When I was 4 years old my parents bought their first TV set, black and white with 2 channels. It obviously was a long time ago but I still have two vivid memories.
The first memory was about ‘das Sandmännchen’. After I had something to eat in the evenings I was allowed to watch two little things on TV, das Sandmännchen, followed by Reklame, or ‘Klame’ as I called the adverts.
There were two Sandmännchen in Germany. The West German version was scheduled to start on December 1st 1959. Not to be outdone, East Germany managed to produce their own sandman, which started November 22nd 1959.
Both programmes had the sandman arrive somewhere, a little story and after a few minutes the message for the children that it was time to go to bed.
Some time after the reunification both shows were supposed to stop. The West German one did, but the East German one was so popular that it continued.
And here is the first ever episode of the East German Sandmännchen. There is a short intro. If you don’t want to watch it, start at 0:49
There is a lovely website for children with lots of old and current videos, stories and even an app. It’s called Unser Sandmännchen.
But, as I was brought up in the West, everything I mentioned above is no childhood memory of mine. I watched the other Sandmännchen. And if I hear the song, I can still sing with it – even after all these years.
Kommt ein Wölkchen angeflogen,
schwebt herbei ganz sacht,
und der Mond am Himmel droben
hält derweil schon Wacht.
Abend will es wieder werden,
alles geht zur Ruh’,
und die Kinder auf der Erde
machen bald die Äuglein zu.
Doch zuvor, von fern und nah ruft’s:
Das Sandmännchen ist da!
“Nun, liebe Kinder, gebt fein acht:
Ich hab’ euch etwas mitgebracht!”
Then, at the end of the programme, the Sandmänchen would conclude with: “Auf Wiederseh’n, und schlaft recht schön!”
Come and watch with me. Here is a black and white version from 1964
One more, I think
And the second TV memory?
Before my parents had TV my dad used to listen to all sorts of sports programmes on the radio. So when the TV was put in its place (the deliveres were still there) I, in my 4 year old wisdom, shouted out loud:“Jetzt kann Papa endlich seinen scheiß Sport sehen!”
I leave it to you to translate, and yes, I got sent to my room 😄
PS. If you are now wondering why I am sharing a Rammstein video, just listen to the first bit of singing. It seems they also used to watch das Sandmännchen 😉
PPS. Ignoring the Rammstein video, which Sandmännchen do you prefer?