Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 132, Chapter 2252
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Fifty-Two

21st September 1973

Tempelhof, Berlin

“It will help keep the lights on Josef” Sepp’s mother said, “So thank you, I guess.”

Was that all? Sepp thought to himself as he walked from the kitchen into the parlor.

He had gotten the afterschool job at Benno’s Burgers with the understanding that his marks wouldn’t slip at the Realschule he attended. The intention from the start was to help out his family, but it all seemed very anticlimactic when he gave his mother the money. What exactly had he expected to happen? His mother had taken the money in the weary manner in which she had gone about doing everything for the last several years. The only thing that had animated her was when she had told him that regardless of what he did, he was to stay in school. Unless he wanted to live in this neighborhood his whole life, he had to get into the next level of education, the one that was preparatory for getting into University. She had warned him that a job and girls could derail that entire thing, he only needed to look at his father to see where that could land him. There was also the example he was setting for his youngest brother Dieter to consider.

His mother had not mentioned Hagen. It was a shocking omission for her to have made, but even though he was eleven Sepp assumed that it was inevitable that Hagen would be lost to the streets. He was extremely surprised that his mother apparently thought along the same lines. Never once had Sepp had the impression that his father cared one way or another about him going to school.

Into this, Sophie and her friend Franziska had shown up at Benno’s for lunch that week. The two of them had eaten and then started working on their studies, that had included topics that Sepp couldn’t have imagined being taught at their level. That was something that Sepp himself already knew on some level, so he didn’t make a big deal of it. It was the presence of Sophie herself that caused the most trouble. After he screwed up enough courage to talk to her, he had stood there, tongue tied, unable to ask more than “How are you doing?” with a sheepish grin. Then Sophie had answered by talking about all sorts of things. Her dog, the bicycle club she had joined so that she could race competitively, her school and that she was struggling in English and that she found it harder than Latin, how Doug, whoever that was, had decided that she was a bit too young to take an adult course of bicycle repair…

Then Sepp’s boss had told him that he needed to stop flirting with the girls and get back to work or else he would be wearing the Benno the Bear costume out front for the rest of his shift. Considering how hot it was in that thing, no one who worked at Benno’s wanted to wear it, but the owner thought that it helped promote the business. When Sophie and Franziska heard Sepp’s boss say that; they had asked about the mascot costume and like everyone else who didn’t have to wear it, they thought it was funny.

“Is anything on?” Sepp asked Hagen who was watching television on the couch while their father was snoring in his chair.

“Still reruns” Didi said, “We’re watching Berlin Emergency though.”

Sepp looked just as the face of Doctor Noah Bauer appeared on the television. He remembered watching reruns of the long running medical drama with Hagen and Didi over the summer a couple years earlier because the hospital it was supposedly set in was just a few kilometers away. The earliest episodes had Bauer as a Doctor crusading against the hidebound Hospital Administration. These days he was the Director of the Emergency Department, one of the hidebound Administrators and that was a source of a lot of angst. Too bad they were not doing reruns of the story arc that had supposedly been set in Argentina but had been filmed in Lower Saxony and later in Bavaria. Today, the story of the week revolved around a man who had been brought into the Emergency Department who was symptomatic for smallpox and the Hospital’s response was swift and massive.

“Do you think that the hospital would really react that way?” Hagen asked.

“I think that it is understated” Sepp replied. He remembered how his grandmother had told him about how when she was a Nurse during the Soviet War, she had seen extreme measures that had been taken to contain certain diseases and smallpox had been one of them. Entire towns and villages burnt to the ground and the inhabitants forcibly quarantined.

“Oh” Hagen said before sitting quietly.

That was typical of Hagen. For as long as Sepp could remember, everything was a battle with him. Didi was the opposite though, the hopeless optimist of the sort who risked burning down the house because something should have worked though it hadn’t the prior times he had tried.

“The Doctors will save the day though” Didi said cheerfully, “They always do.”

Sepp wished that real life worked the way it was depicted on television. With every problem wrapped up neatly by the end of the hour. The truth was that real life was far messier. Where simple things like talking to a girl he liked proved very difficult.
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Petia is going to smell the hamburgers and fries a block on Sophie but if she said that it was because of a boy that she met over the summer she then Sophie will get away with it but Petia will have to teach a “Foolish Girl” about boys in her own special way.


Well you are transferring the US TV culture back to Germany in the 70s. OTL there was a state monopoly of TV in place then. What you had in such formats were mostly imported US series. The late 70s saw things like Star Trek, Kojak, early 80s started with schwarwaldklinik etc. ER came seriously later as an US import.
And a lot of things in such US series would be totally out of place for a German ER.

Shooting wounds for example are extremely rare.

But at this time there was no race to outdo private TV stations so it was very much on information with the churches still regulating a lot and the three TV stations very proud on their informative role. So such a major stupidity would have been unlikely.

To make the changes with private TV stations which brought such formats up…. A lot of different PODs.
But at this time there was no race to outdo private TV stations so it was very much on information with the churches still regulating a lot and the three TV stations very proud on their informative role. So such a major stupidity would have been unlikely.
This is a timeline without the Nazis gaining power in 1933, no occupation by the Four Powers (Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and the United States), no division of Germany in to separate East and West countries along with the occupation of Berlin for 54 years in separate East and West zones with a wall through the middle of the city.
With all of that in mind a much different development of radio and television broadcasting could easily have happened ITTL.
In the United States the owners of radio stations were the first ones to be granted television licenses and if ITTL version of Germany the same thing could have happened.
Peabody-Martini is basically working with a blank canvas to fill up in his own way and can create any system that he wants to and it will always be plausible because of all the massive Mothra sized butterflies that have been created.


Well true but he had the ARD and the whole official TV system set up as OTL.

And licenses even before WW2 when it comes to broadcasting were heavily regulated. And still are what has changed in the 80s was that licences could be given to private companies.

And I would see that tendency even later and control even tighter. And the first German „medical“ TV was the Schwarwaldklinik in the 80s. Think of Rosamunde Pilcher in a clinic in a nice setting. 80s also saw Buelowpraxis a nice senior Dr being nice to his patients.

Something like ER would be completely out of anything possible in the early 70s. Complete and utter shock. Like let’s say Beavis and Butthead or the Simpsons in the early 60s USA.

It would only (but barely) make sense in the way of an experimental broadcasting that gets floored pretty fast.
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The show with Dr. Bauer has been around since the second timeline when Kiki started to volunteer to help elderly patients in the hospital.
In the current timeline Vicky changed the channel to the show that had at that time a storyline that had a Kiki-like character on it.
Some things to consider.

Medical Dramas are nothing new and have been around for as long as there have been broadcast mediums, radio and later television. In our timeline, the idea of a warts and all Medical Drama was thought up long before ER. For example, there a fictional Welsh City whose City Hospital continues to have an extraordinarily high attrition rate among the Staff, for almost four decades now.

The other thing is that in this timeline there was no Military Occupation, no East and West Germany, and the medium of television developed very differently. IOTL some of the earliest television broadcasts were of the 1936 Berlin Olympics and there are a few good reasons why that doesn't get mentioned much. By then, broadcast mediums were totally controlled by the political party that was in power at the time. After the war, the whole system had to be rebuilt from scratch and was exactly like Ferdi described it. In TTL it was developed in a far different manner and there will be issues that arise because of that.
Another thing is with the United States being neutral in the war television developed much faster ITTL and that has some impact on other nations on their development.
And Germany rolled out limited distribution of television during the war for mostly propaganda dissemination.
Y'know, I have always found discussion about a TL to be almost as interesting as the TL itself, but I find myself looking at that 'reader mode' button more and more. Despite being now almost six decades post-POD, it sure feels like some commentators are insisting that TTL Germany must be culturally and legally exactly the same as OTL Germany (except for maybe, sometimes 'better', whatever that means at the time).


And as a historical sidenote. The USA is the odd man out here. The European nations all started with state owned/funded TV stations. Most famous example might be the BBC.
Apart from Europe believing much more in government solutions then the USA the density of population plus the potential side effects on other important transmitters made this more or less natural.



I may be the most guilty of it but there are two reasons why I make my comments.

The main body of the German law (HGB,BGB, StGB), the educational system and the judicial system actually remain basically unchanged until today with the most changes in the educational system in the last 15-20 years, It survived 1918, 33, 45, 49 and 89 basically untouched. So IMO it makes sense to have this in mind in a TL.

The other is that even if there had been major changes it is unlikely that all those would change to US standards. Germany did not do this in 49, so why change educational, legal and cultural standards, if one wants to change them, to US standards which were seen as inferior to the German system by the ruling people even in 1950? And as vastly inferior in the 30s. An even more successful Germany is IMO even less likely to do this.

So I am a bit pondering in those cases whether it is an intentional change, or the US system just applied due to a lack of background of the German system. And so I am trying to increase the knowledge of the German system so PM and the readers can decide which it is.

If I am too insistent, sorry, not my intention.
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This gets referenced in the next post.