Already in 1926, the satirical magazine Simplicissimus had a premonition how Berliners would take to mobile phones. A great example of Weimar science fiction, from the collection of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin.
In the Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, Axel Weipert writes about the forgotten demonstration against the workers’ council law on 13 January 1920, when 42 demonstrators died and 100 were wounded in clashes with the police. The passing of the law marked the final defeat of the council movement of the German Revolution.
Philipp Reick compares the Poor People’s Movement in New York and unemployment protests in Berlin in the 1930s.
In March, the Konzerthaus on Gendarmenmarkt is hosting Festival Mythos Berlin, a series of concerts and events celebrating 1920s Berlin. The highlight of the festival is the European premiere of Marc Blitzstein’s 1928 one-act opera Triple Sec. Die Sünde des Lord Silverside.
Unfortunately, the organisers have missed the opportunity to include the Konzerthaus’s own role in Weimar history as the backdrop of Gustaf Gründgens‘ career in the early 1930s – the subject of Klaus Mann’s infamous novel Mephisto.
A group of enthusiasts has set up an online version of 1920s Berlin in the virtual 3D world Second Life, complete with a Hotel Adlon, Eldorado club, a Red Wedding and the city’s very own group of chorus girls, the Fabulous Flaperettes. The community that frequents this online world has even run a successful donation campaign to pay for a Stolperstein monument in real-life Berlin, commemorating Rosa Bleiberg, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust. (Even virtual) Berlin ist immer eine Reise wert!
Hannah Höch is one of the most fascinating figures of Weimar Berlin, not only as an avant-garde artist, but also as a reflection of social and cultural changes. She embodied the ‘New Woman’ – the idea of the modern, rational and emancipated female, that enjoyed great popularity in Germany after 1918 – while at the same time criticizing this new image of femininity in her work.
This exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, the first major show of her work in the UK, is a good opportunity to get acquainted with this Weimar icon.
>> review (The Guardian)
In 2013, the interest in the history of the Ullstein publishing house seems to pick up. Besides a major conference in April, an up-coming exhibition in June – as part of the Berlin-wide theme year Diversity Destroyed – will look at Ullstein’s Gleichschaltung after 1933. A dedicated website already gives a good introduction to the topic.
The exhibition is organised by Deutsches Presemuseum im Ullsteinhaus, an association of scholars, artists and journalists aiming to establish a German ‘museum of the press’ in Ullstein’s impressive former printing facility in Tempelhof, erected in 1927. A cause worth supporting!