Exhibitions that only open for a few hours or an evening are not uncommon in urban spaces. Now there was such a pop-up show in Chemnitz – albeit unintentionally. The opening of the small exhibition “Power from the Eastside: DT64 – Youth radio and its movement” also turned into a finishing. The show was actually supposed to be shown at the “Arthur” Culture Center in Chemnitz until December 3, but the renewed closure of the crown-linked cultural scene is preventing it from doing so. Last Saturday at least a few historical witnesses gathered at “Arthur” and spoke in front of an audience about a remarkable movement that has never happened before or since.

Thirty years ago, tens of thousands of young people mostly took to the streets, took part in occupations in public space, collected signatures or organized raves to prevent the shutdown of the “DT64” station. The unification agreement provided for the liquidation of German radio and television in the GDR. As in the former Federal Republic of Germany, radio and television should be placed under the responsibility of the new Länder. This would inevitably have meant the end of DT64. But a unique protest movement opposed it. Politicians might have known that this station was particularly important to many young radio listeners. A year earlier, on September 7, the frequencies of the transmitter were transmitted to the Berlin Rias without warning. After massive protests, DT64 could be heard again the next day.

A myth was well founded. “The mass movement gave wings to radio makers,” as Marion Brasch said in an interview with journalist Alexander Pehlemann in Chemnitz. The RBB presenter and author has worked for the station since 1987. “At that time DT 64 was desperate for music publishers and I applied on a tip. But they took almost everyone back then,” he said. said Brasch. The Central Institute for Youth Research in Leipzig previously found that the vast majority of young people had turned away from the GDR’s electronic media in the West. Jan Kummer, then member of the Karl-Marx-Städter Band AG. Violin, particularly liked to listen to Zündfunk from Bayern 2. But with the DT64 program “Parocktikum”, which featured alternative bands from all over the republic, the station became more interesting for Kummer. AG also. The violin has been played. “It was absurd because we weren’t allowed to play and weren’t officially allowed to perform at first.” The “cooperation” with the station was controversial in the scene, so Kummer. It was a criticism of selling yourself to the system.

In the beginning, there was an icy climate between young music publishers and word publishers. “We despised each other,” Brasch reported. That changed in the turmoil. More than other GDR media, DT64 reported on Monday’s demonstrations in Leipzig, gave opposition members such as civil rights activist Bärbel Bohley from the “New Forum” a chance and rejected his own. direction. But there had already been Subversion files before the fall of the Wall. Moderator Silke Hasselmann commented on the ban of the Soviet magazine “Sputnik” in November 1988 with the phrase “A Sputnik crashed today” and also played the British group “Sigue Sigue Sputnik”. Hasselmann received a microphone ban. Brasch also disobeyed. When the Dutch singer Herman van Veen gave a concert in East Berlin in the fall of 1989 and said in an interview with Brasch “I will sing far from the wall”, the GDR had just closed its borders with the ČSSR because of the wave of refugees. The fact that he could have been heard on the station would have meant the inevitable end for the presenter weeks earlier. But events unfolded and she became an icon of the station for many, to which she remained loyal even after many DT64 presenters were long hired by the new Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg over the uncertain future.

But first DT64 became an important player in the pop culture movement of those years. He offered young people like Roland Kilper, also a conference guest at “Arthur”, some important advice. The student at the time founded the association “Friends of Youth Radio” in Chemnitz, which had up to 1,800 members at the time of his marriage. “We even thought about running the station as a kind of radio club.” The radio stations themselves also fought for their station and their listeners. Marion Brasch, for example, wrote an “Open Letter” in which she called for an all-German youth broadcaster.

In 1993, DT64 became “MDR Sputnik”. The Prime Minister of Saxony, Kurt Biedenkopf, not only proposed the name, but also campaigned for the station to be preserved. But “Sputnik” was losing more and more importance and more listeners. Jan Kummer also listened to other stations instead and to this day: Deutschlandradio and sometimes the free station Radio T from Chemnitz. Kummer: “You couldn’t hear anything else, it was hell, it was horrible.”