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TELE-audiovision International — The World‘s Leading Digital TV Industry Publication

— 01-02/2015

lowed the number of rooftop antennas to

be reduced.” In the end, law enforcement

officers never noticed whether western

signals were also picked up from anten-

nas, amplified and distributed to indi-

vidual flats. “Even state employees made

use of that method, since it allowed them

to watch channels from West Germany

without an antenna on their roof giving

the slightest hint.” TV channels – and

later also FM radio stations – from West

Germany provided a welcome change

from the GDR’s own frequently drab and

uninspired offering. Western media were

much more colourful and also broadcast

many shows and films from the United

States and other countries, something

the GDR media stubbornly avoided.

VEB EGB originally emerged from a

company by the name of Häberle, which

was founded in 1945 and manufactured

a variety of electro-technical products.

In 1949 Häberle began to offer medium

wave radios and 1952 saw the launch of

their first VHF (FM) radios. Two years lat-

er, in 1954, the company started to pro-

duce antenna amplifiers which were ini-

tially meant for FM radio. It was in 1955

that the first TV antenna amplifiers from

Häberle hit the market. Things changed

in 1972, when the hitherto privately-run

business was nationalised and became

one of many nationally-owned enterpris-

es, its name being changed to VEB EGB.

Most items on display in the museum of

Thomas Kruger and Gunter Wunsch date

back to the period after 1972.

Günter Wünsch was employed by VEB

EGB right from the beginning in 1972. He

had always shown great interest in radio

technology and worked in the research

& development department. Thomas

Krüger joined VEB EGB in 1975, initially

as an intern during his university studies.

From 1985 he was also employed at R&D.

Walking down memory lane he recalls

that “the company had a staff of roughly

100, with 20 engineers in the develop-

ment department alone.” The reason for

this high proportion of R&D staff was the

fact that at that time imports from west-

ern countries were not allowed. “We vir-

tually had to start from scratch and re-

invent technologies that had been readily