A small Upper Bavarian village

in the shadow of a gigantic US radio station

 

 

Oberlaindern is a small village in Upper Bavaria. Some 30 houses, and a pond in the middle that the children skate on in winter. A village in which people speak to one another. They look out onto the wonderful landscape of the Alpine foothills and the mountain panorama beyond. An idyll, you might think. But next to the houses, behind a guarded wire fence, five gigantic radio masts tower into the sky. They belong to the USA, which has been broadcasting from here for the past 50 years, hour by hour, day and night. At present the power output reaches 700,000 watts, and even one million watts would be allowed. Day and night electromagnetic waves of high intensity penetrate the heads and bodies of the people living in Oberlaindern, before continuing on their long route to countries in the east, as far as Siberia.

During the Cold War these countries were behind the Iron Curtain. Since the collapse of Communism there is no Iron Curtain any more. But in Oberlaindern the nets of the shortwave antennas are ever present like iron curtains in the sky.