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Ernst Degner doumentary - BBC R4 13 Feb 2012 11am


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#1 LittleChris

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 18:51


http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b01byhrg

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#2 fastfitter

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 20:07

Nice one, thanks. Radio Downloader set and ready :wave:

I treated myself to this for Christmas ....

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Good read

#3 LittleChris

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 20:16

I reckon the programme may be a summary of the book

#4 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 20:26

Unfortunately I found this to be one of the very worst books on motorcycle racing I've had the mispleasure to read. It's in the sensational style of a Sun newspaper reporter. Still if that's your bag.... I hope the radio programme deals with this interesting story properly.

#5 Risil

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 20:34

Award winning presenter Stephen Evans tells how Degner, a hero in his homeland, risked everything including the life of his young family to flee to the west, taking with him ground breaking technology developed deep behind the Iron Curtain. All that stood in his way was an increasingly repressive regime, the notorious Stasi and the building of a certain wall that changed the course of European history.


And no mention of how the building of a certain exhaust pipe changed the course of motorcycling history! :lol:

Talk about getting things out of perspective.

#6 fastfitter

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:15

Unfortunately I found this to be one of the very worst books on motorcycle racing I've had the mispleasure to read. It's in the sensational style of a Sun newspaper reporter. Still if that's your bag.... I hope the radio programme deals with this interesting story properly.



Well, it certainly fleshed out the bones on what little I knew apart from the basic 'East German defects to Suzuki with secrets', and I was able to filter out the Boy's Own style of writing. I never knew that Kaaden worked on the V projects for example, I was still in short trousers when all this went off.

#7 Russell Burrows

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 13:00

An entertaining Cold War yarn from the Beeb this morning, but no real info on how and why he chose to do it. Had they researched a little more deeply/been more persuasive in encouraging those those involved to talk, perhaps I would be now feeling less hostile to Ernst.

#8 Rennmax

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 14:31

An entertaining Cold War yarn from the Beeb this morning, but no real info on how and why he chose to do it. Had they researched a little more deeply/been more persuasive in encouraging those those involved to talk, perhaps I would be now feeling less hostile to Ernst.


Listen to it too. Well, it was Oxley's book converted into a radio play. After all, we discussed this topic back and forth here in the last couple of years, so nothing more to add I guess. And isn't it good to be reassured that these commies were evil while we all have lived in the best conceivable world?

Edit: Here's the link

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gner_Defection/

Edited by Rennmax, 13 February 2012 - 14:52.


#9 Russell Burrows

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 16:15

Listen to it too. Well, it was Oxley's book converted into a radio play. After all, we discussed this topic back and forth here in the last couple of years, so nothing more to add I guess. And isn't it good to be reassured that these commies were evil while we all have lived in the best conceivable world?

Edit: Here's the link

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gner_Defection/



WTF:


#10 Rob

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 16:21

Did they go into the rumours that Degner was killed by the Stasi?

#11 fastfitter

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 16:56

A half-hour glimpse back at the early sixties political turmoil in Europe, with an unusual angle, for a Radio 4 audience. I wasn't expecting chapter and verse on scavenging and back pressures  ;)

#12 picblanc

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 17:54

WTF:


Good old John Peel much missed,........not sure about that one though!! :well:

#13 tonyed

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 18:26

The Stasi - safe, well and still operating in Guantanamo Bay. :cry:

No affection for them but life ain't changed anyware. :evil:

Good broadcast though :up:

#14 joeninety

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 21:26



#15 Stu Pidman

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 00:29

Just playing catchup on this one, one of the problems in living underneath the world.
I have expressed my very low opinion of that man in the past, nothing has changed.
I do remember seeing news film footage of the event at the time which clearly showed Ernst leaving the remote back of the track in the mist and cruising up an access road to his pre arranged rendezvous.
I also remember that when he was found dead the news story was that his throat had been cut and it was put down to suicide.
I would also like to point out that life in East Germany was not meant to be all milk and honey.
These were the same Germans who had only recently caused murder and mayhem in Russia.
I don't think they could expect to be held in high esteem by the Russians.
I really feel sorry for Walter Kaaden who had his trust betrayed by a selfish little plick.
Sorry about that, I just don't like the way the political whitewash has been applied.

#16 bsracer

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:18

Good old John Peel much missed,........not sure about that one though!! :well:


I miss his festive 50. I have a friend who use to tape it for me every year. I was cleaning up in my garage the other day and found one of the old tapes and popped it in...great to hear John again!

paul

#17 Stu Pidman

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:44

Comment from Alan Shepherd, Degner's team mate.
"Degner was very much in love with himself and did not hesitate to hurt other people.
I feel what he did was very, very cruel".
Unfortunately Alan is no longer with us, it would be interesting to know what he saw on the day.

I've just realised that I have become really old, I was 24 when this piece of history occurred.
It seems like last year.

Edited by Stu Pidman, 16 May 2012 - 02:49.


#18 Robin127

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:26

Comment from Alan Shepherd, Degner's team mate.
"Degner was very much in love with himself and did not hesitate to hurt other people.
I feel what he did was very, very cruel".
Unfortunately Alan is no longer with us, it would be interesting to know what he saw on the day.

I've just realised that I have become really old, I was 24 when this piece of history occurred.
It seems like last year.


I was once at a function where Alan Shepherd was the guest of honour and he gave a fantastic talk about the struggles that he and MZ went through in getting to and winning the 250 US Grand Prix at Daytona. He did mention Degner briefly and even years later (this was in the late 80's) he didn't have the highest regard for him. He did say the thing that Walter Kaaden regarded as the ultimate insult after Degner's defection was that when Suzuki wheeled their bikes out the following year they were blue and silver, the same colours used by MZ.


#19 Russell Burrows

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:41

In a previous airing of the events around Degner's defection, I think we touched on him and his family being ethnically cleansed from his home region to another part of the country. It could be then he was never an enthusiast for the Ruskie inspired social/economic system? I suppose too he was only putting into practice good old capitalist nostrums around supply and demand?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 18 May 2012 - 08:34.


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#20 Stu Pidman

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:06

This Ernst Degner chap is a mystery man.
Wikipedia has his birth name as Ernst Eugen Wotzlawek and his birth place as Gleiwitz.
Wotzlawek sounds Polish so how did he get to Degner which sounds German?
The original report of his death that I read stated that he was found in Berlin with his throat cut.
Later reports said that he was found in Tenerife and had died of an overdose of his prescribed medicine.
So far there has been no mention of James Bond being involved in this but I reckon he was.
I rather doubt that we will ever know the truth.


#21 Russell Burrows

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:55

This Ernst Degner chap is a mystery man.
Wikipedia has his birth name as Ernst Eugen Wotzlawek and his birth place as Gleiwitz.
Wotzlawek sounds Polish so how did he get to Degner which sounds German?
The original report of his death that I read stated that he was found in Berlin with his throat cut.
Later reports said that he was found in Tenerife and had died of an overdose of his prescribed medicine.
So far there has been no mention of James Bond being involved in this but I reckon he was.
I rather doubt that we will ever know the truth.

This is an off the top of my head job, John. As previously mentioned, I think we concluded (or was it just me) that the family name might have been changed to Degner during the Nazi period. Come the end of the war, millions of 'ethnic Germans' were forcibly expelled from great swathes of various central and eastern European countries. This was done at the behest of the allies, including of course the Ruskies, and is claimed by some to have involved the ethnic cleansing of around 12-15 million people. Depending on which sources are used, 500,000 - 2.5 million died as a result. This ethnic cleansing, about which many in the west are entirely ignorant, is said to have been the largest forced migration in European history. I believe Degner and his family were victims of these expulsions.

If he were bumped off by the stasi or whoever, why did they wait so long to do it?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 17 May 2012 - 11:33.


#22 Rennmax

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:23


Ernst's hometown Gleiwitz rings a bell, doesn't it?

http://en.wikipedia....eiwitz_incident

#23 Stu Pidman

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:36

Russ, I'm sure you are right about the ethnic cleansing matter. Certainly life would have been terrible in that part of the world from the invasion onwards. It is almost impossible to imagine the horror of it all.
Renn, you did well remembering the role Gleiwitz played in getting the war started.
My earliest recollections of the horror of it was seeing newsreel footage of the concentration camps as they were liberated. The Saturday morning pictures were our tv news in the 1940s.
As an aside to this, have any of you studied pulse jet engines?
I don't know what Walter Kaaden's exact involvement was but he certainly knew enough to apply very similar theories to 2 stroke exhausts. We thought we had it right with silly little open megaphones that did nothing more than pollute the atmosphere. As a youngster I subscribed to the theory that more noise must equal more speed.

#24 Rennmax

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:16

Russ, I'm sure you are right about the ethnic cleansing matter. Certainly life would have been terrible in that part of the world from the invasion onwards. It is almost impossible to imagine the horror of it all.
Renn, you did well remembering the role Gleiwitz played in getting the war started.
My earliest recollections of the horror of it was seeing newsreel footage of the concentration camps as they were liberated. The Saturday morning pictures were our tv news in the 1940s.
As an aside to this, have any of you studied pulse jet engines?
I don't know what Walter Kaaden's exact involvement was but he certainly knew enough to apply very similar theories to 2 stroke exhausts. We thought we had it right with silly little open megaphones that did nothing more than pollute the atmosphere. As a youngster I subscribed to the theory that more noise must equal more speed.


Stu,
Walter Kaaden was not the first who had ideas about 2 stroke expansion chambers, he continued were Erich Wolf, the DKW engineer, had stopped

Posted Image

There is a lot of myth about Kaaden's work during WW2, but, it is very likely that he was neither engaged in V1 nor in V2 engine development but in the HS 293, a rocket propelled missile. There he worked in the aerodynamics department, not in the engine design group. After all, he was a man in his early twenties, so I guess he wasn't in the top management, so to speak.
Don't get me wrong, that doesn't take anything away from all he did for MZ!

Don't know what invasion you are thinking of, but the crucial one was the German invasion from the west and the Russian from the east after the Hitler/Stalin treaty in '39 which made Poland a prey for Germany and the Soviet Union. Stalin thought that Hitler would comply with the pact, for Hitler Poland was only the launch pad for his ultimate goal. The displacements years later were the aftereffects of these politics, cruel as it was for the individual and regardless of personal responsibility.

Edited by Rennmax, 18 May 2012 - 07:53.


#25 Russell Burrows

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 17:45

Stu,
Walter Kaaden was not the first who had ideas about 2 stroke expansion chambers, he continued were Erich Wolf, the DKW engineer, had stopped

Posted Image

There is a lot of myth about Kaaden's work during WW2, but, it is very likely that he was neither engaged in V1 nor in V2 engine development but in the HS 293, a rocket propelled missile. There he worked in the aerodynamics department, not in the engine design group. After all, he was a man in his early twenties, so I guess he wasn't in the top management, so to speak.
Don't get me wrong, that doesn't take anything away from all he did for MZ!

Don't know what invasion you are thinking of, but the crucial one was the German invasion from the west and the Russian from the east after the Hitler/Stalin treaty in '39 which made Poland a prey for Germany and the Soviet Union. Stalin thought that Hitler would comply with the pact, for Hitler Poland was only the launch pad for his ultimate goal. The displacements years later were the aftereffects of these politics, cruel as it was for the individual and regardless of personal responsibility.


Renn, do you think the Nazi claims of Polish atrocities towards Polish domiciled ethnic Germans have any credibility?

According to Churchill the expulsions were necessary in order to lessen the opportunity for future ethnic strife. Given it was the intention of the Allies to police Germany for decades to come, this claim is surely more than a bit suspect. Wasn't it really an excuse to punish a people seen as partly responsible for the war? Apparently those chosen to be ethnically cleansed were moved without their belongings and with no adequate plans or preparations being made for how they were to travel to what were often vaguely identified destinations.