1920s & 1930s

The first official radio broadcasts in Germany start from the attic of the Vox building in Berlin on 30 October 1923.

The second transmitter site to be used, as of 1 March 1924, is Sender Leipzig. On 30 March the "Südwestdeutsche Rundfunkdienst AG" started broadcasting from Frankfurt.
On 10 May the Süddeutsche Rundfunk AG starts broadcasting on 686 kHz with 0.25 kW. On 10 October he Münster transmitter of WEFAG went on air with 0.25 kW on 737 kHz.

On 25 January 1925 Radio Frankfurt starts transmitting from Kassel with 0.25 kW.

On 18 September 1925 the WEFAG transmitter in Dortmund starts transmitting on 1060 kHz with 0.25 kW. The next day it is followed by Elberfeld on 1158 kHz with 1.5 kW. On 14 November 1926 Elberfeld moved to 640 kHz.
On 28 November 1926 Stuttgart-Degerloch starts broadcasting on 790 kHz with 1.5 kW.

In January 1927 the transmitter site of Langenberg is installed. On 10 December the WEFAG transmitter in Langenberg gets on the air on 640 Khz with an at that time incredible 15 kW.

On 6 March 1928 Köln got its own transmitter for WERAG on 1060 kHz with 1.5 kW

On 21 November 1930, Germany's first high power mediumwave transmitter went on air in Mühlacker (located between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe), with 60 kW on 833 kHz.

In the middle of January 1932, for the first time in European radio history, a station is jammed. In this case it was Soviet Komintern Radio in German.
On 28 October of that same year a new 17 kW transmitter went on air in Frankfurt on 1157 kHz. And in March the Werag transmitters in Köln and Aachen are closed.

On 20 October 1933, Mühlacker was closed for reconstruction, and Stuttgart-Degerloch was reactivated. On 1 January 1934, Mühlacker returned to air with 100 kW on 574 kHz. SÜRAG became "Reichssender Stuttgart" on 1 April 1934.

On 15 January 1934 Reichssender Köln, the former WERAG transmitter, changes frequency to 658 kHz and raises power to 100 kW.

In 1935 two new stations come on the air, Koblenz and Saarbrücken, followed in 1937 by Reichenbach, and Stolp in 1938.

1939 sees a lot of changes to the German radio scene due to the start of the war. In March Köln and Hamburg start an English programme on medium wave. In May the highest European building at the time is built as an antenna mast for Deutschlandsender Herzberg. In July Polish propaganda programmes are added (via Königsberg and Breslau). In October Europasender Bremen starts with test programmes towards England. In December the German underground station "Radio Humanité" starts broadcasting under communist cloak. It claims to be the voice of the communist underground party. It uses a mobile transmitter of 20 kW on 255 kHz that was made in Schopfheim on 18 November 1939.
Geluidsfragment Listen to an extract of Radio Humanité from 1940  01:34, 16 kbps, 184 kB (MP3)


In 1940 a few new stations appear: Hamburg II, Mühlacker II
On 10 May stations in western, northwestern and southern Germany are silenced on military grounds. The population is not informed and believes this is due to air strikes. In June Goebbels authorises the 'Voix de la Paix' to broadcast on medium wave near the normal Brussels frequency. In the same month the RRG Einheitsprogramm (Unity programm) is started while the German Geheimsender 'Réveil de France' starts broadcasting on long wave (formerly also already on short wave). On 25 June Goebbels decides to cease all broadcasts to France via German stations.
In July the German stations start broadcasting ealier (as of 0300) so that the population can be informed of air strikes. The station Worker's Challenge starts broadcasting on 1408 kHz/213 m (cover name ' Concordia Station') with propaganda towards the UK hoping to stir unrest among British workers.
In August Göring orders all German stations on long and medium wave to be silenced between 2300 and 0300 until 26 August 1940 (then prolonged until 5 September and then indefinitely) so that the British RAF cannot use them as direction beacons.

In February 1941 Europasender 'Alpen' starts broadcasting with 100 kW on 338,6 mtr (886 kHz), thus heavily interfering the station in Graz on the same frequency. Graz (15 kW) therefore moves to 233,5 mtr (1285 kHz).
On 21 April Europasender starts broadcasting, initially via Friesland (1875 mtr / 160 kHz) and Weichsel (1339 mtr / 224 kHz). These stations are soon joined by Luxembourg (1923 mtr / 232 kHz with 165 kW) and several MW transmitters (Alpen - 886 kHz, Bremen - 758 kHz, Calais - 582 kHz, Donau - 992 kHz). At a specific moment, 80 stations will belong to Europasender, broadcasting in 27 languages in 1941.
On 15 August shortly before 22h a Russian ghost voice can be heard for the first time on the Deutschlandsender on 191 kHz. At the end of the Mozart broadcast anti-Hitler propaganda is heard. The interference can be heard in almost all parts of the Reich, especially in the east. Two days later the technical configuration is altered in such a way (modulation of the carrier frequency) that the interference can no longer get through.

On 22 October 1943 the Kassel transmitter is heavily damaged by an air strike. It will resume broadcasting after a few days.

As the allied forces enter into Germany in 1944 and 1945, many German stations are silenced while allied stations such as the American Forces Network are activated. Late 1945 several German stations return on the air.
On 5 October 1944 the Finnish freedom station starts broadcasting on medium wave via Kaliningrad (Königsberg). On 29 October, via the 100 kW transmitter in Mühlacker, the French government station "Ici la France" is broadcasted via the frequency of Bordeaux-Néac (1077 kHz).
On 27 November an air strike silences the 5 kW station in Freiburg on 1195 kHz.
On 7 December The Voice of the Allied Military Govenment starts broadcasting irregularly via Radio Luxembourg. As of April 1945 it also broadcasts via Bad Homburg with 1 kW. On 29 December a British air raid silences Radio Koblenz (1195 kHz with 2 kW). The station will not be used anymore during the war.
The allied forces continue launching war stations, on 31 December Radio Victoria and Radio Oberrhein at the Oberrheinfront.

On 6 January 1945 the French liberation committee starts broadcasting Radio Patrie via the former Soldatensender Paula in Stuttgart-Mühlacker. On 23 January Gleiwitz ceases broadcasting on 1231 kHz (243.7 mtr) with 8 kW, followed by Königsberg on 31 January. Due to a power loss the Reichssender Breslau is no longer on the air (950 kHz, 100 kW) as of 26 January. The transmitter is dismantled and moved to Dresden to replace the weak Dresden transmitter. However, it is destroyed during the first air strike on Dresden. On the same day propaganda station "Worker's Challengeé" ceases broadcasting. And on 25 January  Station Reichssender Frankfurt is completely destroyed.
On 2 February Breslau returns to the air, only to cease again five days later. On 14 February US made propaganda station "Krautland calling" starts broadcasting via mobile transmitters in Baden-Baden, Triberg, Schonach, Erbach, and Mühlacker.
Many other German stations cease broadcasting. In February it is the case with Breslau, Trier, Dresden, and Magdeburg. In March it is Saarbrücken, Kaiserslautern, and Frankfurt. In April it is Hannover-Hemmingen, Stuttgart-Mühlacker, Leipzig, Langenberg, Nürberg, Freiburg, and München. In May: Osterloog, Reichenback, and Flensburg, the last German Reichssender.
On 25 March and in the next days the British secret 'Aspidistra' project starts broadcasting via various frequencies imitating German broadcasters to mislead the German population.
On 1 April Sender Werwolf starts broadcasting via Herzberg (224 kHz). The transmission ends with the song 'Lili Marleen'.
On 1 May just before midnight Reichssender Berlin announces Hitler's death and ceases broadcasting. On 2 May Reichsprogramm Nord in Flensburg starts broadcasting on longwave (191 kHz) with 20 kW, relaying the Hamburg station and a part of the English programming. On 3 May the special English and Gaelic programme for Ireland via the Europasender in Hamburg and Bremen is dropped. On 4 May Radio Hamburg starts broadcasting with the ID "Radio Hamburg, a station of the Allied Military Government" in German. In the evening the BBC is relayed. 9 May sees the last broadcast of the Southeast Soldier Station of the German army (in Salzburg). On 13 May the Red Army starts broadcasting on 841 kHz (100 kW) in Berlin.
On 30 June Radio München starts broadcasting in English, Russian, Polish, Czech, Italian, and French and adds a musical programme. On 5 June BFN  starts broadcasting via Europasender Bremen (658 kHz - 100 kW).
On 29 July the Britisch Forces Network starts broadcasting from Hamburg.
On 4 August AFN Berlin starts broadcasting. On 1 September the Middeldeutscher Rundfunk starts broadcasting via Leipzig.
On 28 November AFN starts using Mühlacker II (1249 kHz, 100 kW). AFN Stuttgart shared this frequency with AFN Munich (via München-Ismaning II).

In August 1947 Radio Frankfurt starts broadcasting via 100 kW-transmitter Heiligenstock on 1195 kHz.

In March 1948 AFN Stuttgart starts broadcasting. In December of the same year Berlin-Tegel ceases broadcasting as its mast is destroyed by French military governement.

On 22 July 1949 Radio Stuttgart returned under German control and was renamed "Süddeutscher Rundfunk" (SDR). On 6 September NWDR starts in the new capital Bonn with 0.4 kW on 1330 kHz.
Geluidsfragment Extract of AFN programming of 1973  (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:52, 48 kbps, 303 kB (MP3) 

1950s & 1960s

On 2 April 1950 RIAS Berlin starts broadcasting on MW via Hof/Saale. On 15 March NWDR starts broadcasting via Herford-Egge (2 kW) on 1484 kHz. Siegen (2 kW) starts on 1 December on 755 kHz. On 22 December the transmitter in Göttingen (971 kHz - 5 kW) starts broadcasting carrying NDR/WDR I.
On 24 December the transmitter in Ulm-Jungingen (1169 kHz, 1 kW) starts broadcasting carrying SDR.
Geluidsfragment Extract from start of RIAS Berlin in 1976 on 989 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:21, 32 kbps, 82 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from RIAS 1 (1978) on 990 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:25, 32 kbps, 96 kB (MP3)
On 28 January 1951 Bad Mergentheim (890 kHz, 1 kW) starts broadcasting carrying SDR, followed by Heidelberg-Dossenheim (998 kHz, 5 kW) on 1 September, and Heilbronn-Obereisesheim (1169 kHz, 8 kW) on 24 December 1952. On 1 June NWDR starts broadcasting via Aachen (2 kW) started on 1586 kHz. Münster follows on 1 December with 0.4 kW on 1484 kHz.

On 20 June 1952 the new transmitter Hoher Meißner starts broadcasting for Radio Frankfurt, replacing both Kassel and Fritzlar. It uses 593 kHz with 20 kW and has to be screened towards Sofia and Sundsvall.

On 8 May 1953 NWDR Hamburg starts long wave broadcasts on 151 kHz with 20 kW.

On 1 January 1955 Europe 1 starts broadcasting with 400 kW on longwave from the former Voice of America studios in Paris. The broadcasts interfere with Genevan based Radio Phare so that the openings programme is interrupted at 7 o'clock. Due to the interference problems with Radio Phare from Geneva, Europe 1 decides to shift frequency. This turns out to be a bad choice due to problems with Radio Luxembourg. Europe 1 does not find a suitable frequency. The licenceless Radio Luxembourg protests against the interference caused by the new station. On 3 April the station finally finds a frequency supposedly without interference: 182 kHz. In reality there is heavy interference with Deutschlandsender.

On 29 November 1960 Deutschlandfunk takes over the NDR long wave frequency of 151 kHz.

On 1 January 1962 the Deutschlandfunk starts broadcasting on 1538 Khz via Hanau with 50 kW.

    QSL of Radio Berlin International from 1968 (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   39 kB (jpg)
    QSL of Deutschlandfunk on 1538 kHz from 1973 (courtesy of André De Block)   71 kB (jpg)
Geluidsfragment Extract of Deutschlandunk programming of 1973 (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:44, 48 kbps, 258 kB (MP3) 
On 18 September 1967 a new transmitter for Hessischer Rundfunk in Rodgau-Weiskirchen replaces Heiligenstock.
On 24 October DBP starts broadcasting on 1268 kHz via Neumünster with 600 kW, mainly targeted at the UK and Scandinavia.

Radio Moldau, known in Czech-Slovak as "Vlatava", transmits from East Germany to Czechoslovakia from 21 April 1968 to 12 February 1969. It broadcast
on 1430 kilohertz, using a 250 kilowatt transmitter that usually operated on 1043 kilohertz. The broadcasts were in Russian-accented Czech and broken Slovak.

1970s & 1980s

Westdeutscher Rundfunk 2 starts broadcasting on 720 kHz on 1 June 1979.

    QSL from Deutschlandsender on 692 kHz from 1971  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)  67 kB (jpg
    Hessischer Rundfunk QSL (593 kHz) from 1975 (courtesy of André De Block)  124 kB (jpg)
    Saarländischer Rundfunk QSL (1421 kHz) from 1975 (courtesy of André De Block)  99 kB (jpg)
    Rundfunk der DDR QSL (185 kHz) from 1975 (courtesy of André De Block)  121 kB (jpg)
    Bayerischer Rundfunk QSL from 1975 (courtesy of André De Block)  79 kB (jpg)
    Europe 1 QSL from 1976 (courtesy of André De Block)  45 kB (jpg)
    Norddeutscher Rundfunk QSL from 1975 (courtesy of André De Block)  74 kB (jpg
  QSL from Sender Potsdam on 603 kHz from 1984  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   90 kB (jpg
    QSL of Radio Moscow via Nauen on 1323 kHz 1984  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   133 kB (jpg)
    QSL of Radio Wolga on 263 kHz 1985  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   74 kB (jpg)

Geluidsfragment Extract of NDR1 programming of 1973  (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)     01:07, 48 kbps, 395 kB (MP3) 
Geluidsfragment Extract from start of Radio Berlin International programming in 1976 on 1511 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:33, 32 kbps, 130 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from Radio DDR  (1977) on 1570 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:23, 32 kbps, 89 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from Radio DDR (1980) on 1431 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   01:32, 32 kbps, 360 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from Radio Berlin International (1979) on 1359 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   01:10, 32 kbps, 272 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from DDR Messewelle (1979) on 729 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:36, 32 kbps, 139 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from VOA Europe (1986) on 1197 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   01:25, 32 kbps, 332 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from German Manöverwelle (1987) on 801 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:34, 32 kbps, 138 kB (MP3


On 1 October 1990 Sachsenradio starts broadcasting on 531 kHz via Leipzig-Wiederau.
Geluidsfragment Extract from Sachsen 1 (1991) on 1044 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   01:14, 32 kbps, 289 kB (MP3)
On 27 May 1991 Radio Aktuell ceases broadcasting on 729 kHz via Leipzig-Wiederau.
Geluidsfragment Extract from Radio Aktuell (1991) on 783 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:18, 32 kbps, 75 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract from Antenne Brandenburg (1991) on 1359 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:20, 32 kbps, 84 kB (MP3)
On 1 January 1992 "Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk" became the official broadcaster for Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen. The medium wave transmitters carried the "MDR Info" programme.
On 14 February AFN stops broadcasting on 1107 kHz via München. In April RadioRopa Info starts broadcasting on 261 kHz (via the Radio Wolga transmitter).
    QSL from RadioRopa Info on 261 kHz from 1992  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   106 kB (jpg)
Geluidsfragment Extract from DT64 (1992) on 1044 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   01:00, 32 kbps, 236 kB (MP3)
On 31 December 1993 Deutschlandfunk ceases broadcasting.
Geluidsfragment Extract from MDR Sputnik (1993) on 1044 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)   00:34, 32 kbps, 132 kB (MP3)
Geluidsfragment Extract of StarSat Radio (1993) on 918 kHz (courtesy of Herbert Meixner)    00:42, 16 kbps, 165 kB (MP3)
    QSL from Thüringer Rundfunk on 882 kHz from 1991  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   42 kB (jpg)
On 1 January 1994 the transmitter of Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Langenberg (1593 kHz) is switched off. On 1 August Radio Wolga ceases broadcasting.

On 26 February 1996 the Voice of Russia starts broadcasting via Berlin on 693 kHz. On 1 April ERF starts broadcasting on 1539 kHz in Mainflingen with 120/700 kW. In June RadioRopa Info via Burg (261 kHz longwave) reduced power from 200 to 85 kW. On 2 September the WDR medium wave antenna in Langenberg, nicknamed Mast Rommel, collapsed due to a mistake in the exchange of stretch ropes. On 1 August Jazz Radio Berlin ceases broadcasting on 603 kHz via Koepenick Uhlenhorst (5 kW). On 1 December RTL-Radio ceases broadcasting on 891 kHz (5 kW) via Berlin-Uhlenhorst.

    QSL from ERF on 1539 kHz from 2001  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   65 kB (jpg)

On 1 January 1997 the NDR stations in Helpterberg (657 kHz) and Putbus (729 kHz) cease broadcasting.

    QSL from Sender Freies Berlin on 567 kHz from 1990  (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   104 kB (jpg)

21st century

Youth station Megaradio starts broadcasting on 16 January 2002. On 21 March 2003 Megaradio ceases transmissions on 1440 kHz and is replaced by RTL-Radio. On 2 July SWR Südwestrundfunk starts DRM broadcasts via Kaiserslautern on 1485 kHz.
    QSL of Voice of Russia via Berlin on 693 kHz from 2001 (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   108 kB (jpg)
On 6 December 2004 at 1621utc Trückradio starts broadcasting on 702 kHz (Jülich) and 855 kHz (Nordkirchen) with 5 kW, followed by 738 kHz with 5 kW as of 15 August 2005. On 15 May 2008 the station ceases broadcasting on all of its medium wave frequencies.
Geluidsfragment Extract of TruckRadio on 855 kHz (courtesy of Han Hardonk)    00:28, 40 kbps, 136 kB (MP3)
On 2 September 2005 Deutschlandradio Berlin switches to DRM on 177 kHz. On 25 October SR Antenne Saar starts testing on 1179 kHz. The station's official broadcasts start on 12 December.

On 8 October 2007 Bayerischer Rundfunk launches a new youth station called Bavarian Open Radio on 801/729 kHz. The station is renamed to On3radio on 5 May 2008.

On 1 April 2008 an accident during a routine generator check at the Weiskirchen transmitter site, involving a minor explosion and small fire in the power distribution panels, forces AFN to leave 873 kHz. On 4 April AFN returns on the air (873 kHz) with limited power.
See also: 60 years of AFN in Europe

    QSL of Antenne Saar on 1179 kHz from 2008 (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   24 kB (jpg)
    QSL of Voice of Oldiestar Radio on 603 kHz from 2009 (courtesy of Peter Vaegler)   26 kB (jpg)

On 1 January 2010 Hessischer Rundfunk ceases broadcasting on 594 kHz. On 10 March Radio Bremen ceases transmitting on 936 kHz. On the same day SWR Ulm shifts from 711 to 1413 kHz.

On 3 January 2011 Oldiestar Radio ceases broadcasting on 603 kHz.