Kulturleben Geschichte 1920-1940. Berlin (Germany) -- History -- 1918-1945. Berlin (Germany) -- Intellectual life -- 20th century. Berlin (Germany) -- Social life and customs. Berlin
xii, 304 p.,  p. of plates
Carroll & Graf
ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. -286) and index. Anton Gill. Book
LC: DD880; Dewey: 943.1/55085
ISBN: 0786700637; 9780786700639 LCCN: 94-1265
1st Carroll & Graf
Anton Gill brilliantly recaptures the Berlin of the twenties and thirties, where the world's most creative talents flourished against a background of decadence, corruption, hyperinflation, and finally fear. For a few, the twenties really were golden. Max Reinhardt, Bertolt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Josephine Baker electrified the stage. Berlin became the nightclub capital of the world - just as in the film Cabaret, inspired by Christopher Isherwood who was there with W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender. Berlin rivaled Hollywood, where Fritz Lang, Josef von Sternberg, Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder all started their careers. For most Berliners, though, life was harsh. While the rich danced there was fighting in the streets. When the mark crashed, those with hard currency lived like princes, but middle-class Germans prostituted their own daughters to make ends meet. As the twenties became the thirties, politics veered from farce to tragedy in the face of the Nazi terror. After 1933 those who could escape left for London, Paris, or New York. Others threw in their lot with the new regime. Leni Riefenstahl created the greatest pieces of film propaganda in history. Werner von Braun developed the rockets that would later fall on London and contribute to the U.S. space program. Nazi victory would condemn Berlin, one of the world's greatest capitals, first to destruction and then to fifty years in the cultural and political wilderness. This book coincides with its return to capital status and, perhaps, its former elan.