Walter Bruch

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Electronic television camera "Olympia-Kanone" in the Berlin Olympic Stadium during the 1936 Summer Games with Walter Bruch behind the camera.
Signature on a letter

Walter Bruch (born March 2, 1908 in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse ; † May 5, 1990 in Hanover ) was a German electrical engineer and pioneer of German television. He developed the PAL color television system.

Live and act

Shortly after his birth, Bruch's family moved with him to Pirmasens , where his family originally came from. Bruch went to school in Pirmasens and Munich. At his father's request, he attended a commercial school, but then completed an apprenticeship as a machine fitter in a shoe factory. In addition, he completed traineeships at the Pfalzwerke in Ludwigshafen and at the Pirmasenser machine factory Schön & Cie. From 1928 he attended the Mittweida technical center in Saxony. Afterwards he was a guest student at the University of Berlin, where he met Manfred von Ardenne and Dénes von Mihály .

From the beginning of the 1930s, Walter Bruch was involved in the development of television technology : in 1933 he presented a “people's television receiver” with a self-made film scanner . In 1935 he got a job in Berlin as a technician at Telefunken , where Emil Mechau developed a special television camera for the 1936 Olympic Games . As a cameraman, he operated the new development during the Games, which made history as the so-called "Olympic cannon". During the Second World War, he was in charge of the world's first industrial television system for monitoring V2 starts at the Peenemünde Army Research Center on test stand VII . After the end of the war, he worked for the Soviet occupation forces in the former Oberspree tube factory (RFO, today's Behrensbau ) of AEG in the laboratory, design office and testing facility in Oberspree (LKVO) and in 1946 formulated a 625-line television standard . Bruch and his two Telefunken colleagues Werner Nestel and Wilhelm Runge , who all lived in the western part of Berlin, escaped the Ossawakim campaign . In the early morning hours of October 22, 1946, 230 employees from research and development were deported with their families to the Soviet Union and were only able to return five years later.

In 1950 he returned to Telefunken and went to the development department for television receivers in Hanover. There headed breaking the basic laboratory for receiver technology in which the registered on December 31, 1962. Patent PAL - color television system was developed. On January 3, 1963, Bruch's PAL system was first demonstrated to experts from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Grave site in Hanover

In an interview with the moderator Hans Rosenthal , Bruch was once asked why he called the system the “PAL system”. He replied that no one would have wanted a “break system”. At that time there was a very tough political and economic competition between the French SECAM system and the German PAL system, which reached up to the highest economic and political levels. As “Mister PAL” Walter Bruch traveled to different countries for years to present the system. In 1964 he received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Hanover . The analogue PAL system developed under his direction was officially introduced on August 25, 1967 at the 25th Great German Radio Exhibition for the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin and became a color television system that was used worldwide.

Walter Bruch was a member of the Television and Cinema Technology Society . In 1974 he retired , but continued to participate in various standardization bodies. Bruch died in 1990, the family grave is in the Engesohde city cemetery in Hanover.

Walter-Bruch-Strasse in the Hanover district of Brink-Hafen , not far from the earlier Telefunken basic laboratory in the building Vahrenwalder Strasse 215, was named after the inventor in 2002. House 3 of the Mittweida University of Applied Sciences bears the name Walter-Bruch-Bau .



Web links

Commons : Walter Bruch  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Gerhard and Evelyn Stumpf: Beloved Pirmasens . 1st edition. Vol. 12 (1930-1940). Komet-Verlag, Pirmasens 1994, ISBN 3920558189 , p. 79.
  2. Information according to the television museum
  3. German Patent Office, Patent Specification 1 252 731 "Color television receiver for a true-color NTSC system", p. 1.
  4. ^ Quiz show Dalli Dalli , Issue 1, ZDF, May 13, 1971
  5. ^ Klaus Mlynek: Bruch, Walter , in: Stadtlexikon Hannover , pp. 86f.
  6. Magnetic tape technology - knowledge and history at
  7. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)