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Volksempfänger Radio, ca. 1933

This is a radio. It was designed by Walter Maria Kersting and manufactured by DeTeWe. It is dated ca. 1933 and we acquired it in 1986. Its medium is molded bakelite, textile (speaker cover). It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

These Volksempfängers, or "people’s receivers," are evidence of Hitler’s technological manipulation. Developed at the request of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and designed to be cheaply produced, these Bakelite-encased receivers made radio technology widely available. With tuners indicating only German and Austrian stations that broadcast Nazi propaganda, these devices played a central role in Hitler’s regime.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled The People’s Receiver.

This object was donated by Patricia Pastor and Barry Friedman. It is credited Gift of Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor.

  • Volksempfänger Radio, 1933
  • Overall: 23.8 x 24.3 x 12 cm (9 3/8 x 9 9/16 x 4 3/4 in.).
  • Gift of Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor.
  • 1986-99-8

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

  • Object ID #404536685
  • compression-molded bakelite, chromium-plated metal, woven textile.
  • Promised gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 7059.52.2015

Its dimensions are

Overall: 38.7 x 28 x 16.5 cm (15 1/4 x 11 x 6 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Volksempfänger Radio, ca. 1933; Designed by Walter Maria Kersting (German, 1889 - 1970); Germany; molded bakelite, textile (speaker cover); Overall: 38.7 x 28 x 16.5 cm (15 1/4 x 11 x 6 1/2 in.); Gift of Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor; 1986-99-7

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The World of Radio.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Volksempfänger Radio, ca. 1933 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 June 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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