Friday, 22 November 2019

unser sandmännchen

While production had already commenced at a West Berlin studio for release to coincide with the beginning of Advent on 1 December, East German television (previously) debuted its own, arguably pirated version of the beloved Hans Christian Anderson character on this day in 1959.
From then on, until reunification in 1991, two versions of the children’s show were broadcast—the above for Eastern audiences and “Das Sandmännchen” for the West. The Eastern version was ultimately far more popular and widely embraced, especially by a population who saw corporate misappropriation of a beloved character to promote a capitalist message. Aired in the evenings, just before bedtime, the closing verse went: “Kinder, liebe Kinder, es hat mir Spaß gemacht. Nun schnell ins Bett und schlaft recht schön. Dann will auch ich zur Ruhe gehn. Ich wünsch euch gute Nacht.” During the 1980s, there was a regular circulation of companion characters, Pittiplatsch, Herr Fuchs, Frau Elster, from the show assigned to give the Abendgruß according to a set schedule.