Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. German and Russian Dept.


Henry O. Schmidt

Second Advisor

Philip S. Bither


The German Hörspiel, is an art-form which we in America may not recognize. Commercialism in our radio system doesn't allow this type of art to prosper, for as far as plays are concerned, the only type that sponsors are able to "sell" to the majority of the public is the "soap opera". The average American tends to be too restless or busy to sit down and concentrate on a play he can only hear, especially when he could see and hear one on television. Those who would welcome and support a higher level radio play are obviously not enough in number to warrant the production of many such plays. In Germany, however, and in several other countries, the system is quite different. German radio is sponsored by the government, and therefore the public isn't catered to as it is here. It isn't that the Germans don't have soap operas to which to listen, for they certainly do. But because of the government sponsorship the rule of the majority doesn't apply; there is something for all tastes. Television isn't as wide-spread there as it is here, and for this reason, too, the radio is listened to more. But the success of the Hörspiel doesn't depend completely upon whether or not people listen to the radio, but rather on the worth of the Hörspiel itself. Just what that worth is will be investigated in the following pages.


Radio plays, German, History and criticism, German Hörspiel

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