"Ende offen" is the name of the talk show that WDR established in its third program in the early 1970s. The title is to be taken literally. The guests were allowed to take as much time as they wanted, the round was only over when everything had been discussed. But in the live broadcast on December 3, 1971, one participant had enough of words - and let actions speak.
Nikel Pallat, manager of the protest rock band Ton Steine Scherben, talks non-stop to his counterpart this Friday evening. The Krautrock producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser has to serve as the enemy. It's about the question of how commercial alternative German pop music can be. Since Kaiser has just signed a deal with a music publisher, Pallat accuses him of treason. He got involved with the "capitalist sow" and "put himself fully on the side of the system". The fact that at some point Kaiser no longer listens at all makes Pallat even more furious.
It happens after two hours, twelve minutes and countless cigarettes. "Television is an instrument of oppression in this mass society," says Pallat, "and that's why I'm going to break this table, yes." He puts his hand inside his jacket and pulls out an axe, hammering it hard on the wooden table in front of him. Glasses rattle, ashtrays fall over - only the table doesn't want to break. Pallat gets up and starts thrashing even harder. The other talk show guests duck. After going around the table once, the manager says, "Well, now we can discuss further."
In fact, the first guests sit back at the table - as if nothing had happened. But the WDR pulls the plug in horror. "Tomorrow the newspapers will write that it was a good happening," Kaiser can still be heard in the background. Then the picture turns black. Pallat's outburst was planned. Why else would he have had an ax with him?
Pallat then continued the discussion over beer. A TV viewer contacts WDR and voluntarily pays the repair costs for the table: 95 Deutschmarks. Pallat is no longer invited to any further talks.