Leopold Hoesch
Kathrin Schwiering
Vera Bertram & Felix Gottschalk
1 x 45'
Jakob Kastner
A New Life

75 Jahre NRW – der WDR blickt zurück auf die Stunde Null, erzählt, wie das Land Fahrt aufnahm. Die 50er Jahre in unserem Land erzählen sich wie ein modernes Märchen. Aus dem Nichts, umgeben von Trümmern, wird das Land zum Motor der jungen Bundesrepublik. Aus denkbar schlechten Startbedingungen gelingt NRW aus dem Nichts ein ungeahnter Höhenflug. Die Lust am Leben kehrt zurück. Konsum und Wohlstand ziehen ein.

On 23 August 1946, Rhineland and Westphalia became the state of North Rhine-Westphalia - at that time still with a slash. Six months later, Lippe was added. But what was life like in this new state? In the first episode of its new four-part series "Unser Land in den 50ern" (Our Country in the 1950s), WDR looks at the years in which the people on the Rhine and Ruhr were primarily occupied with one thing: Building a new life.

But what kind of country was that? Millions of people along the Rhine and Ruhr still lived in bombed-out houses and hundreds of thousands of refugees needed a roof over their heads. The black market was flourishing, but here the necessities of life cost a fortune. And meanwhile, in the Ruhr region, the engine of the economy was cranked up again.

Filmmaker Kathrin Schwiering and her camera team met people who talk about life in the late 1940s/early 1950s. Judith Neuwald-Tasbach, for example, tells of her father, who returned to his hometown of Gelsenkirchen directly after the war to rebuild the Jewish community there with a few others. According to his daughter Judith, he wanted to prevent "Hitler from being proved right after all".

91-year-old Ruth Willigalla vividly remembers climbing onto the roof of the Düsseldorf apartment building where she lived with her mother and little sister to repair the bomb damage. Entertainer Götz Alsmann is fascinated by the music of the post-war period. He tells why the stars back then not only sang about longing for faraway places, but also about their favourite dishes.

But it is not only contemporary witnesses who have their say in the series. The teams of the production company "BROADVIEW TV" also met people who live out their passion for the "Fifties" in the here and now - like Hannes Altenähr, a classic car fan from Krefeld. Together with his grandfather, he has restored a Ford "Buckeltaunus", built in 1950 - according to him, the only such convertible in the country that is still roadworthy. For him, a leisurely drive in his classic car is the greatest relaxation.

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