The 1920s Berlin community sponsors two RL monuments to victims of Nazism

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The 1920s Berlin Project isn’t just a place where people roleplay, dance, drink and have fun.
We also use our time travel experience to learn about the past and try and imagine what Berlin was like before the Nazis took over in 1933.

As part of our strong connection with RL 1920s Berlin, we have chosen to support an impressive project that commemorates individual victims of Nazism by sponsoring a Stolperstein.

stolperstein sign“Stolperstein” is the German word for “stumbling block”, “obstacle”, or “something in the way.”
Throughout RL Berlin (and many other cities) you can find, or stumble over, thousands of these little brass stones in the pavement.

These memorials commemorate individuals who were consigned by the Nazis to prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics, concentration camps, and extermination camps, as well as those who responded to persecution by emigrating or committing suicide.

While the vast majority of stolpersteine commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust, others have been placed for Sinti and Romani people (also called gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Black people, Christians (both Protestants and Catholics) opposed to the Nazis, members of the Communist Party and the Resistance, military deserters, and the physically and mentally disabled.

The stones are dug into the pavement outside the houses where these people used to live.
A very moving and emotional monument to a single person can sometimes leave a bigger impact then a monument to thousands.
When I fist stumbled upon such a stone during my visit to RL Berlin, I must confess I had not heard about them and found it hard not to burst into tears on the spot.

It seems suitable that our 1920s Berlin Project, created to remember what the city was like before 1933, should be involved with the Stolpersteine.

We have been in contact with the artist Gunter Demnig and other people involved with this great way to remember who and what was lost, and they are very excited about what we do here in Second Life.
We, in turn, are of course in awe of their great undertaking.

So we decided to sponsor this initiative by placing a donation meter at our Teleportplatz.
And in 2012 we were able to pay for the first Stolperstein to be installed.

This is the stone we supported back then, you can see it on the Rykestrasse 54 in RL Berlin;

stolperstein rosa bleiberg

We decided to sponsor two more and recently the donation meter filled up so I am proud and touched to be able to say we can now have two more Stolpersteine installed!

Thank you very much everyone who made the donations.

I will contact the artist and discuss with him the two people we can pick a Stolperstein for and let you know as soon as the names have been picked and when the stones will be installed.

Be warned, it takes a lot of work to make these stones, travel to the locations and install them.
And Herr Demnig is not that often in Berlin, so it can take up to two years before our stone is placed.

But, no matter what happens in SL or to our sim, we shall make sure the stone is placed.

The donation meter has been reset to zero and we are taking donations for our third Stolperstein, you can find the meter at our Teleport area.

stolperstein donation meter

A German tale, stunning Machinima made in the 1920s Berlin Project

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Well known artist Ole Etzel, who was the subject of an excellent ‘Drax Files’ episode, moved in to a small dirty damp apartment in our 1920s Berlin sim and created a wonderful machinima in the dark streets and alleyways.

‘A German Tale’ tells us the story of an old man looking back at his childhood in Berlin.

I’m extremely excited with the end result and proud that Ole picked the city I build for this production.

In RL I’ve been to Filmschool, owned a tv/movie production company and have been a writer and director and I’m very impressed with this video, it makes me wish I had the time to start making machinima myself.

I started the 1920s Berlin Project because of my passion for history and saw in Second Life a way to share and even contaminate people from all over the world with this love for the past while at the same time teaching them a few things while learning new things myself as well.

This film does the same and I hope it grips you the way it gripped me.
It brought tears to my eyes, not just because of the story but also because I’m just so happy to see my Berlin used in such a way.

Enjoy this first episode, and of course, on behalf of everyone in 1920s Berlin; frohe Weihnachten!

a german tale

Winter comes to Berlin

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Last night, during our daily gathering at the local bar ‘Der Keller’, it started to snow and after a few hours the entire city was covered in a thick white blanket.

The snow will keep falling regularly till the new year.

Come on over and enjoy this cold season, wander the streets or go explore the huge (3 region) Tiergarten park with lots of photogenic locations.

The water will freeze in a couple of days.

The weather makes Berlin especially suitable for photography and if you add your winter scene photos to our Flickr group you may even win our winter photo prize of 1000 Lindens!

More about this seasonal photo contest soon.

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NEW DRUG LAWS IN BERLIN!

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Recently the laws on drugs in Germany have become a lot stricter

The use of opium, cocaine and Arabic tobacco has gotten out of hand and situations similar to the infamous opium houses in the East are now familiar in our own big cities.

From now on these drugs can only be required with a doctors prescription.

Now in detail the new law;

Opiumgesetzes vom 10. Dezember 1929
(RGBl. I S. 215) listet § 1 Abs. 1

Achtung!

From the 10th of december onwards it will be illegal to buy, sell, own or use the following products:

Rohopium
Opium
Morphine
Kokablätter (cacao leaves)
Rohkokain
Kokain (cocaine)
Ekgonin (Ecgonine)
Indischer Hanf (indian hemp)
Diacetylmorphins (Heroins)
Kokains und Ekgonins.

Some of these products may still be obtained at the Apotheke (pharmacy) trough a prescription from your doctor.

If you break the law you can be fined and even jailed.
Approximate fines and punishments;
-Being caught buying them can get you fined 150L$
-Selling these products can get you fined 500L$
-Owning one of the aboce substances can get you fined 250L$
-Being caught using, or having used them recently, can get you arrested for at least one night in the cell.

'Koks' Emil, selling drugs on the street, Berlin  1929

‘Koks’ Emil, selling drugs on the street, Berlin 1929

Autumn in Berlin Photo Contest!

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Every season we like to have a photo contest that shows how that time of year changes our city and our lives.

And it is that time of the year again!

So here it is;

Upload a snapshot to our flickr group.

It has to be made in the 1920s Berlin project.

The theme of your photo should be; Autumn in Berlin.

This year we want raw snapshots, so no photoshop editing allowed!

The picture we like most will receive 500 Linden!

photo contest

Start making your pictures now.

Your deadline is December 15th.

Winner will be announced on December 17th.

Being a Gigolo in 1920s Berlin

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In the olden days, a gigolo wasn’t exactly what it is today.
Generally it just meant a gentleman who danced with ladies for money.

Gigolo’s or ‘Eintänzer’ (one (dance) dancer) as they were called in Germany, were very common in 1920s Berlin, often dashing young handsome men in nice outfits who would stand to the side in dance halls waiting for a gesture or to be asked to dance with whoever was willing to pay them.

It was not frowned upon at all, dancing was a huge thing back then and because of the war there was a shortage of male dance partners. And dancing on your own was very uncommon.
Of course some stubborn men also just don’t like dancing.

So if you felt like dancing but couldn’t find a man willing to ask you, you could just ‘hire’ a chap for a dance or two.
Most ‘Gigolos’ were also dance teachers, after all they had a lot of experience and knew the latest dance crazes.

Sometimes one thing led to another and the gigolo would accept payment to go out on a date, accompany a lady to other social situations and yes, sometimes it could even end in the bedroom…

However, generally they were seen as no more as a dancer-for-hire or dime-a-dance man.
They were so common and popular that one of the biggest 1920s German music hits was ‘Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo’.
And even a movie was made about it, Seine Hoheit, der Eintänzer (1927).

Many of these men were often veterans or students who had found it difficult to pay their bills or to afford their lifestyle in expensive Berlin.
But also countless members of the now impoverished aristocracy found themselves making a living on the dance floors of Berlin.
Men who once seemed unreachable, could now be ordered around by young girls for a few coins.
They were even welcome at the fancy Hotel Adlon, so much so that the Hotel even gained the nickname ‘Gigolo school’.

A fun little article from 1927;

gigolo“In these Cafes,  see also the Male Vamp.  He,  Of the patent leather hair and dress,  immaculate.  Here to make the night pleasant for the female patrons.  Paris calls him a “Gigolo.”  An unaccompanied Lady if she cares to dance,  can summon a Gigolo,-take turn around the floor with him and pay him 10 francs per dance.

Moneyed women,  however, have been known to “fall” for their Gigolo,-buy him a motor car, send him to the best tailor; even take him back home.

Gigolos,  as a rule are handsome enough to seen with,  anywhere;  and women of wealth and experience will pick up a good looking Gigolo and keep him during their entire sojourn in Paris.  This solves a problem.  The young man is not introduced to her friends,  as a Gigolo.  And who is the wiser?  This Lady, who might otherwise have been lonesome and restricted, as to her amusements in Paris,  may now have her fling,  and when it is all over, can say:  “Ta Ta” to Giggy.”

So, what does all this have to do with our 1920s Berlin Project?

We want to bring the  ‘Eintänzer’ to our sim.
Not as a camouflaged adult entertainment service, but as a way to bring more men to our city, give them a fun way to make a little money and to of course give the ladies of berlin someone to dance with.

If you are interested, simply show up at our regular dances at the Hotel Adlon.
They take place on Wednesday (6pm slt), Friday Tango evening (2pm slt) and the Saturday Tea dance (11am SLT), our tram takes you straight from the station to the hotel.

Make sure you wear something nice (the Hotel Adlon is very classy) and authentic (we have a strict 1920s dress code) and go stand next to the  ‘Eintänzer’ sign, there are some scraps of paper on the ground you can sit on, they have nice suitable waiting animations for you.

If someone wants to dance with you, simply inform them how much a single dance (one song) costs them, we won’t tell you how much you are allowed to charge, that is up to you, it is also up to you to decide if anything else happens besides dancing.

If you invest in a nice outfit, act like a gentleman, are charming and a good dancer, you might end up making a nice living while having fun at the same time.

Do remember that we are a ‘moderate’ sim, so no adult XXX chat or acts in public please.

gigolo poster