Leopold Hoesch
Nicole Kraack
Annebeth Jacobsen
1 x 45'
Jan Richter
When we reached for the stars

In 1972 NRW reached for the stars - it was to be a year full of flights of fancy and high-flyers - a journey to new horizons. A girl from Essen made it into the German charts - and in the Eifel they built the biggest ear in space. The third part of the ten-part documentary series shows that NRW also achieved record-breaking achievements on a global scale!

Like Ulrike Meyfarth, for example. On 4 September 1972, at the age of just 16, she celebrated her first great triumph: the teenager from Wesseling won the Olympic gold medal in the high jump and set a world record at the same time. But one event overshadowed her success: the terrorist attack in Munich. The "happy games" turned into a nightmare.

Filmmaker Nicole Kraack has tracked down contemporary witnesses who describe moments that completely changed their lives - for example Ralf Hammerschmidt from Krefeld. In 1972, a television series started that reached into galaxies that no human being had ever seen before - "Starship Enterprise"! Ralf Hammerschmidt was sitting in front of the screen on 27 May 1972. Since then, the science fiction series has never left him. For him, everything revolves around "Star Trek", the original title of the cult series. In 2015, he founded a fan club and now regularly organises Trek dinners, gladly in clothes typical of the series.

But 1972 has even more highs to offer: Juliane Werding from Essen, then still a schoolgirl, made it into the German charts - with a song about drug-related deaths. And in the Eifel, a giant weighing several tonnes went into operation: With the Effelsberg radio telescope, NRW set global standards in space research in 1972. Thanks to the giant, NRW also grew in area!

At the same time, the University of Aachen was working on an electric car. And in the arch-conservative Catholic city of Münster, of all places, the first demonstration of homosexuals in Germany took to the streets. But NRW also celebrated record profits, in Westphalia's Silicon Valley - in Paderborn. And the Cologne writer Heinrich Böll received the Nobel Prize for Literature!


First broadcast: Friday, 25 August 2017 at 8:15 pm on WDR

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