One of the most anticipated scheduled trips of the program was attending a German Cabaret. Berlin was hailed as one of the major ‘Sin cities’ of the 1920’s. Sexuality, experimentation and artistic expression were at their peak right after World War I. Cabarets are similar to musicals/broadway shows and are often associated with sex in Berlin.
The venue, despite it being a tent, was very glamorous and posh. The show we watched was an adaption of the actual film called “Cabaret” based off Christopher Isherwood’s novel. The story depicts the intertwined lives of an American performer, Sally Bowles, and reserved academic writer, Brian Roberts.
Good thing we had watched the film in English prior because the entire show was in German and it was already difficult enough following along.
As you can see, the costumes are very risqué, baring tons of flesh and the dancing is rather erotic.
Not really understanding the dialogue, my focus was purely on the performance and theatrics which were very playful and comedic.
There was a live band and they serve drinks and meals to your table. Overall a very interesting experience. I would only recommend if you understand German, otherwise it’s kind of pointless. There are a good handful of Cabaret shows in Berlin worth checking out if you are interested in this kind of live entertainment.
Another trip that would require German knowledge is a visit to Bayerischer Platz to experience the “Place of Remembrance” which is an interactive memorial dedicated to the Jews during Hitler’s reign.
Within a large circumference of the area are lamp posts that have simple quotes and pictures, each explaining some of the hardship and discrimination the Jews had to endure in Germany. Some of them were very shocking and the effect of these facts are amplified when you realize that some of the stuff you read about happened right where you were standing reading those very words. For example:
“Jews are not allowed to use phones.”
“Jews must be home by 8pm”
“Jewelry. Items made of gold, silver or platinum and pearls belonging to Jews are to be turned in to the state. February 21, 1939.”
Laws restricting Jews becoming more and more rigid until at some point they were completed striped of their rights until they become nothings.
Here are some of the architecture around the neighborhood as we went hunting for these lamp posts and recording the quotes.
The last place of interest I will mention here does not require German knowledge to experience. It is the Topographie Des Terrors located at Niederkirchnerstraße 8. This interactive museum depicts the chronological timeline of Hitler’s rise to power starting on 1933.
Photosgraphs, news clippings, and other documentations are used to show how Hitler gradually gained his army of followers and slowly execute his plans of wiping off Jews in Germany.
It is without a doubt that Hitler’s political force is one that is both frightening but fascinatingly incredible. One single human being commanding such power and destruction.
The timeline continues inside where visitors are free to roam around and read the abundance of information documenting the events leading up to World War II.