Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft

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Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft mbh (RRG)
Type Radio network;
Television station
Country Weimar Republic;
Nazi Germany
Availability National and international
Owner Deutsche Reichspost;
Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (from 1933)
Key people
Hans Bredow,
Eugen Hadamovsky
Launch date
15 May 1925 [1]
Dissolved 1951-1961 (liquidation) [1]
Replaced by ARD (1950 to now);
Rundfunk der DDR (1952-91)

The Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (RRG) colloquially known by the german population as "Zessen",[2] translated as the German Broadcasting Corporation,[3] was a national network of German regional public broadcasting companies active from 1925 until 1945. RRG's broadcasts were receivable in all parts of the country and were used extensively for Nazi propaganda after 1933.

Historical recordings of RRG broadcasts are today held by the German Broadcasting Archive.[4]

Foundation and History[edit]

The company was established in Berlin on 15 May 1925 with a start capital of 100,000 Reichsmark [1][5] as an umbrella organisation[5] by nine regional broadcasters,making up all of the german radio stations except the "Deutsche Stunde in Bayern",[6] covering various states of the Weimar Republic.[7] From 1926, a majority share was held by the state-owned Deutsche Reichspost authority, represented by RF engineer and Reichspostministerium official Hans Bredow as chairman in the rank of a Reichs-Rundfunk-Kommissar.[1]

An official broadcast receiving licence was required for the reception of radio broadcasts at a monthly fee of 2 Reichsmark.[8] In 1932 there were a total 4 million registered radio users[9](06:32) giving the corporation a revenue of 4 Million Reichmark [1]

Original structure[edit]

Programming was originally provided by the following 9 regional broadcasting companies:[7]

An additional nationwide programme known as the Deutschlandsender was broadcast on longwave from the Königs Wusterhausen radio transmitter of Deutsche Welle GmbH (a separate company which was, however, 70% owned by the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft)[citation needed].

Regular television programmes were transmitted from Berlin by the Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow[citation needed].

Headquarters[edit]

The Haus des Rundfunks in Berlin
Main article: Haus des Rundfunks

On 22 January 1931 the Haus des Rundfunks ("House of Broadcasting"), on Masurenallee in Berlin-Westend, was inaugurated as the official seat of the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft. Designed in 1929 by the architect Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), it was the world's first self-contained broadcasting centre and included a large concert hall.

The triangular-shaped building also housed the broadcaster Deutsche Welle GmbH and, from 1935 until its relocation in 1937, the Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow television station.

Nationalization[edit]

Adolf Hitler making his address to the nation at a Funk-Stunde microphone, following his appointment as Reich Chancellor in 1933

In the Summer of 1932 the German government under Chancellor Franz von Papen started to gain control over the broadcasting companies of the RGG, full control over the corporation was reached in 1934.[7][11] The regional broadcasters were also made reliant on the RRG becoming local branches.[12] The Regular readings of Official statements were forced[citation needed]. The management board had to admit a representative, who supervised programming,[13] delegated by the Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm von Gayl.[1]

In the course of the Gleichschaltung process after the Machtergreifung in 1933 the RRG was nationalized by the Nazi government and was used extensively by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels[12] to dictate radio programming.[14] On 30 January 1933, while the new Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick enforced the live broadcast of the torchlight parades, the RRG chairman Hans Bredow resigned and was replaced by Eugen Hadamovsky. Several former managers were arrested and imprisoned. With effect from 1 April 1934 the regional broadcasting companies were incorporated as Reichssender.

Upon the affiliation of the Saar territory in 1935, the regional broadcaster was incorporated as Reichssender Saarbrücken (see Saarländischer Rundfunk). Likewise, after the Austrian Anschluss in 1938, the former Radio Verkehrs AG at Vienna became the Reichssender Wien. On 1 January 1939 the RRG was renamed Großdeutscher Rundfunk.

After the Invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 upon the staged Gleiwitz incident, the former RRG became a vital instrument of wartime propaganda, especially by the daily Wehrmachtsbericht and the popular request show Wunschkonzert für die Wehrmacht (see Wunschkonzert). From 9 July 1940 onwards all Reichssender aired the same uniform nationwide program, which ended with the occupation of the Haus des Rundfunks by the Red Army during the Battle of Berlin on 2 May 1945.

Technical achievements[edit]

RRG engineers were responsible for important advances in sound-recording technology.

Walter Weber, while working for Hans Joachim von Braunmühl at the RRG, made many improvements in the field of magnetic tape sound recording. The most widely significant was the discovery of high frequency bias. This provided a major improvement in the fidelity of recordings.[15] Ironically, others made the same discovery of HF bias before and after, but it was Weber's work that became widely used.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft m.b.H. (RRG)". dra.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  2. ^ "1935 "Zeesen" Recording". ontheshortwaves.com. Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  3. ^ Roger Manvell; Heinrich Fraenkel (13 December 2013). Doctor Goebbels: His Life and Death. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-1-62636-949-8. 
  4. ^ "DRA: CD "Friedrich Schiller im Rundfunk"". dra.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  5. ^ a b Eva Susanne Bressler (2009). Von der Experimentierbühne zum Propagandainstrument: die Geschichte der Funkausstellung von 1924 bis 1939. Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-3-412-20241-5. "Dies gescha am 15. Mai 1925 mit der Gründung der Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (RRG). Der neu gegründete Dachverband ... 
  6. ^ e.V., Radio-Museum Linsengericht. "Radio-Museum Linsengericht e.V. - Die deutsche Radiogeschichte". radio-museum.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Der Rundfunk in Norddeutschland 1932 - Mai 1945". ndr.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  8. ^ "Schon GEZahlt Kleine Geschichte der Rundfunkgebühren". geschichtspuls.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  9. ^ a b "90 Jahre Deutscher Rundfunk" (in German). 29 Oktober 2013. Event occurs at 3:18. Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen. http://www.srf.ch/sendungen/kultur-kompakt/90-jahre-deutscher-rundfunk. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i dra.de (in German) http://www.dra.de/rundfunkgeschichte/radiogeschichte/organisation/pdf/programmgeschichte-auszug.pdf |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  11. ^ Rudolf Stöber (12 December 2003). Mediengeschichte: Die Evolution "neuer" Medien von Gutenberg bis Gates. Eine Einführung Band 2: Film - Rundfunk - Multimedia. Springer-Verlag. pp. 103–. ISBN 978-3-531-14047-6. 
  12. ^ a b Hartisch, Kristin. "Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft Einleitung". Einleitung. Das Bundesarchiv. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Reinle, Dominik (2005-07-03). "Hörfunk und Fernsehen in der Nazi-Zeit (Teil 1) - Zeitgeschichtliches Archiv - WDR.de". West Deutsche Rundfunk (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-10. Rundfunk-Kommissare 
  14. ^ Anson Rabinbach; Sander L. Gilman (10 July 2013). Third Reich Sourcebook. University of California Press. pp. 605–. ISBN 978-0-520-95514-1. 
  15. ^ Walter Weber's Technical Innovation at the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft