weimar germany

Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, F.W. Bogler and Marli Heimann in a performance of Colour, Light, Games (photographed by V. E. Frankl). Staatliches Bauhaus, 1924.

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Berlin in 1929

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Bergmann-Haenel MP18.1

Designed by Hugo Schmeisser c.1916, manufactured by Bergmann Waffenfabrik c.1918-20′s, modified by C.C.Haenel afterward - serial number 5279.
9x19mm Parabellum 20-round removable box magazine, open bolt blowback full automatic.

The Haenel modification gave the MP18 a new double-stack single-feed magazine to replace the complex and heavy Trommel magazine originally designed for Luger P08 pistols.
Despite common belief, this weapon wasn’t immediately banned in the Treaty of Versailles.

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Hot Jazz from Berlin, 1933,

shortly before this kind of music and culture was deprecated by the Reichskulturkammer, the Nazi institution to enforce the culture deemed appropriate for the 1000 year Reich and its “superior Aryan people”

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Erma EMP submachine gun

Designed by Heinrich Vollmer and manufactured by the Erma Werke Waffenfabrik in Erfurt, Germany c.~1930 - serial number 13311.
9x19mm Parabellum 32-round removable box magazine, blowback select fire.

One of the intermediary firearms developed from the Bergmann MP18 to the MP40 series in Weimar Germany.

Atelier Leopold :: Valeska Gert, 1918. German card (Munich). Collection: Didier Hanson. / source: Flickr

“Jewish cabaret artist Waleska Gert (1892-1978) and her dark, aquiline features became famous in Berlin with her radical modern dances. She was also active as an artists’ model and appeared in several classics of the Weimar Cinema. After a comeback in Fellini’s Giulietta degli spiriti / Juliet of the Spirits (1965), she worked with the film makers of the New German Cinema of the 1970′s.” (quoted from source)

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Comedian Harmonists - In der Bar zum Krokodil

The Comedian Harmonists were a vocal sextet from Berlin, who were very popular in the final years of the Weimar Republic. Their precise singing and cheeky lyrics perfectly hit the taste of the time. Many of their songs still enjoy a certain popularity such as “Mein kleiner, grüner Kaktus” (“My little green cactus”), and some of the lines have become standing expressions, for instance “Veronika, der Lenz ist da” (”Veronica, spring is here").

After the Nazis took power, the group was allowed to continue performing due to their great success although three of the members were Jewish. In 1934, however, they were banned from performing in Germany. They went on a world tour and enjoyed success in the USA, where they performed on an aircraft carrier in New York, had 30 appearances in radio shows, and joined with Paul Whiteman and the Boswell Singers. Other stations were Denmark, Norway, and Italy.

Upon their return in February 1935, the three Jewish members of the group were prohibited to perform and record together with the “Aryan” members, essentially splitting the ensemble. The non-Jewish members continued with three more singers in Germany as the Meistersextett. The Jewish members went into exile and formed the Comedy Harmonists in Vienna. Both groups never achieved the quality of the original, never enjoyed comparable popularity, and split in 1941.

After the war, a new Comedian Harmonists was founded by former Jewish members in the USA, but split after a few unsuccessful years. Likewise, a Comedian Quartett did not flourish in West Germany. The singers, who all survived the war, never performed together again. All that remains are their recordings and their legendary reputation.

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That’s why Germans panic on hearing the word “inflation”

Hyperinflation during the early period of the Weimar Republic:

  • January 31, 1920: 1 US-Dollar = 42 Reichsmark (RM)
  • October 21, 1922: 1 US-Dollar = 4,439 RM
  • January 31, 1922: 1 US-Dollar = 49,000 RM
  • August 8, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 4,860,000 RM
  • September 7, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 53.000.000 RM
  • October 3, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 440.000.000 RM
  • October 11, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 5.060.000.000 RM
  • October 22, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 32.150.000.000 RM
  • November 3, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 418.950.000.000 RM
  • November 9, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 628.500.000.000 RM
  • November 15, 1923: 1 US-Dollar = 4.200.000.000.000 RM

People were burning the banknotes in the oven because the paper heated more than the coal they were able to buy with the money.