History & Background

History and Background of the Germania Broadcast.

The Germania Broadcast : An Introduction

Klein's Musical Treasure Chest (1937)The Germania Broadcast, founded by William L. Klein in 1927 was one of the earliest, longest running, and most popular foreign language radio programs in Chicago.  At its height it ran thoughout the week with a two-hour show on the weekend.  It also featured special events in the Chicagoland area which attracted tens of thousands of participants.

This site is dedicated to the memory of both the broadcast and its founder, William L. Klein.  It has been put together thanks to the efforts of Mr. Klein's sons and daughter, Leo, Julius and Regina, their mother and Mr. Klein's wife, Marilyn L. Klein, as well as audio digitization help from Bob Wayne.  (Continue Reading...)

Germania Broadcast Historical Facts (1952)

The Germania Broadcast was the first German radio program in the United States which was sent by shortwave from America to Europe.

The Germania Broadcast in its first fifteen years had the largest audience of any local program in the City of Chicago, according to Chicago newspapers.

The Germania Broadcast helped thousands of people find work and help during the depression years through its "Who Will Help?" programs.

Hessberger Interview

Sep 21 1952
Original tape of interview

William L Klein and George Hessberger get together on the Germania Broadcast in 1952 to discuss their long relationship.  The conversation touches on everything from the early days of the Germania Broadcast in 1927 to Hessberger's widely acclaimed performance at the "Century of Progress" World's Fair in 1933.  Franz Gerstenberg, director of the Germania Broadcast introduces the two old friends and asks a question or two as well.

The interview finishes with the playing of Hessberger's "Dorfmusik" which as Gerstenberg explains was first brought to the United States by William L. Klein and later became the theme-song of Hessberger's own radio program.