After starting the series "Our Country" with the 50s, WDR and BROADVIEW TV take a look at NRW in the 60s in the second part. Wealth, prosperity and leisure characterize the spirit in this decade. These are the "Swinging Sixties," the decade of unlimited possibilities. Building is going on everywhere, the economy is booming and people are enjoying their luxuries. They believe in progress, which is changing the entire country. Not only structurally, but also mentally: the youth rebels against the old and wants to break up encrusted structures. But the all-encompassing change is also taking its toll: The economic pillars of coal and steel are slipping into crisis and require new measures.
At the beginning of the 1960s, the Dreischeibenhaus in Düsseldorf was considered the most modern high-rise building in Europe. A synonym for the country's new power and wealth. After all, this is where the steel giant Thyssen has its headquarters, which has formed the economic backbone of NRW since the 1950s. But in the course of the 1960s, steel weakens - so much so that Minister President Heinz Kühn, who has become known as a reformer, has to stand up for the steel industry. His predecessor Franz Meyers had even more emotional worries: He felt that people did not identify with their state. Not only did he want to have his own anthem composed for NRW, he almost renamed the state Sachsofrankonia.
The youth of the 1960s yearned for renewal, albeit in a completely different way. In 1968, they were drawn to the Essen Song Days, where pop greats like Frank Zappa created a Woodstock atmosphere in the middle of NRW. This is where German rock music is born. Inspired by new sounds and a previously unimaginable sense of freedom, 18-year-old Marius Müller-Westernhagen begins his pop star career at the end of the 1960s.
But it is not only the USA that imports to NRW, there is also a pop cultural exchange the other way round: the Cologne model Nico turns Andy Warhol's head and becomes a style icon for the youth, in whom completely new potential is discovered. While the crisis in the old industries intensifies, more and more young students are drawn to universities. For example, to the new Ruhr University in Bochum, the first newly founded university after the war. Knowledge is the capital of the future and is considered the country's new gold. And it is the students who will change "Our Country" forever at the end of the 1960s.
Between steel construction and youth revolts, great stories and small anecdotes unfold - an exciting journey through time that is only a small part of the diverse history of North Rhine-Westphalia that the "Our Land" series brings to life.