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The politics of history on television: the 1966/67 WDR-documentary “Heia Safari” about Germany's colonial past

Michels, Eckard (2008) The politics of history on television: the 1966/67 WDR-documentary “Heia Safari” about Germany's colonial past. Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 56 (3), pp. 467-492. ISSN 0042-5702.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1524/vfzg.2008.0020

Abstract

In October 1966 the public broadcaster WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) screened the TV documentary “Heia Safari”, written by the journalist Ralph Giordano. It caused one of the greatest TV scandals in the Federal Republic during the 1960s. The program painted a very gloomy picture of Germany's colonial presence in Africa. It also attacked the unbroken positive memories of this chapter of Germany's imperial past which still prevailed half a century after the loss of the colonies. The documentary also attests to the artistic freedom journalists enjoyed with public-owned TV stations during the mid-1960s and to a culture of provocation favoured by publicists such as Giordano, who aimed at stirring up discussions and promoting their own careers. A comparison with other historical TV documentaries produced by WDR during this period reveals parallels in the reactions of the audience.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > European Cultures and Languages
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 11:26
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2617

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