Producer
Director
Manfred Oldenburg, Henrike Sandner
Editor
Genre
Documentary
Broadcaster
WDR
Length
1 x 45'
Format
HDTV 16:9
Year
2016
Our Country
Wie Phoenix aus der Asche - the 50s

For the start of the series "Our Land", WDR and BROADVIEW TV take a look at NRW in the 1950s. Freshly baptised after the Second World War, the federal state also became the centre of West Germany only a short time later through the Bonn Republic. The 1950s tell themselves like a modern fairy tale: North Rhine-Westphalia, the newly created artificial hyphen state on the Rhine and Ruhr, becomes the largest and economically strongest state in less than ten years - not only in the young Federal Republic but in all of Western Europe. From conceivably poor starting conditions, NRW manages to soar from nowhere to unimagined heights.

The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, for example, which has led across the Rhine since imperial times, became a post-war symbol in the early 1950s, telling of reconstruction and connection. While just a few years ago the first carnival was celebrated in ruins around the destroyed bridge, Westphalians and Rhinelanders have now come together in their first joint federal state. The rebuilt Hohenzollern Bridge leads to the state's largest railway station and connects Cologne with the rest of the country. From Bonn, Konrad Adenauer initiates a liberal economic policy. Meanwhile, in the state capital Düsseldorf, the first NRW Minister President, Karl Arnold, is elected to office, following Adenauer's credo: "The economy should serve the people and not the other way round".

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach and Berthold Beitz also bring about the upswing in "our state" NRW. Under their leadership, Krupp AG becomes the leading steel producer and NRW one of the richest federal states. In Villa Hügel, the heads of the company receive political and economic greats from all over Europe. The renowned house makes Essen the representative centre of the state's economic development.

The rapidly blossoming prosperity also boosts consumption. People stroll along Düsseldorf's Königsallee, spend money or marvel at the rich displays. Furs and pearl necklaces provide glamour and beauty - the West Germans present themselves with self-confidence. Even the first Miss World comes from NRW in 1956: In London, Petra Schürmann from Mönchengladbach is crowned the most beautiful woman in the world.

Between war ruins, steel construction and new wealth, great stories and small anecdotes unfold - an exciting journey through time that is just one part of the diverse history of North Rhine-Westphalia brought to life by the "Our Land" series.

First broadcast: Friday, 19 August 2016, 20:15 on WDR

OUR COUNTRY - Like Phoenix from the Ashes - THE 50s

For the start of the series "Our Land", WDR and BROADVIEW TV take a look at NRW in the 1950s. Freshly baptised after the Second World War, the federal state also became the centre of West Germany only a short time later through the Bonn Republic. The 1950s tell themselves like a modern fairy tale: North Rhine-Westphalia, the newly created artificial hyphen state on the Rhine and Ruhr, becomes the largest and economically strongest state in less than ten years - not only in the young Federal Republic but in all of Western Europe. From conceivably poor starting conditions, NRW manages to soar from nowhere to unimagined heights.

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