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|Dissolved||2 October 1990|
Radio Berlin International was the international broadcasting arm for the German Democratic Republic's (GDR) Rundfunk der DDR (Radio of the GDR) broadcasting service. Radio Berlin International (RBI) was one of the major international broadcasters of the Cold War era.
Radio Berlin International was founded in May 1959 to counter the influence of the newly-formed Deutsche Welle, the West German international broadcaster.Much the RBI's media output was focused on propagandized news reports and information about the GDR. RBI offered a state-sponsored view on life in a socialist country to nations around the world. The purpose of RBI's mission was two-fold. In accordance with state prerogatives, RBI was charged with spreading Marxist-Leninist ideology around the globe. In addition, RBI's broadcasts sought to establish international recognition of East Germany as a legitimate state by distributing large quantities of colorful and professionally-produced publicity material about life in the GDR to its listeners across the world. As a result of its international focus, RBI's content schedule was flexible, often changing depending on which world events offered the greatest returns for socialist propaganda.
Due to the international, multilingual nature of their broadcasting, RBI staff were able to more freely discuss prohibited content because their superiors were rarely able to understand foreign languages such as Swahili and Arabic, for example.From 1955-1975, RBI broadcast in 17 different languages, the most popular of which were English, French, and Arabic. By 1976 RBI was producing 338 hours of weekly content for an international audience. Of these 338 hours, Western and Eastern Europe consumed 175 hours of airtime, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 79 hours, North Africa and the Middle East taking up 53 hours, Latin America with 46 hours, and North America and East Asia both assuming 26 hours each.
RBI broadcasting initially used 50-kilowatt transmitters located at Leipzig, Königs-Wusterhausen, and Nauen. In 1964, RBI's system at Nauen built by the state enterprises VEB Funkwerk Berlin Köpenick and VEB Industrieprojekte featured rotatable, tiltable antennas under remote control and able to handle 200 KW of power, making RBI the second most powerful shortwave service in the Soviet bloc.From 1971-1981, the Nauen station was further upgraded with 500-kilowatt antenna imported from the Swiss company Brown, Boveri & Cie. The studios were based in a former furniture factory at Nalepastraße in East Berlin, next to the river Spree.
RBI continued to operate during the period between the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and German reunification on October 3rd, 1990.During this time, with a newly-obsolete state agenda, RBI's editors and staff were free to critique the now-defunct GDR, albeit still from an East German perspective. RBI aired its final broadcast on October 2, 1990, one day before German reunification formally dissolved the GDR and FRG states, replacing them with a unified Germany. The final broadcast was noted for the bitterness among RBI staff, some of whom resented its "takeover", rather than "unification," with Deutsche Welle. The last words (for the last English broadcast, at 36:48 of the reference) were, "Take care and good luck."
International broadcasting is broadcasting that is deliberately aimed at a foreign, rather than a domestic, audience. It usually is broadcast by means of longwave, mediumwave, or shortwave radio, but in recent years has also used direct satellite broadcasting and the internet as means of reaching audiences.
Deutsche Welle or DW is a German public state-owned international broadcaster funded by the German federal tax budget. The service is available in 30 languages. DW's satellite television service consists of channels in English, German, Spanish, and Arabic. While funded by the government, the work of DW is regulated by the Deutsche Welle Act, meaning that content is intended to be independent of government influence. DW is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The culture of East Germany varied throughout the years due to the political and historical events that took place in the 20th century, especially as a result of Nazism and Communism. A reflection on the history of arts and culture in East Germany reveals complex relationships between artists and the state, between oppositional and conformist art. In four decades, East Germany developed a distinct culture and produced works of literature, film, visual arts, music, and theatre of international acclaim. Popular culture specialities included among others a high popularity of nudism in Eastern Germany.
ARD is a joint organisation of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters. It was founded in 1950 in West Germany to represent the common interests of the new, decentralised, post-war broadcasting services – in particular the introduction of a joint television network.
RIAS was a radio and television station in the American Sector of Berlin during the Cold War. It was founded by the US occupational authorities after World War II in 1946 to provide the German population in and around Berlin with news and political reporting.
Aktuelle Kamera was the flagship television newscast of Deutscher Fernsehfunk, the state television broadcaster of the German Democratic Republic (DDR). On air from 21 December 1952 to 14 December 1990, Aktuelle Kamera was one of the main propaganda tools of the East German government.
Deutschlandfunk is a public-broadcasting radio station in Germany, concentrating on news and current affairs. It is one of the four national radio channels produced by Deutschlandradio.
Radio DDR 1 was a radio channel produced and transmitted by Rundfunk der DDR, the radio broadcasting organization of East Germany (GDR). It had a mixed schedule of news and light entertainment, with the emphasis on events in the GDR, and also included regional programming.
The Berliner Rundfunk (BERU) was a radio station set in East Germany. It had a political focus and discussed events in East Berlin. Today it is a commercial radio station broadcast with the name "Berliner Rundfunk 91.4".
Television in Germany began in Berlin on 22 March 1935, broadcasting for 90 minutes three times a week. It was the first public television station in the world, named Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow. The German television market had approximately 36.5 million television households in 2000, making it the largest television market in Europe. Nowadays, 95% of German households have at least one television receiver. All the main German TV channels are free-to-air.
Deutschlandsender, abbreviated DLS or DS, was one of the longest-established radio broadcasting stations in Germany. The name was used between 1926 and 1993 to denote a number of powerful stations designed to achieve all-Germany coverage.
Sender Freies Berlin was the ARD public radio and television service for West Berlin from 1 June 1954 until 1990 and for Berlin as a whole from German reunification until 30 April 2003. On 1 May 2003 it merged with Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg to form Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.
Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg, based in Potsdam, was the public broadcaster for the German federal state of Brandenburg from 12 October 1991 until 30 April 2003. It was a member organization of the consortium of public-law broadcasting organizations in Germany, ARD.
Rundfunk der DDR was the radio broadcasting organisation for the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1952 until German reunification, after which it continued until 1991 as Funkhaus Berlin, located at 18-50 Nalepastrasse.
Golm transmitter or Sender Golm was a medium wave broadcasting facility on the area of a former Reichsarbeitsdienst officer candidate school at Kuhforter Damm in Golm near Potsdam. It entered service in 1948 as the central broadcast transmitter for Brandenburg state. Until 1979 it used a wooden lattice tower of 98 m (322 ft) height with a horizontal wooden cross on its top as its antenna support. The ends of the beams of this cross were connected with wires. From the centre of each of these horizontal wires, a vertical wire was run down to the antenna tuner which was located in a building under the feet of the tower construction. The antenna of Golm transmitter consisted therefore of 4 T-antennas connected in parallel, forming an omnidirectional antenna with a natural wavelength of 528 m. The transmitter was built from second-hand parts obtained by dismantling a site in Reichenbach, Upper Lusatia. Test transmissions were undertaken on 16 April 1948, and from 1 May 1948 the facility operated on 564 kHz.
Nauen Transmitter Station in Nauen, Havelland district, Brandenburg, Germany, is the oldest continuously operating radio transmitting installation in the world. Germany's first high power radio transmitter, it was founded on 1 April 1906 by Telefunken corporation and operated as a longwave radiotelegraphy station through World War II, and during World War I became Germany's main link with the outside world when its submarine communications cables were cut. Upgraded with shortwave transmitters in the 1920s it was Germany's most advanced long range radio station, continually upgraded with the latest equipment and serving as an experimental station for Telefunken to test new technology. At the end of World War II, invading Russian troops dismantled and removed the transmitting equipment. During the Cold War it served as the GDR's international shortwave station Radio Berlin International (RBI), and was the East Bloc's second most powerful radio station, disseminating Communist propaganda to other countries. Since German Reunification in 1991 it has been operated by Deutsche Telekom, Germany's state telecommunication service. The original 1920 transmitter building designed by architect Herman Muthesius is still used; it is the only remaining building designed by that architect.
Deutscher Fernsehfunk was the state television broadcaster in the German Democratic Republic from 1952 to 1991.
The first regular electronic television service in Germany began in Berlin on March 22, 1935, as Deutscher Fernseh Rundfunk. Broadcasting from the Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow, it used a 180-line system, and was on air for 90 minutes, three times a week. Very few receivers were ever privately owned, and viewers went instead to Fernsehstuben. During the 1936 Summer Olympics, broadcasts, up to eight hours a day, took place in Berlin and Hamburg. The Nazis intended to use television as a medium for their propaganda once the number of television sets was increased, but television was able initially to reach only a small number of viewers, in contrast to radio. Despite many technical improvements to camera technology, allowing for higher resolution imaging, by 1939, and the start of World War II, plans for an expansion of television programming were soon changed in favor of radio. The production of the TV receiver E1, that had just started was cancelled because of the war. Nevertheless, the Berlin station, along with one in occupied Paris, remained on the air for most of World War II. A special magazine called Fernsehen und Tonfilm was published.
Berlin-Köpenick transmitter was a transmission facility for broadcasting on medium wave, short wave, and VHF in Berlin-Köpenick, Germany, near the suburb of Uhlenhorst, after which it was occasionally named.
East Germany was one of the leading computer producers in the Eastern Bloc as purchases of higher technologies from the West were under various embargoes. A program of illegal purchases, copying and reverse engineering of Western examples was established, after which GDR sold these computers to COMECON countries. Under the rule of Erich Honecker electronics, microelectronics and data processing industries grew at average 11.4% in the 1970s and 12.9% during the 1980s.