1920s Berlin at SL11B

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Like the previous years The 1920s Berlin Project will have its own place at Second Life’s 11th anniversary celebrations, aka SL11B.

The theme of SL’s 11th birthday party is “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”.
A look at the future!

In our exhibit we do that in two ways.

First of all we’re looking forwards to the future of Virtual Reality and Second Life.
The 1920s Berlin project was build to a realistic scale, we took a prim, noticed its measurements of 50x50x50 centimeters and used that as our foundation to build with.
That means that our buildings are generally smaller than in many other places in Second Life but also that the perspective and scale is always based on reality.
This way you can get a real idea of what things looked like in reality, for instance we have a Zeppelin that is 244 meters long and our Brandenburg Gate is an exact replica of the real thing, inch by inch.
Realistic scale will become more important in the near future as Virtual reality becomes more and more important (again).
When wearing the Oculus Rift, or any other kind of VR headset, you suddenly realise how important it is for the virtual world to make sense, nothing should destroy the immersion.
In 1920s Berlin we hope to avoid this by adding lots of historical details and that realistic scale.

Second, we show how people in 1920s Berlin looked towards the future.
On one side of our display you’ll see old Berlin, the small houses, poverty, a Biergarten and Heinrich Zille’s studio.
He was a well known artist who drew daily life in Germany.

On the other side we see the opposite.
The modern cinema Babylon (based on a RL Berlin building) replaces the social life of the Biergarten, the clear lines of modern architecture are the new style for buildings,
In another modern building you can see the future of art in the 1920s; Bauhaus, a German version of Art Deco and De Stijl.
Under the glass ceiling at the top, in strong contrast with Heinrich Zille’s little attic, we see the studio of a Bauhaus designer.
The future beckons… but you may also find some traces of the dark storm clouds that were starting to gather over Germany in the late 1920s.

We hope you come and visit us some time.

And if you are a member of our community, perhaps you want to spend some time hanging around the exhibit there when you can.
It is a lot of fun to share our city with ‘outsiders’ and there is a nice cozy apartment and biergarten there for you to relax.

During the SL11 celebrations we will have our daily Happy Hour at 2pm SLT here in the display, come and join us for a drink, chat and dance to 1920s music.
In our own sim we have these gatherings every single day and lots of other events during the weekends.

Come visit us at;

maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL11B%20Enchant/192/156/22

SL11B opens today at noon slt.

slcommunitycelebration.com/

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Drax files episode about 1920s Berlin wins Best Machinima award

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Originally posted on Jo Yardley's Second Life:

The Drax Files episode about 1920s Berlin, made by Draxtor Despres last year, has won Best Machinima at the New Media Film Festival!

For years, The New Media Film Festival has led the way in the pursuit
of stories worth telling, the exploration of new media technologies,
boundary pushing resulting in new distribution models and creating and
establishing new methodologies in the global monetization of content.
The New Media Film Festival embodies the transformative power of the
cinematic arts and it reaches across cultural bridges to wed story and
technology for everyone.

According to Drax, people in the audience were very impressed, not just with the of course excellent video he made but also with all the things possible and happening in Second Life.

His Drax files series is a great bit of PR and advertising for Second Life, no wonder they now use his video on the Second Life…

View original 15 more words

The 1920s Berlin Project celebrates its 5th anniversary!

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On May the 30th 2009, the 1920s Berlin Project opened its doors to the public for the first time.
I was still a noob, only 3 months in Second Life, barely knew how to stick two prims together, yet somehow managed to create a tiny bit of my dream in a skybox on rented mainland.

I could have never imagined it to turn out to become such a huge success, a sim with a the most amazing community, a sim that in stead of being just a bit of fun turned into a huge part of my life.
And not just my life, I’m very proud to have tenants who have been living in this city for 2,3, 4 and even 5 years!
Many of whom I’d call close friends.
I’ve loved every minute of this time traveling adventure and it still is only the beginning.
If all goes well, I may start on a second Time Travel Roleplay sim later this year.
But I’m not making any promises!

To celebrate this milestone, we’re offering our regular tenant,s guests and visitors 5 days of events, but we’re also inviting tourists, strangers and people who have not yet visited our sim to join us.
On Open Door Day and Relaxed Rules Day you don’t even have to wear 1920s clothes or have a human avatar.

You can find 1920s Berlin by clicking this link: http://slurl.com/secondlife/1920s%20Berlin/236/232/751

On all other days of course, the regular 1920s dress code is in effect.

We look forward to seeing lots of familiar but also new faces visiting us.

Here is to the next 5 years, prosit!

Jo Yardley

Schedule of events:

Thursday, May 29

All day: Open Door Day

On this day everyone is welcome to visit our sim ‘as they are’, with other words, you can ignore our strict 1920s dress code and you can also use non human avatars.
Several of our tenants will also open their doors and an ‘Open House’ sign will show you where you can enter and explore how the people in the city live.

Berlin tenants who want to sign up for this, please contact Herr Sein Loire.

Friday, May 30

1:00 PM SLT – Kids’ Soap Box Derby @ Tiergarten *prizes*
2:00 PM SLT – 5th Anniversary Dance @ Pariser Platz (At the foot of the Brandenburger Tor) with DJ Myron Byron
4-ish PM SLT – After party @ Kling Studio

Saturday, May 31

11:00 AM SLT – Tea Dance @ Hotel Adlon
12:00 PM SLT – Miss Berlin Pageant rehearsal @ The Odeon
1:00 PM SLT – Happy Hour Talent Show @ Biergarten *prizes*
2:00 PM SLT – Eldorado Anniversary Special

Sunday, June 1

11:00 AM SLT – Scavenger Hunt @ Train station *prizes*
12:00 PM SLT – Miss Berlin Pageant @ The Odeon *NO prizes, except the power and the glory*
1:00 PM SLT – Flapperettes 2nd Anniversary Party @ Bauhaus rooftop, Unter den Linden 17
2:00 PM SLT – Benefit Auction Happy Hour @ Bauhaus rooftop, Unter den Linden 17 (as always, a lot of great items have been donated for your bidding)
4:00 PM SLT – Church Service *a prize for all attendees*
5:00 PM SLT – Movie screening @ Babylon
7:00 PM SLT – Flapperettes 2nd Anniversary Party (part 2) @ Bauhaus rooftop

Monday, June 2

Relaxed Rules Day: All day

On this day we forget the 1920s Dress code and allow all kinds of avatars.

But be warned!
We also allow our tenants to ignore all the other rules of the sim and this usually means they will go a little nuts…

More information and up to date news can be found on our facebook group; https://www.facebook.com/groups/265276560117/events/

Finally, huge thanks to Herr Sein Loire who has done most of the work regarding the celebrations.

The May day riots are coming

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During the first days of may we will be re-enacting an infamous riot that took place in RL Berlin 1929.

In this blog post you will find a bit of info about what will be happening in our sim on that date, learn some of the rules, but you will also find some background to the RL may riots.

The 1929 Berlin Project riots

We will try and recreate the real 1929 riots with the limited options SL offers us.
Our sim is not like the Wild West, please make sure you know the projects rules and understand them before you take part in the madness of May 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
We aim for realism.

On May 1st at around 1pm German Communists and sympathizers will gather outside the KPD HQ in the narrow Mieze Gasse, a side street of Friedrichstrasse.
There are rumours that the mayor has given permission for the march, other people may have heard that there is no permission but the police has said they wouldn’t stop the people… but the truth is that the ban on large public gatherings in the open air is still in effect and the police has been ordered to use brute force to stop any groups.
They have been reinforced by Army and even local Navy units.

The group will march to Friedrichstrasse towards Unter den Linden but when they reach the Volksbad, they will realise that the Police is not going to let them trough.
There they will be confronted by the police who has been ordered to make sure the groups of people to reach the ‘good’ part of Berlin where all the nice houses and big shops are.
Unter den Linden should remain off limits to the troublemakers!

The crowds will be upset, stones and bottles will be thrown and then a shot sounds…
It is not sure who shoots first, but chaos will follow.

For three days events will be cancelled, police and protestors will play a cat and mouse game, houses can be searched, Berlin is a city of fear.

The police will block off part of the city, patrol, check people and will open fire at houses with red flags and people gathering.
Please be prepared to be hassled by them, even questioned.
If you don’t want to be part of this you may have to avoid the city or at least the working class district (west of Unter Den Linden).

Communists and other rioters will walk around with red flags and build their own barricades.
Shots will be fired, avatars may die.

For these 3 days Berlin will be in a state of emergency.
Normally when you die in our 1920s Berlin sim, you die permanently and are banned from the sim.
Because of the many bullets flying about these days we allow people to return after being shot, you’re not dead, you’re wounded.

Nevertheless, it may be a good idea to create an alt if you feel like some proper rioting without the risk of getting the police keeping an eye on you for the rest of the year ;)
But I do realise that your alt probably doesn’t have rezzing permissions and as far as I know you can’t shoot or throw stuff without those.
I wish I knew a solution to that, but I don’t.

Remember though that most workers would not own guns, they would use whatever they could find to throw at the police and of course some would use knives.
And those work even without rezzing permissions.

Join the KPD group to communicate with the other revolutionaries.

Please remember the following:
If you get shot or hurt in any way, go to the hospital.
Don’t be invincible.
Look for wounded skin textures to add to the drama.

We are looking at getting a combat hud for this day, but if we can’t manage to find a good one, just keep in mind that if you get teleported home, you’ve been shot.

We hope to see you here on May 1st as part of the communists, the police, the navy, the army, the medical staff or as a bystander.
Please remember that if you have not been to Berlin before, that we have a strict 1920s dress code.

 

The REAL 1929 may riots of 1929

Demonstrations in the open air without special permission have been banned since 1924 in Germany but this never caused any problems.
But by 1929 the political tension in Germany had heated up so much that trouble was brewing.
At the end of 1928 Adolf Hitler’s public speech ban was lifted and he had started agitating the situation in the country right away, causing street fighting and several deaths.
The Berlin Police President Karl Friedrich Zörgiebel then reinforced the ban on all public open air gatherings of political nature in Berlin.
When in April 1929 the Communist Party (KPD) started calling workers to come to the May day rally, it was announced that this public gathering ban would also be valid on may the 1st.
The communists were furious and threatened to have their rally anyway.
The police started preparing for riots and street fighting, extra police troops were called in.On April the 30th the KPD handed out leaflets claiming the political gathering ban had been lifted, but it was not.

There were also rumours going around the city that the police would look the other way and ignore the marchers, they would not.

On May 1st thousands of Berliners started gathering and went on their way to the center.
For them this May day was more important then usual.
At this time the newspapers were full of the trial around the murder of revolutionary leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919 and it seemed that the murderers would be very mildly punished, people were angry.
They also wanted to celebrate their 10th anniversary of the Komintern.
To add to all this, the government of Germany was led by the Social Democratic Party, a left wing party.

Having a party with who the Communists shared several ideologies but also be their oldest and perhaps biggest opponent, tell the KPD they couldn’t march was like rubbing salt into a wound.And of course the Nazi’s were growing and becoming louder and more aggressive all the time, it sometimes seemed like they were not being stopped by anyone while the Communists were not allowed to do anything.
The communists were furious, the city was tense.

The City Council told people that they were permitted and celebrate May Day but only indoors.
Many people did just that, having huge gatherings in halls and public buildings.
But others did not receive that information or just felt they had to right to march outside.

When the police saw large groups of people marching trough Berlin with red flags and armbands, they took action.
They attacked people with batons, used water cannons and warning shots were fired.
The Social Democrats had followed the outdoor gathering ban and had had their may day meetings indoors but unfortunately they had to go outside to go there and to return home.
After his return home from such a meeting Max Gmeinhardt was shot when he didn’t close his window fast enough.
Other groups of innocent bystanders, civilians and Socialists simply going to or returning from permitted gatherings were set upon by the police.
With now also the social democrats, workers and poor people in general becoming furious, the conflict now escalated rapidly.
In the afternoon barricades were erected to make it harder for Police cars to reach certain areas.
In the evening the police started using armored vehicles with machine guns, only meant to be used when the police was fired upon.
Police start shooting at houses with red flags.

On May 2nd the KPD called people to go on strike as a reply to the police violence.
On May 2nd and may 3rd the police combed trough the working class areas, searches houses and arrested countless people.

In total 33 demonstrators, workers and bystanders had been killed by the police, at least 80 were seriously injured. The Berlin police, under control of the supposedly pro-labour social democratic government, had fired a total of 11,000 rounds of live ammunition.
This incident, remembered in the German language as Blutmai (“Blood May”) deepened the split between the SPD and the Communist Party, which indirectly helped the German right wing parties and the eventual rise of the Nazi Party in the German parliament.

Hansi Sturm returns to the Eldorado

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Hansi_Sturm_come_Miss_EldoradoIn 1920s Berlin we like to tell our visitors about how exciting and interesting that city was back then.
One of the places that does this is is our Eldorado club, a so called transvestitenlokal, based on a real gay and cross dressers club.

Berlin was famous for its tolerance and this club where women dressed like men and men like women was very well known and in stead of hidden away it was celebrated, written about and visited by people from all walks of life.

One of the stars in this scene was Hansi Sturm, married father of two who in the evening changed into ‘Miss Eldorado’, entertaining the crowds ad the infamous club with his singing and dancing.
Ending each show by throwing his fake breasts at the orchestra.

Hansi became somewhat of a celebrity, even outside the gay and transvestite scene.
Postcards show him as Miss Eldorado but there was even an article about him in a regular magazine.

But of course the golden age of tolerance and freedom ended and after the Nazis took over power in Germany, the many gay clubs were closed and Hansi vanished into the shadows of history.
We don’t know what happened to him, was he persecuted and was he murdered in a camp somewhere, did he hide his past and ended up being forced into the army or did he manage to do one more transformation and turned into a regular man who managed to stay unnoticed for the rest of his life?

We just don’t know and it made me a bit sad.
Because the last thing Hansi seems to have wanted was to end up being practically unheard of.

By bringing a Hansi avatar to Second Life and letting her/him relive his glory days, in our own little way, bring him back from oblivion.
And share his story with the visitors of our sim.

From now on Hansi will perform at the Eldorado club almost every Saturday at 2pm SLT.

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Sponsoring a monument to victims of Nazism

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The 1920s Berlin project is more than just a roleplay sim, where we all have lots of fun.
We are about history, remembrance, understanding the past and trying to show our respect to the Berlin that was before the Nazis took over.

We support an impressive project that commemorates individual victims of Nazism by sponsoring a Stolperstein.

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

These memorials commemorate individuals – both those who died and survivors – 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 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 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. We, in turn, are in awe of their great undertaking.

Last year our donations paid for the creating and installing of a Stolperstein for Rosa Bleiberg, a young Jewish girl born in Berlin in 1926, murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.
The stone can be found on Rykestraße 52 in Berlin.

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This year we hope to sponsor 2 stones.

We have placed a donation meter at the entrance area to our sim and, as soon as it is full, we shall pay the artist Herr Gunter Demnig to plant two of these stones in Berlin.
When the time comes, we will decide what kind of person we would like the monument to be dedicated to.

You can do your part by donating into the special Stolperstein donation meter.
All the money donated goes straight to the Stolpersteine Project.

You can find the donation meter here at the entrance of our sim;
http://slurl.com/secondlife/1920s Berlin/236/232/751

We will keep track of this and announce when the stones will be installed in RL Berlin.

Be warned, it takes a lot of work to make and Herr Demnig is not that often in Berlin, so it can take up to two years before our stone is ready.

But, no matter what happens in SL or to our sim, we shall make sure the stone is placed and that everyone hears about it.

We plan to sponsor another stone next year.

For more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolperstein

http://www.stolpersteine.com/

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