Radio, Volksempfänger (German for "people's receiver") VE 301w, Bakelite / metal / fabric / electronic components, developed by Otto Griessing, made by Lumophon, Bruckner & Stark, Germany, 1933
The Volksempfänger VE301w was the first radio receiver produced under a program initiated by the German Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels understood the enormous propaganda potential of this relatively new medium and its ability to broadcast Hitler's oratories throughout the country and considered widespread availability of receivers of the highest importance. The Volksempfänger was used to receive broadcasts from the state run radio of Germany under the Third Reich.
The Volksempfänger program was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public by using all available resources to design and manufacture a radio receiver for the masses. From the initiation of the Volksempfänger program in 1933 through to 1939 over 7 million radio receivers were manufactured. The Volksempfänger is not a rare radio but illustrates what a powerful tool radio was and still is and its capacity through broadcasters to exploit people's fears of the unknown or lack of understanding, inflame prejudice and divide the community.
Campbell Bickerstaff 2011
This radio was developed by engineer Otto Griessing, and the Bakelite cabinet was designed by Walter Maria Kersting, the Professor of Artistic and Technical Design at the Kölner Werkschulen from 1927 to 1932. The radio was made by Lumophon, Bruckner & Stark, in Germany in 1933.
More than 7 million Volksempfänger were produced between 1933 and 1939. The Volksempfängers were built jointly by 28 manufacturers including AEG, Braun, Blaupunkt, Eumig, Loewe, Lorenz, Philips, Siemens and Telefunken among others.
The number 301 in the model's title is a reference to 30th January 1933, the day Adolf Hitler seized power as German chancellor.
After the seizure of power in Germany by Adolf Hitler on 30th January 1933, the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels requested the development of a people's radio. Radio was a relatively new media and radio receivers were prohibitively expensive. Realising the propaganda potential of being able to deliver Hitler's powerful oratories and being able to control or limit the reception and broadcast of information, Goebbels' brief to engineer Otto Griessing was to use all available resources to design and mass produce an affordable radio receiver for German citizens.