What does the “N” in “N24” stand for?

So, to quote Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, “Don’t mention the war” used to be the done thing when in Germany or with Germans.  When I was growing up in Wolfenbüttel (aka Northampton Barracks, aka BFPO 33), it was taboo to talk to the local civpop (“civil population” in military-speak) about the war.  Fortunately, the people of Niedersachsen were not as into Karneval as the people of the Rhein-Ruhr Gebiet, so there were no embarrassing cases of Germans dressed in fancy dress on the first day of Karneval (11 (yes, the eleventh) November) while the Brits were marking Remembrance Day, commemorating our fallen of not just WWII, but WWI, Korea, Suez and Northern Ireland.  if you did happen to ask any Germans, “What did you do during the war?” it turned out they had all  been working as farm labourers.  That’s why Germany lost the war.  Too many men toiling on the land, digging vegetables instead of trenches.

Nowadays, however, and certainly during the last ten years, the German mention-o-meter has swung in entirely the opposite direction: “Don’t mention anything but the war.”  Now, referring back to the title of this article, what does the “N” in “N24” stand for?  In fact, let’s work back a bit to explain the context.  N24 is the name of a German high-brow (Deutsch: hochintellektuell), rolling news and documentaries channel, perhaps the German equivalent of Bloomberg TV.  Officially, N24 refers to 24-hour news, but personally, I think the “N” stands for “Nazi”.  Why?  Because you can pretty guarantee at least two hours’ worth of programmes every day about that part of German history.  http://www.n24.de/n24/Mediathek/TV_Programm/tv/dieseWoche/Dienstag/Abend/ Let’s take tonight.  Two hours of Nazi viewing:

  • Hitler and the Women

followed by

  • Hitler’s Atlantic Wall

Flick through to Saturday, and it’s a veritable Nazi overload:

  • Apocalypse Stalingrad (over two hours of documentary)
  • The Last Battle of the Bismarck (I guess the TV schedulers’ aim was to move from land to sea)
  • Kamikaze Under the Swastika (note the thematic move from land to sea to air)
  • The First Flying Aces (actually, this is about World War One)
  • The Search for Hitler’s Remains

What’s on telly next week?  Don’t tell me.  I can imagine…

  • The Brownshirts: Nazi Fashion
  • Hitler’s Pet Dog
  • Nazi Holidays
  • Nazi Doctors
  • Hitler’s American Cousins
  • Eva Braun: A Psychological Examination
  • Hitler’s Favourite Recipes
  • Nuremberg Trials and Tribulations
  • Hitler’s Table Manners

etc, etc, etc, etc…


2 thoughts on “What does the “N” in “N24” stand for?

  1. The brownshirts…. ;-). Darüber darf aber nur ein Brite Witze machen!

  2. Und Mel Brooks. 🙂

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