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1950: In the early days of the new Federal Republic there was discussion about setting up an international broadcasting service.
An agreement was signed on June 11th to create a joint short wave service with the name "Deutsche Welle." The NWDR was responsible for content and design of the program, but was able to rely on programming supplied by the individual state broadcasting systems. DW went on the air on the 3rd of May. The German President Theodor Heuss addressed "the dear countrymen around the world." His speech began a three-hour program, which was then transmitted in five directions at different times for a total broadcast time of 15 hours daily.
The Allied High Commission initially allowed only German-language programming, but rescinded this decision a few days after the transmissions began. DW-Radio then also received the authorization to broadcast a foreign language program.
DW begins radio transmission in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Each broadcast lasted five minutes. A transcription service was also launched to supply English-language programs to university radio stations in the United States.