Leopold Hoesch
Uta Angenvoort & Katja Lüber
Franziska Rempe & Britta Luckas
1 x 45'
Fabian Oberhem
Prosperity for all!

75 years of NRW - WDR looks back at the zero hour, tells how the state took off. The 1950s in our state tell like a modern fairy tale. From nothing, around rubble, the state becomes the engine of the young Federal Republic. From conceivably poor starting conditions, NRW manages to soar to unimagined heights out of nowhere. The zest for life returns. Consumption and prosperity return.

"Prosperity for all!" was the slogan at the end of the 1950s. With his slogan "No experiments!" Konrad Adenauer had achieved the highest result for the Union in a Bundestag election. He was able to continue governing with an absolute majority. His eldest grandson of the same name vividly remembers the time when world politics was made from tranquil Rhöndorf.

There was investment, development and consumption. The cities were given the appearance that still characterises them today. The Cologne cable car was stretched across the Rhine for the first Federal Garden Show in North Rhine-Westphalia. The television tower was built in Dortmund and the Mannesmann skyscraper in Düsseldorf, the tallest building in the country, exuded a touch of Manhattan on the Rhine.

America was the great role model: from there the rock'n'roll wave spilled across the pond. Alice Schwarzer would have gone to the ends of the earth for Elvis Presley, she says in the documentary and remembers well the infatuation and first experiences in the dance school of her Wuppertal home.

No wonder that the first post-war generation wanted to free themselves from the war and the mustiness of the reconstruction years. Cars, televisions and washing machines were the new status symbols.

Wiltrud Urselmann from Krefeld swam numerous records and was Sportswoman of the Year in 1957. There was hardly a magazine that didn't feature her on the cover. With a smile, she tells of very special controls on the competition courts. In football at that time, the clubs in the Ruhr area fought it out among themselves. Borussia Dortmund was the German champion in 1956 and 1957. And all of Gelsenkirchen celebrated the heroes of Schalke 04 in 1958.

Great buildings like the Severinsbrücke in Cologne were built with faith in progress and confidence. Like hardly any other building, it symbolises a modern ramp across into a new decade: Into the sixties!

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