Radio-Centrale

On Mark Lamarr’s God’s Jukebox (may Radio 2 bring it back one day), he used to remind the listeners that once radio waves were broadcast they would continue infinitely in to space. Somewhere out there, his Radio 2 broadcasts were bouncing around.

A few light years beyond them are the Soviet radio broadcasts that came to Cairo in the 1930s that are the subject of this blog.

Apparently the radio signals from Moscow were particularly strong in Cairo and a number of the residents sent things to Moscow asking about the programming. The British at the time were particularly worried and tracked the post for this kind of thing. Some of the files are in the National Archives.

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The authorities in Moscow, were also interested in these letters and tried to maintain contact with those who sent them. In the file there are two cases.

The first is Alex Flori of 5 Rue Sidki Pasha, Bab al-Louq:

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He wrote to the radio station’s address in Moscow and in return Inna Marr at Radio-Centrale sent him a questionnaire about himself and why he contacted the radio station and a postcard of Lenin’s tomb.

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These letters clearly rang some alarm bells in the British offices and they decided to investigate my Flori. Fortunately for him, their investigation came to the conclusion that he was harmless. He was a retired banker with a hobby for the radio and had only sent an email to Moscow as an enthusiast of the radio. “He is not a dangerous man and is not a Communist”, they concluded.

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Mr Flori was lucky, but it is not quite so clear about the other case. Mukhour Hassin [sic] also sent a letter to Moscow and received a response from Inna Marr. She thanks him for his interest in the station and sends him a programme, telling him to stay in touch.

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It is unclear what the British did with Mr Mukhour Hassin.

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