Northwest German Broadcasting

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Northwest German Broadcasting
Station logo
NWDR Logo.svg
General information
Radio: NWDR 1
NWDR North
Sound body: NWDR-Sinfonieorchester
Rundfunkorchester Hamburg
Rundfunkorchester Hannover
Founding: September 22, 1945
Resolution: December 31, 1955
Successor: Norddeutscher Rundfunk ,
Westdeutscher Rundfunk Cologne
Radio Bremen Norddeutscher Rundfunk Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Bayerischer Rundfunk Südwestrundfunk Saarländischer Rundfunk Hessischer Rundfunk Westdeutscher Rundfunk KölnARD Karte.svg
About this picture
NWDR becomes the first "independent" German broadcaster (December 30, 1947)
Memorial plaque on the house, Heidelberger Platz 3, in Berlin-Wilmersdorf
The transmission area: The British zone of occupation and the British sector of Berlin

The Nordwestdeutsche Rundfunk ( NWDR ) was a German public broadcasting corporation based in Hamburg . She was responsible for the supply of radio programs in the states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony , Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia . In West Berlin, too, the NWDR broadcast from its own studio or broadcasting house until the Sender Freie Berlin was founded at the end of 1953 (which began broadcasting on June 1, 1954). The NWDR existed until the turn of the year 1955/56, when the two independent broadcasters NDR andWDR were founded.

The NWDR was a founding member of the consortium of public broadcasters (ARD).


The NWDR goes back to the " Nordische Rundfunk AG " (NORAG) founded in Hamburg in 1924 . Even before the German surrender at the end of World War II , the British military government founded Radio Hamburg on May 4, 1945 , which on September 22, 1945 became the Northwest German Broadcasting Corporation (NWDR) under the organization of Hugh Greene, and became a common broadcaster for the entire British zone of occupation .

Berlin radio programs New Year 1947; also NWDR

On January 1, 1948, the NWDR was handed over to German hands and converted into an institution under public law for the states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. The first general director was the SPD politician Adolf Grimme . A seven-member board of directors and a main committee with 16 members were superordinate to it . The studio in Oldenburg and the studio in Flensburg as well as the branch in Hanover belonged to the Funkhaus Hamburg . The studios in Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Bonn were affiliated to the NWDR Funkhaus Köln (opened in 1952) under the direction of Hanns Hartmann . The Funkhaus or Studio Berlin at Heidelberger Platz 3 in Wilmersdorf , from which the SFB later emerged, was directly subordinate to the General Director in Hamburg.

Since Bremen and Bremerhaven formed exclaves of the American zone of occupation in the British zone, Radio Bremen was never part of the NWDR.

The NWDR initially only broadcast one program (later NWDR 1 ). From 1950 on FM two regional radio programs followed, NWDR Nord (UKW North, later NDR 2 ) and NWDR West (UKW West, later WDR 2 ). From April 6, 1950, the NWDR operated the Westfalenstudio in Dortmund under the direction of Peter Funk. Since 24 percent of all NWDR listeners lived in Westphalia , they should find a larger proportion in the program. The program Zwischen Rhein und Weser , which was produced by WDR until May 2017, served this purpose in particular .

The NWDR was also instrumental in building up television in Germany after the war and started daily programming (→ Das Erste - Geschichte ) on December 25, 1952  , four days after German television began broadcasting in the GDR . In advance, during the test period from November 27, 1950 to December 24, 1952, a total of 31,188 minutes of programming was broadcast, and a daily test image was broadcast from July 12, 1950 . On December 26, 1952 just one day after receiving the daily transmission operation has been with the German Cup -Partie of FC St. Pauli against hamborn 07 in Hamburg, the first football game in the history of German television transmitted directly. The NWDR broadcast from the former anti-aircraft bunker on the Heiligengeistfeld , which was located directly next to the Millerntor Stadium , so that the heavy TV studio cameras did not have to be transported far. The bunker was demolished in 1973/74.

From 1953 test broadcasts were carried out on long wave in the evening hours. In 1953, the television house that was needed for the operation of German television was put into operation on the grounds of the NWDR in Hamburg-Lokstedt . It was the first studio in Europe specifically set up for television. Construction of the television house began in 1952. Until the TV house was completely finished, some of the broadcasts had to continue to be broadcast provisionally from the bunkers on the Heiligengeistfeld.

At the end of 1953, the NWDR-Funkhaus Berlin became the Sender Free Berlin (SFB), which began broadcasting on June 1, 1954 for West Berlin with its own program.

In February 1955, the federal states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia reorganized broadcasting in their respective states. As a result, the NWDR was split into two independent broadcasters. The North German Radio (NDR) based in Hamburg was for the states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein and the future West German Broadcasting produce radio broadcasts based in Cologne for North Rhine-Westphalia. On January 1, 1956, the two new broadcasters started their own radio broadcasts, with the first radio program delivering a joint program until 1981 , which was only temporarily split into regional programs .

From 1956 the NDR operated the German long wave transmitter on long wave , the frequency of which was taken over by Deutschlandfunk in 1962 .

From April 1, 1956, the North and West German Broadcasting Association (NWRV) took over the television sector of the NWDR until 1961. After that, both broadcasters were also responsible for their respective broadcasting areas in the television sector.

Infiltration by the secret service

The predecessor organization of the Federal Intelligence Service , the Gehlen Organization , had smuggled several agents into the NWDR during the Cold War in order to keep alleged enemies of the state under control in the station. One of these agents was August Hoppe , from 1948 editor and later deputy editor-in-chief. According to documents from the BND archive, the NWDR was classified as a “danger to the development of a healthy Western democracy”. Half of the top management is very open to Moscow, especially General Director Adolf Grimme and reporter Peter von Zahn .


The NWDR hosted three radio programs until 1955:

  • NWDR 1: joint program on medium wave and VHF for the entire transmission area
  • NWDR Nord (better known as UKW-Nord): regional program on FM for northern Germany from Hamburg
  • NWDR West (better known as UKW-West): regional program on FM for North Rhine-Westphalia from Cologne

Furthermore, the NWDR was significantly involved in the German television, the later first German television , the joint program of the ARD. There were no other television programs until 1955.



Web links

Commons : Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Regulation No. 118 with statutes, OJ MR (B) No. 22 (1948), p. 656 , OJ MR (B) No. 30 (1949), part 10 B, p. 7 ; for North Rhine-Westphalia repealed by Ordinance No. 257, OJ AHK No. 123 (1955), p. 3213
  2. 1948: Structure of the NWDR at (pdf, 294 kB)
  3. The press of the Soviet occupation zone and the later GDR viewed the station critically for political reasons and, for example, spread a "financial scandal" on August 9, 1949 in the Neue Zeit : The head of the NWDR's box office, Dr. Schwanenberg, had embezzled 27,000 marks; A preliminary investigation had been initiated against him.
  4. Between the Rhine and the Weser. Retrieved January 6, 2019 .
  5. Joachim Umbach: The good old test image. In Schwäbische Zeitung (Ravensburg edition) of July 22, 2000, p. 53.
  6. Television studios in Hamburg-Lokstedt in operation in the ARD chronicle
  7. Caroline Schmidt: Espionage at NWDR: Operation Gehlen chased communists , Der Spiegel, May 23, 2017
  8. ^ NDR: How the BND tried to infiltrate the NWDR. Retrieved May 23, 2017 .