Deutsche Welle GmbH

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This article is about the Deutsche Welle company of the 1920s and 30s. For the unconnected international short-wave station of the same name founded in 1953, see Deutsche Welle.

Deutsche Welle GmbH was a publicly licensed, though privately financed, German broadcasting company founded in August 1924 in Berlin.

On 7 January 1926 the company opened a long-wave transmitter (which soon became known as the Deutschlandsender, since its broadcasts could be heard all over Germany) at Königs Wusterhausen near Berlin. A large part of the station's output consisted of the retransmission of material from the nine regional broadcasting companies which had been established in the previous three years; within this framework Deutsche Welle attempted to emphasize educational programming for a nationwide audience.

The far reach of the Deutschlandsender's long-wave transmitter meant that Deutsche Welle's programming could be heard well beyond Germany's borders. In September 1926, the Munich regional station -- the Deutsche Stunde in Bayern -- received feedback from listeners in Amsterdam when its programmes first began to be relayed by the Deutschlandsender.

On 1 January 1933, Deutsche Welle GmbH was officially renamed Deutschlandsender GmbH and given the specific remit of relaying representative programme material from the regional companies to a national audience. The appointment only a few weeks later, of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany was, however, soon to alter the character of all German radio stations radically.