Audio

Guenter Zettl gets music prize 45 years after entering contest

More than four decades after he mailed a postcard from East Germany to a West German radio station to enter a music contest, Guenter Zettl has finally received his prize.

East German state security seized teenager's postcard to West German radio station

In 1969, Guenter Zettl was an 18-year-old living in a small town in East Germany. A lover of pop music, Zettl entered a contest held by a West German radio station by mailing a postcard. 

Zettl's postcard, however, never made it. The Stasi, East Germany's notorious state security service, confiscated the postcard and put it into the file they had on him.

Saarbrucken, Germany (Googlemaps)
Years later, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Communist regime, Germans were able read their Stasi files. In Zettl's file, he found the long-lost postcard and sent it to the radio station that held the contest. 

This week, that station, Europawelle Saar, gave Zettl, who is now 62, the prize, a record that he had hoped to win 45 years ago. 

Click on the audio file above to hear As It Happens co-host Helen Mann speak with Axel Buchholz of Saarbrucken, Germany. He is the former editor in chief at Europawelle Saar.