Norddeutscher Rundfunk: One Night on Shortwave

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR, Northern German Radio), a public broadcaster, airs its traditional Christmas Eve program for sailors on FM, digital radio, and on shortwave. Gruß an Bord (aka weeping Olympics / Tränenolympiade) will be broadcast from 1900 to 2100 GMT (part 1), and from 2100 to 2300 GMT (part 2).

Shortwave transmission site Wertachtal, Bavaria

Shortwave transmission site Wertachtal, Bavaria. Click picture for larger version and for source (Wikimedia Commons).

Target areas are the northern Atlantic on 9850 kHz (part 1) and 7335 kHz (part 2), the Atlantic and West Africa on 13780 kHz  (part 1) and 11655 kHz (part 2), the southern Atlantic on 11840 kHz (part 1) and 9490 kHz (part 2), the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean (South Africa) on 11720 kHz (part 1) and 9735 kHz (part 2), the western Indian Ocean on 11840 (part 1) and 9490 kHz (part 2), and the eastern Indian Ocean on 11965 kHz (part 1) and 9650 kHz (part 2).

The Christmas Eve broadcasts started in the 1950s. It’s for the first time in years that the once-a-year program returns to shortwave.

NDR recorded this year’s programs in Leer and in Hamburg, on December 9 and December 16 respectively. The content that will probably matter most to the listeners are greetings from family members to the sailors.

Leer is Germany’s second-largest merchant shipping city – second only to Hamburg.

swldx Bulgaria provides information about the frequencies and transmitters used for the program.  WER stands for Wertachtal (traditionally a site for Deutsche Welle broadcasts on shortwave), NAU for Nauen, the world’s oldest transmitter site.

“Gruß an Bord” was also transmitted by Deutsche Welle in the past, but was terminated there several years before the station ended all its shortwave programs in German, too.

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