal and the Academy of Sciences of the GDR for science and business center Adlershof (WISTA) .

The processing of the program history of the DFF is the subject of scientific studies within the framework of the project program history of GDR television comparative , which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Heinz Adameck (r.) Receives the Patriotic Order of Merit

The governing body for radio and television was the State Broadcasting Committee since 1952 . On September 15, 1968, an independent State Committee for Television was formed. Its chairman was from 1968 to 1989 Heinz Adameck (member of the agitation commission in the Central Committee of the SED ). Up until October 1989, the political magazines and news broadcasts were very heavily controlled and directly influenced by the respective SED Central Committee Secretary for Agitation; in the last years of the GDR this was Joachim Herrmann .

The Modrow -Regierung invoked after the turn Hans Bentzien for directors. In June 1990 the DFF cameraman and today's ARD digital director Michael Albrecht was declared the last director.

The directors of the DFF

Well-known programs


Regional broadcasts (August 1990 - December 1991)



Walter Ulbricht in the show with the heart in 1966
Helga Hahnemann in the Kessel Buntes 1989

Sports broadcasts

FF included ; No. 11; Program week from March 10th to 16th, 1986; Program preview for Saturday, March 15, 1986; 1. program; P. 28

Children's and youth programs

The Sandman Lands, 1984

Series / series

The GDR television favorites 1987

The television of the GDR had a permanent cast of actors for its numerous film and series productions, many of the most popular GDR actors (e.g. Herbert Köfer , Walter Plathe , Günter Naumann , Helga Göring , Andreas Schmidt-Schaller , Helga Piur , Renate Geißler , Günter) Schubert , Jürgen Zartmann and many more) were members.

Foreign series

The television of the GDR showed a number of series that were produced abroad, some of which were first broadcast in Germany - these are marked with an *. These included some series that came from so - called non - socialist countries . The synchronization took place largely through the television of the GDR .

Television series Country of production genre First shipment Repetition (s)
Adventure on the sea New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand Adventure series May to July 84 May to July 88
The Adventures of Dick Turpin * United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Adventure series May 31, 1980 1981-1983
The adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn CanadaCanada Canada / FRG
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany 
Adventure series October 1990
Adolars fantastic adventures Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary cartoon January 22, 1977
Agatha Christie's Poirot United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series March 27, 1990
The American Duel * Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary Adventure series 1982 1985
Andrea and her friends * Romania 1965Romania Romania Adventure series June 1989
The mysterious cities of gold * FranceFrance France / JapanJapanJapan  Animated adventure series 1988
On axis Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany FRG Adventure series July 24, 1990
The departure of the flying crowd * Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary Adventure series 1982 1985
BD intervenes * Romania 1965Romania Romania Crime series 1975 1988
Famous robber stories from around the world * CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Adventure series January 7, 1988
Curro Jiménez - The Andalusian Rebel *
(also: Curro continues to fight and Curro does not give up )
Spain 1977Spain Spain Adventure series 3rd November 1981 1981-1983
Daniel Boone * United StatesUnited States United States Western series 1971
Detective Sergeant Bulman, Scotland Yard *
(also: Fahndung: Detective Sergeant Bulman, Scotland Yard )
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series 1983 1989
The woman behind the counter CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia February 24, 1978
Dirty Dancing * United StatesUnited States United States Youth series September 1, 1989
Dusty AustraliaAustralia Australia Adventure series September 7, 1990
Erotic at night (Série Rose) * FranceFrance France Erotic series December 20, 1986
Once upon a time there was a house
(also: landlords and tenants )
CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Drama series February 11, 1977
Expedition Adam '84 CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia SciFi series July 18, 1987 1990
torches in the storm United StatesUnited States United States Drama series September 7, 1990 1991
Fame - the way to fame United StatesUnited States United States Dance series June 1990
Merian family AustriaAustria Austria Family series 1990
Holidays with ghosts PolandPoland Poland Children's series 1970 (b / w)
Search: Tokyo Airport Police * JapanJapan Japan Crime series May 18, 1983 1985-1987
Truck driver * FranceFrance France Adventure series June 25, 1973
Paco the trucker * SpainSpain Spain Adventure series September 27, 1980 1985
Floris - The Man with the Sword * NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Adventure series August 27, 1977
The secret of the moor * BelgiumBelgium Belgium Adventure series May 1985 1989
The ghosts from Spirit Bay * CanadaCanada Canada Adventure series February 18, 1989
A hamster in a nightgown CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Adventure series December 25, 1989
Hare and wolf Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union cartoon
The Baskerville Dog * United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series January 12, 1985
Hunters Gold * New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand Adventure series 1983 1988
Inspector Morse, Oxford Homicide Squad * United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series August 10, 1989
Jim Bergerac investigates * United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series March 22, 1985 1986-1991
The jewel of the crown * United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Drama series October 1986 1991
Captain Tenkes *
(also: The captain of Tenkesberg )
Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary Adventure series January 1965 1966-1989
Knight Rider United StatesUnited States United States Action series 1991
The hospital on the outskirts of the city * CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Hospital series May 5th 1979 1986
The criminal cases of Major Zeman *
(also: The 30 cases of Major Zeman )
CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Crime series March 9, 1976 1977-1982
The people of the Great saddle * CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Family series April 1989
Lolek and Bolek PolandPoland Poland cartoon
The Lion of Flanders BelgiumBelgium Belgium Adventure series May 7, 1983
The men of the Naumachos * ItalyItaly Italy Adventure series 1986 1989
Matt & Jenny CanadaCanada Canada Adventure series February 12, 1990
Mazarin FranceFrance France Adventure series March 30, 1983 June 6, 1984
With full sails
(also: To the end of the world )
Romania 1965Romania Romania Adventure series 19th February 1980 1981-1985
Oh these tenants * DenmarkDenmark Denmark Family series January 6, 1975 1975-1986
Pipo can do it all CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia / FRG
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany 
Children's series September 1989
Private detective Anthonsen * DenmarkDenmark Denmark Crime series January 9, 1986 1988
The rebels from Liang Shan Po JapanJapan Japan Action series 1991
Richelieu FranceFrance France Adventure series September 22, 1981 19th August 1984
The rivals of Sherlock Holmes United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series 5th January 1977 1978
Sandokan - The Tiger of Malaysia ItalyItaly Italy / FRG / France
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany 
Adventure series July 1, 1981 1984
The treasure in space * ItalyItaly Italy / FRG
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany 
SciFi series October 31, 1989
The quick Gerdi Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany FRG Family series September 23, 1990
The beautiful Arabella and the magician CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Children's series July 30, 1983 1987
Black clouds * PolandPoland Poland Adventure series 5th September 1975
Sailor dreams * Bulgaria 1971Bulgaria Bulgaria Adventure series June 30, 1989
Seconds decide * PolandPoland Poland Adventure series February 13, 1969 1970-1986
She came from outer space * CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Children's series 3rd July 1982
The strong Lu * China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China Adventure series January 23, 1987 1989
Stefek, the forty year old *
(also: The inevitable experiences of Stefan Karwowski as a person and colleague )
PolandPoland Poland Family series August 31, 1977 1979-1989
Unusual stories by Roald Dahl
(also: The incredible stories of Roald Dahl )
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Adventure series 1990
Our grandpa is the very best * CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Children's series April 8, 1982 1989
The Invisible Man * United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom SciFi series May 3, 1986 1989
Four tank soldiers and a dog * PolandPoland Poland War series March 1968
Washington: behind closed doors United StatesUnited States United States Miniseries May 2, 1980
Like a wind-blown sheaf * Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary Adventure series March 19, 1985
The return of Sherlock Holmes *
(also: The adventures of Sherlock Holmes )
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Crime series 1988
William of Orange * NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands / BelgiumBelgiumBelgium  Drama series December 11, 1984 1989
The magic stone CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Children's series June 14, 1986
Zoo Adventure * AustraliaAustralia Australia Animal series August 1988 1990

The series Please continue to laugh in 1988 showed clips from the Ist ja crazy feature film series. The slapstick series with short films by Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton When the Cakes Fly or Goodnight with Charlie is also known as the Klamottenkiste .

School television

Programs from the following subjects and subject areas were produced for teaching in schools: chemistry, ESP (“ Introduction to Socialist Production ”), English ( English for you ), geography, history, local history, German, physics, civics and Russian .

Many programs can still be ordered through the German Broadcasting Archive , Frankfurt am Main and Potsdam-Babelsberg.

Financing and Promotion

Television was financed through license fees. In addition, it was heavily subsidized by the state. So were z. B. in the state budget of 1982 estimated 115.4 million GDR marks in revenue. In 1983 there were expenditures in the amount of 222 million GDR marks. The fee collection was carried out by the postal newspaper distributor .

In 1959 a test program "Notes for shopping" started on German television. It was the forerunner of the "Thousand Tele-Tips" that ran regularly on television from 1960 onwards. The programs were ad-free from 1975 . The reasons for this were certainly also the lack of competition between the products on offer.

From the turnaround phase , there was again advertising to finance the skyrocketing costs, which were now largely to be borne by the company. For this purpose, a contract was signed with the French advertising marketer IP (Information et Publicité) with a term until December 31, 1991.


For the transmission standard, the GDR had deviated from the established in the rest of Eastern Europe OIRT norm D / K for the Western European CCIR - broadcast standard chosen B / G in order to remain compatible with West Germany. In contrast to the Federal Republic of Germany and in line with Eastern Europe, color television was introduced on October 3, 1969 in the SECAM standard developed by France . However, this did not change the basic compatibility, mutual reception at least in black and white was still possible. With the end of the program from December 14th to 15th, 1990, at the same time as the first program was switched off, the system switched to PAL . The Deutsche Bundespost assumed that devices that could receive both color standards were largely in use. Otherwise a decoder was necessary.

In 1983, television in the GDR was the first German television company to introduce the Betacam system developed by Sony for magnetic image recording on a trial basis , the successor systems of which ( Betacam SP and Digital Betacam ) are still used today by many large broadcasters. It gradually replaced the electromagnetic recording technology from Bosch . In the same year, GDR television used a steadicam for direct transmission in the German-speaking area for the first time .


Herbert Köfer was in front of the camera for both the first and the last broadcast of the DFF. When it was first broadcast on December 21, 1952, he was a newscaster for Current Camera . The last broadcast was a New Year's Eve revue from Chemnitz , moderated by Ines Krüger and Walter Plathe , which was broadcast on New Year's Eve 1991. Köfer was invited there as a guest and sang together with Frank Schöbel the hit The last turns off the light, the shop is now closing .

GDR television celebrities

Surname Function at the DFF later activity
Andrea Ballschuh Moderator children's program A bee for ... Moderator, u. a. at MDR ( quickie ) and hr ( hello hessen )
Elke Bitterhof Program spokesperson and presenter Moderator MDR ( self-determined! ) And Antenne Brandenburg
Bodo Boeck Sports reporter today at MDR
Cathrin Böhme Program spokesperson Moderator of the Berliner Abendschau ( rbb )
Andreas Brückner Moderator in the children's program ( mobile broadcast ) Moderator of MDR aktuell (MDR) and Umschau
Jan Carpentier Political journalist at Elf 99 and in Studio Bonn Journalist at the rbb
Fanny Damaschke Program spokesperson and presenter
Klaus Feldmann News anchor of the current camera News anchor and editor at regional broadcaster in Lausitz, now retired
Bodo Freudl Program announcement in the 2nd, moderator (RUND) and editor-in-chief for youth television Activity at UFA ; was also on RTL breakfast television
Angela Fritzsch Moderator at Elf 99 Presenter of zibb ( rbb )
Maria Gartz Political journalist Studio Paris today at Euronews Lyon
Christiane Gerboth Presenter current (follow-up broadcast of the "Current Camera") News anchor at ProSieben
Heike Götz Regional news anchor News anchor at ORB / rbb , today presenter at NDR
Hellmuth Henneberg Moderator Moderator and journalist at rbb ( ozone and garden time )
Bernd Herrmann Political Journalist (Studio Moscow) Journalist at the rbb
Dieter B. Herrmann Aha moderator Astronomer, science historian, former director of the Archenhold observatory in Berlin-Treptow and founding director of the Zeiss large planetarium in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, today President of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin
Eckhard Herholz Sports reporter and moderator "Sport aktuell" switched to ZDF in 1990; today editor-in-chief of a private publishing company
Victoria Herrmann Journalist and presenter at Elf99 Moderator at MDR
Andrea Horn Program announcer Program spokesperson at RTL, then ZDF chief announcer, today a presenter at MDR
Maybrit Illner Travel magazine Azur , evening journal presenter and sports editor Presenter at ZDF ( ZDF-Morgenmagazin , Maybrit Illner ) and publicist
Hans-Dieter Jancker AK correspondent in Dresden Freelance MDR radio in Leipzig
Ulrich Jansch Sports reporter Sports reporter at Eurosport
Axel Kaspar Journalist, filmmaker, presenter in the domestic politics magazine "Prisma" from 1992 active for the MDR (magazines "WIR", "Exakt", "Fakt"), reports / documentaries
Ulf Kalkreuth Cultural journalist Moderator at rbb
Andrea Kiewel Moderator of the regional program Moderator at ZDF (including ZDF television garden )
Renate Krawielicki news Moderation at ORB and WDR ( family service time )
Hardy Kühnrich Political journalist, later ARD correspondent in Warsaw rbb journalist
Petra Kusch-Lück Program spokesperson Moderator at ORB, MDR and rbb (musicians barn)
Ines Kruger Program spokesperson, entertainer, presenter ( Elf 99 ) Moderator from Brisant (MDR) until 2005, now a therapist and no television
Wolfgang Lippert Moderator Moderator u. a. at ZDF ( Wetten, dass ..? ) and MDR ( Where is Lippi? , boiler Colorful, those days was `)
Anja Ludewig AK correspondent for Berlin and Potsdam rbb
Christine Meister news rbb live reporter, presenter DW-TV
Achim Mentzel Moderator Moderator at MDR ( The boat of good mood , Achim's hit parade ); † 2016
Gerald Meyer Midday journal moderator Moderator from Brandenburg aktuell and economy, work, saving - "WAS!" ( Rbb )
Carmen Nebel Program spokesperson Moderator at ZDF
Bernd Niestroj Political journalist in the Bonn studio MDR journalist
Heinz Florian Oertel Sports reporter ORB & MDR sports reporter, now retired
Jens Riewa news Spokesman for the Tagesschau (NDR)
Almut Rudel Sports presenter MDR - news presenter
Matthias Schliesing news Journalist at MDR
Michael Schmidt News presenter NDR journalist in Schwerin
Susanne Schwab Program announcer Announcer at RTL, then at SFB
Frank Stuckatz Sports presenter freelance MDR, rbb journalist
Raiko Thal Political Journalist ( AK zwo ) Moderator of the evening show and zibb ( rbb )
Dirk Thiele Sports reporter Eurosport
Peter Thomsen Moderator ("Man (n) ometer") active as a television actor in films and series
Monika Unferferth Program spokesperson rbb , MDR, ZDF - journalist and presenter for fashion and clothing
Angelika Unterlauf Speaker of the current camera Sat.1 journalist, wife of Erich Böhme , now retired
OF Weidling Moderator and conférencier as well as host of the talk show Treff mit OF
Doris Weikow TV announcer in the 1st program
Beate Werner Moderator Here in Saxony (later as Sachsenspiegel ) MDR ( Out and about in Saxony )
Gert Wichmann Political Journalist (Studio Warsaw) MDR journalist
Hans-Joachim Wolfram Showmaster ( outsider leader ) until 2011 continued as an MDR entertainment journalist the show outsider front-runner .

See also


  • Rüdiger Steinmetz, Reinhold Viehoff (Hrsg.): German television east: A program history of the GDR television . 1st edition. Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-86650-488-2 .
  • Thomas Beutelschmidt: "Everything for the well-being of the people?!?" The GDR as screen reality before and after 1989 , 1999 ( abstract ).
  • Matthias Steinle: From the enemy image to the external image. The mutual representation of FRG and GDR in the documentary . With a foreword by Marc Ferro. CLOSE UP series, vol. 18, UVK, Konstanz 2003, ISBN 978-3-89669-421-8 .
  • Uwe Breitenborn: How did the bear laugh? Systematics, functionality and thematic segmentation of entertaining non-fictional program forms in German television until 1969 . Weißensee, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-934479-99-5 ( publisher information ).
  • Lars Brücher: West television and the revolutionary upheaval in the GDR in autumn 1989 , master's thesis, 2000 ( online version ).
  • Oskar Fanta: Seeing - Guessing - Laughing? Quizzes and games on television in the GDR . Weißensee, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-89998-079-4 .
  • Peter Hoff: "Cold War on German Screens - The Ethereal War and the Plans to Build a Second TV Program in the GDR", in: Kulturation , 2/2003. ( Online version ).
  • Woo-Seung Lee: Television in Divided Germany (1952–1989) . Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2003, ISBN 3-935035-50-0 .
  • Hans Müncheberg: A Bavarian blows out the little lights - Eastern television in the turning fever and unitary pull . In: Freitag 46/2004, Berlin, 2004 ( online version ).
  • Hans Müncheberg: Blue miracle from Adlershof. German television broadcasting - what has been experienced and what has been collected. Das Neue Berlin, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-360-00924-X .
  • Christina Oberst-Hundt: From departure to settlement - October 3, 1990 was the end of a beginning for radio in the GDR , In: M - Menschenmachen Medien, 2000 ( online version ).
  • Markus Hiegemann Rotenburg: What was left of German television broadcasting? Television and radio in the GDR 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Brilon, Sauerland Welle , broadcast on November 9th and 16th, 2004.
  • Sabine Salhoff (arrangement): The documents of the GDR television. An inventory overview. DRA, Potsdam-Babelsberg 2001, ISBN 3-926072-98-9 .
  • Erich Selbmann : DFF Adlershof. Paths across the TV country . Edition Ost, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-932180-52-6 (Selbmann was editor-in-chief of the current camera from 1966 to 1978 ). - review
  • Simone Tippach-Schneider: A thousand tele-tips. Advertising television in the GDR from 1959 to 1976 . Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3896-02478-7 . - review

Web links

Commons : Deutscher Fernsehfunk  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. operating history ROBOTRON Radeberg - televisions. Retrieved July 16, 2018 .
  2. Susanne Vollberg: “Repeater”, “Russian Program” or alternative mass program? For the conception and realization of the second program of the GDR television . In: Claudia Dittmar & Susanne Vollberg (eds.): The end of boredom? Program history of GDR television . Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2003, ISBN 978-3-936522-59-4 , p. 169-170 .
  3. Jasper A. Friedrich: Between improvisation and international standard - production technology and process in the sports television area of ​​the DFF . In: Jasper A. Friedrich, Lothar Mikos & Hans-Jörg Stiehler (eds.): Anpfiff. First analyzes of GDR sports television . Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2004, ISBN 978-3-937209-01-2 .
  4. ^ Soviet Television Cameras. Museum of the Broadcast Television Camera, accessed August 20, 2010 .
  5. ^ Information and history of Fernseh GmbH. Retrieved November 12, 2009 .
  6. ^ The last minutes of the DFF broadcast on December 31, 1991 on YouTube .
  7. ORB and MDR start their programs , Chronik der ARD, January 1, 1992.
  8. MDR and ORB began broadcasting on January 1, 1992 on YouTube .
  9. ^ Early history of German television broadcasting 1952–1962
  10. ^ DFF: disperse personnel. Spiegel No. 52/1991, December 23, 1991
  11. ^ End of GDR television: From state television to broadcast federalism (PDF file). "Tele-Visionen" - Federal Agency for Civic Education, September 22, 2012 (date of the PDF file)
  12. Spelling see main title at (accessed on December 22, 2013), otherwise different spellings
  13. FF here ; No. 11; Program week from March 10th to 16th, 1986; Program preview for Thursday, March 13, 1986; 1. program; 11.00 a.m.; Sport from the previous evening; DNB 010364692 ; ISSN  0532-9140 ; OCLC 312029300 ; P. 24.
  14. Superillu: Herbert Köfer: »I forget names too. It's different with texts ... « , September 6, 2010.
  15. The announcers in the 70s and 80s - Susanne Schwab. Brief portraits at, text version from April 6, 2018 (accessed October 5, 2018).

Coordinates: 52 ° 25 ′ 56 ″  N , 13 ° 32 ′ 24 ″  E