"Letters without a signature - How a BBC program challenged the GDR"

5/24/24 in Alt Tellin

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Berlin writer Susanne Schädlich is a guest at Broock Castle.

Susanne Schädlich reads from her documentary story "Briefe ohne Unterschrift. How a BBC program challenged the GDR".

Anyone interested is cordially invited to a reading and discussion on a little-known chapter of the history of the GDR during the Cold War: Letters without a Signature tells how a BBC program challenged the GDR.

Another guest on this evening is one of the book's protagonists, who was targeted by the Stasi at the time: Karl-Heinz Borchardt from Greifswald.

They write letters and take a big risk. The addressee: BBC London. In 1949, a British radio program entitled "Letters without a signature" was launched. Anonymous letters from GDR citizens were read out every Friday evening for over 25 years. Susanne Schädlich discovered these exciting contemporary documents and tells the story of the British journalists who caused uproar in the GDR at the time. Above all, however, she pays tribute to the stories and views of the courageous senders who fell victim to the merciless persecution by the Stasi - including a boy from Greifswald. On this evening, Karl-Heinz Borchardt talks about his experiences during this time and how his letters changed his life.

"Big Ben struck seven o'clock - At this time, every Friday evening from 1949 to 1974, the BBC had a special appointment. People in the GDR sat in front of their radios and listened to a program in which anonymous letters from GDR citizens were read out, from students, academics, pensioners, workers, employees, farmers, schoolchildren - the only opportunity to speak freely.

At the end, West Berlin addresses were given to which the letters were to be sent, changing from week to week.

Like a suspenseful thriller, Susanne Schädlich tells the story of the discovery of the letters, which were thought to have been lost for over forty years. With a detective's flair, she uncovers dramatic fates and uncovers the perfidious plans of the Stasi to get rid of the BBC journalists and letter writers. This book shows the GDR from the perspective of its citizens, making them aware of how much resentment and resistance actually simmered in the population for years. And it shows: Striving for freedom and democracy requires courage.

An event organized by Demokratieladen Anklam/ LpB MV in cooperation with Kulturverein Schloss Broock e.V.

Good to know

Event dates
  • Friday, May 24, 2024 19:00 - 21:00 clock
Event Location

Broock Castle

Broock 13
17129 Alt Tellin

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