Peter from Germany moved to America when he was 14 years old. Throughout his life DW has helped him to alleviate his homesickness and stay in touch with where he comes from.
Dear Deutsche Welle,
At the age of 14 I moved to America to live with my great-aunt and uncle. Up until 1955, my grandparents wanted to follow their sister and brother-in-law and start a chicken farm. My mother died when I was 10 and my father was killed in action shortly before the end of World War II in Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately my grandfather also died shortly before the end of 1955, so my grandmother stayed in Russelheim (a city in Germany).
My longing for my grandparents and home was always there. That changed a little when my physics teacher taught me about radios and VHF. I found out that with such a device you could pick up broadcasts from Germany and all over the world. And so it was- my first radio was a Collins and the antenna was set up in the basement because my great-uncle was too afraid of the FBI to put it outside. I still have my original log book today with which I would keep track of all the stations I received.
After high school and one and a half years at university, I joined the American Navy for four years of active service. After basic training I found myself after a short time on the aircraft carrier USS Constellation CVA-64 heading to Southeast Asia and in mid-1964 to the Gulf of Tonkin. Even here I always found time at night to sit on the deck and listen to DW on the VHF band. My radio was a Phillips portable that I’d bought in Hong Kong.
It was a fantastic device, which I still have today. Thank you for all of the wonderful hours of entertainment, news, sports and so much more that DW brought me in the middle of the quiet ocean. I have always stayed in contact with where I am from thanks to DW and letters from my family in Germany. I even took part in the 25th anniversary of DW and the congratulation letter I sent at the time was printed in a book that was published to commemorate the celebration.
At the time my neighbor from Berlin and I would listen to DW when we would get together every week for a few beers and pretzels. And of course DW was on every evening when we would be off for 15 days deer hunting deep in the forest.
So it continued on until I discovered a few years ago that DW was no longer being broadcast on VHF. For me and many others that sat close to their radios, often with poor reception, it marked the end of a highly informative and interesting broadcaster. It is not the same DW anymore, and even though I am still an eager listener, VHF always made it so much more exciting.
I would really like to thank everyone involved, all of the anchors, producers and assistants that have made it possible for me to listen to DW- since 1957.
Thank you so very much DW!
Sent by: Peter from America
Edited by: Kerstin Boljahn