Inauguration of German Television 

5 July 2024 tbs.pm/80621

 

We give below the text of the speech given by Herr Hadamovsky, Director of the Reichs Rundfunk Gesellschaft, on the occasion of the opening of the German television service:—

 

Cover of World-Radio

From World-Radio, dated 12 April 1935

“Gentlemen:—

“As we definitely had to rely on the cooperation of the German film industries to enable us to inaugurate this service, quite apart from the co-operation that was required from the Reich authorities and the wireless industries, I should like to discuss at the very outset, and in a few words, the relations that exist between television and the film industries. If anxious voices have said that television and film, or, to be more precise, the television service and the film industry, might become serious competitors, it appears to be necessary to deny that possibility. I feel sure that in voicing this denial I have the support of leading men in the film industry. Television does not constitute competition with the film industry; on the contrary, it should instil new vigour in its further development. The ‘People’s Receiver’ gave an important fillip to the wireless industries, and quantitatively the turnover in this industry rose in the period of two years by 90 per cent. A similar development is bound to occur in the film industry at the very moment that television becomes a popular pastime of the broad masses of the German people.

“Secondly, and as a matter of principle, I should like to discuss the question whether the introduction of television may not lead to competition between the wireless receiver and the motion picture theatre — that is to say, between the televiewer on the one hand and the proprietor of the cinema on the other. Nowadays the film exhibitor cannot rely on the film-play alone, and he must include in his programmes the topical film, to cater for the widest possible public, and the introduction of television — not in the form of a little apparatus, but, for instance, in the form of the television projector as developed by the German inventor, Dr. Goerz — must introduce a new element into the cinemas which immensely helps to enhance the topicality of the programmes. To-day the loudspeakers installed in public thoroughfares and squares throughout the Reich are the centres around which the people gather to listen to the political events of the day. In the future these people will flock together in well-equipped and up-to-date television film theatres, which will then become the focus of public interest.

“I should like to make a further statement with regard to the German wireless industry, and more particularly in regard to the manufacturer of wireless receivers:—

Eugen Hadamovsky

Eugen Hadamovsky in c1943

“The television broadcasts which are to begin to-day in Germany, for the first time in the world, are the necessary basis for large-scale production of television receivers. Now is the time for manufacture to begin, and, in my view, the main purpose of the next wireless exhibition, which will be held this year, will be to submit to the public a useful television receiver incorporating all the technical achievements of the moment — whatever the price of such an instrument may be — provided that it can be supplied to the market in any desired quantity. Should the necessity arise, I think it would be advisable in the interests, not only of policy, but also of the German wireless industries and even of the German exporting trade, not to refrain from making such instruments, even if the risk to the individual manufacturer of not obtaining a paying turn-over is rather high. If that were the case, circumstances might arise which called for the introduction, at this stage of the development of television, of a method of manufacture on a co-operative basis.

“If the German wireless industry will act on such a co-operative basis it will influence developments on similar lines in other trades and industries, and the general, but specifically the economic, results will materially benefit the German wireless industry.

“At the same time I would stress the importance of the principle of co-operative work for the amateur builder and home constructor. Since wireless receivers have been produced by mass methods, the day of the home constructor seemed to have definitely passed, but now the introduction of television gives him a new lease of life. It will not be necessary for the individual to pay the whole cost of the work if he co-operates with others in the construction of a television receiver and the cost is divided up among several persons. The difficulty can be best solved by organising groups within the framework of the Reich Association of Wireless Listeners and the Association of Wireless Engineers.

No Special Fee

TV-radio unit

A combined television and sound receiver, produced by a well-known German firm

“The representative of the Postmaster-General has already announced that for the time being television fees will not be collected. In accordance with arrangements which have been made with the Postmaster-General, would-be viewers are liable only to the usual registration as wireless subscribers. However, we must be clear in our minds at this moment, which marks the beginning of a great new development, on this basic necessity:—

“Television must definitely provide us with additional cultural possibilities. A new field must be opened up for artistic forms and developments, and a more profound political understanding must be fostered by the greater plasticity of reporting which appeals both to the ear and the eye. On the other hand, this fact must not, and shall not, lead to a proletarianism in artistic production. Our task will not be to lower standards to a proletarian level, but to raise them to an aristocratic level. Everything that is bad and second-rate must be eliminated, and the principle of leadership must provide the essence of cultural production.

“The financial basis of television must be subject to the requirements of German cultural standards; they will be used as the contribution of the German people to the development of its cultural life, and steps will be taken to ensure that they will be so used to a hundred per cent.”

 

Fritz Schröter

Dr. Schröter, who has taken a prominent part in the development of German television

 

Herr Hoffman, Assistant Chief Engineer of the R.R.G., outlined the way in which work will be directed. He said that development work will remain in the hands of the German Post Office, which will continue to operate the transmitters, while the televisor (Fernsehgeber) will be supplied and operated by the German Broadcasting Company. In order to ensure close cooperation between televisors and the television transmitters, the Central Offices of the Post Office and the Broadcasting Company will draw up specifications laying down the conditions which the televisors must fulfil and with which the operator at the German Broadcasting Company must conform.

Eugen Hadamovsky (1904-1945) was production director of the RRG. An enthusiastic Nazi, he joined the SS towards the end of World War II and was promptly killed in Poland by Soviet troops.

 

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