Category Archives: Real Life

The Emergency Fund

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This donation box has been set up to collect funds for those people in 1920s Berlin who due to the Coronavirus are getting in financial trouble and can’t pay their rent in the city.

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Some of us can’t work in RL because of the pandemic, others may have extra unexpected costs.
We know this horrible situation is temporary and it would therefore be very sad if people lost the houses they’ve sometimes lived in for years just because our real life world is turned upside down at the moment.

So we decided to set up a fund that we can use to pay the rent of those in Berlin who can’t afford it or who are perhaps not able to come online for a while because of the emergency situation.
I wish I could afford to just pay people’s rent myself but that’s not the case.

Anyone can call me and tell me they’d like to make use of this fund and I’ll pay their rent with it.
No questions asked.
Just tell me that you’re sick or can’t be online for some time due to the Coronavirus, I will use the fund to pay your rent when you’re away.

When the pandemic ends and the world gets a little bit back to its old “normal” state, the fund will continue to exist to help people who have rent trouble.

Either way, every Linden Dollar donated will be used to help people.

If you’re not having financial or other problems related to the current pandemic and want to help out, you’re invited to put some money in the donation box here;
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/1920s%20Berlin%20Project/232/228/1929

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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1920s Berlin Project sponsors monument to World War two victim

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To us the 1920s Berlin project is more than just a roleplaying 3D world for our little community.

It is also about the past, trying to learn from history, envisioning what Berlin was like before the Nazis took over and trying to understand the dark times that followed and the damage done by the horrible things that found their origin in the 1920s.

When I heard about the ‘Stolperstein’ remembrance project, I wanted to support it.

“Stolperstein” is the German word for “stumbling block”, “obstacle”, or “something in the way.”
Throughout RL Berlin (and many other cities in more and more European countries) you can find, or stumble over, many 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, 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 than 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.

Gunter Demnig is the artist behind these very impressive series of monuments which commemorates individual victims of the Holocaust and when I contacted him and his assistants about our project they were excited and promised to visit us in Second Life.

When, in February 2012 I mentioned the Stolperstein project to the people of 1920s Berlin everyone got excited and soon enough money was collected to sponsor one of the stones.

Together with the Stolperstein people we picked a name from a long list, much too long, of names of Nazi victims.

I picked Rosa Bleiberg who lived in a street that we also have in our sim.

She was born in 1926 and would have been a 3 year old girl in 1929, the year we are recreating in our simulation.

She was deported in 1943 and murdered in Auschwitz.

As every stone is handcrafted and installed by Herr Demnig in person it took a while before he managed to put the one we sponsored in front of Rykestrasse 52, Berlin.

But it was unveiled last month and I think we can be very proud as a virtual community to have given this almost forgotten victim a little monument of remembrance.

And I hope we will be able to sponsor many more so we will start another fundraise for these ‘Stolpersteinen’ in November.

Thank you everyone who put Lindens in the Stolperstein donation meter.

If you are interested in sponsoring such a stone, contact the people behind it on their site.

Photo; Paul David Doherty

Photo; Paul David Doherty

1920s Berlin sponsors RL memorial to one little Jewish girl

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Some time ago we started the Stolperstein appeal, we asked the visitors of our 1920s Berlin Project sim to help us collect enough money to have a small memorial stone placed in real Berlin.
You can read more about it HERE.

The Stolperstein project is a very nice initiative by artist Herr Demnig who personally creates and places these “stumbling blocks”, small  brass stones installed in the pavement outside where victims of the Nazi’s once lived.

Because he does all this in person, it takes a long time for stones to be placed, sometimes a year, sometimes longer.

We achieved our goal within two weeks and ‘ordered’ “our” stolperstein right away.

One of the things we then had to do is pick a victim for who we wanted our stone, not an easy task.

Luckily the Stolperstein people were willing to help us and made some suggestions.

I decided to pick a Jewish child, one who once lived in a street we also have in our sim today and after some correspondence between me and the Landesarchiv Berlin, we put together a bit of information.

The girl for who we will be installing a RL Stolperstein in RL Berlin is Rosa Bleiberg.

Her parents came from Poland, perhaps already trying to escape the growing anti-Semitism Jews suffered in that region back then.

Her parents, Leiser Bleiberg and Feruda Warenhaupt were both in their 20s when Rosa was born on the sixth of january 1926.

For some time they lived at Rykestrasse 52, in our sim that is the street with school en future synagogue.

At the time of our sim she is a 3 year old girl, being carried around by her parents.

She was put on a train to Auschwitz on the 3rd of march 1943 where she was murdered.

Unfortunately this is all the information we have on her and her parents.

Just a small family from Poland who almost disappeared amongst the millions of names of those who died.

We will keep looking and if we find something we’ll let you know, if you find something about her, share it.

 

Unfortunately there is no news yet on when ‘our’ stone will be placed in RL Berlin, but we knew it could take more then a year before the artist has time to make and install the stone.

Nevertheless we hope to eventually start another Stolpersteine appeal next year so we can have a stone installed every year.

 

Bloody May – Riots ahead!

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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 this sim on that date and 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 1, 2 and 3.
We aim for realism.

On May 1st at around 1pm Communists will gather outside the KPD HQ across from Der Keller.
They will then try and march across Friedrichstrasse towards Unter den Linden.
There they will be confronted by the police.
After things get out of hand, chaos will follow and for the next couple of days the police will be in charge of the city.

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.

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 😉
Join the KPD group to communicate with the other revolutionaries.

 
The REAL 1929 may riots of 1929

Demontrations in open air on may 1st 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 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 banned all public open air gatherings of political nature.
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.

On may 1st thousands of Berliners started gathering and went on their way to the center.
Immediately the police took action, beating people with batons, used water cannons and even warning shots were fired.
The Social Democrats had followed the outdoor gathering ban and had had their may day meetings indoors.
After his return home from such a meeting Max Gmeinhardt was shot when he didn’t close his window fast enough.
With 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.

Help support the Stolperstein Project with 1920s Berlin!

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The 1920s Berlin project is more then 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 would like to support an impressive project that commemorates individual victims of Nazism by ‘buying’ a Stolperstein.

“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 – 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.

The 1920s Berlin Project has decided to sponsor the installation of one of these Stolpersteine, together with you. 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 one 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.

We will keep track of this and announce when the stone 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/

With regards,
Frau Jo Yardley.

Great documentary about the wild side of RL Berlin

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This rather lovely Canadian documentary was brought to my attention by our very own fraulein Sonatta Morales.

It is called “Legendary Sin Cities” and was made in 2005 for Canadian Television.

For over 40 minutes we are shown a glimpse of the dark, erotic and very very free side of 1920s Berlin.

Sex, homosexuality, prostitution, cabaret, drugs, it is all mentioned … and shown!

So be prepared.

If you are an old fashioned old lady like me, be prepared to be shocked.

But the documentary also shows how the Nazi’s were not tolerated much in our beloved city and why the city was so ‘sinful’.

It will give you an insight into the background of our sim, a greater understanding and perhaps it may even make you want to wear clothes of the opposite sex 😉

Enjoy!

STOCK MARKET CRASH

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ACHTUNG!!!

Today Germany wakes up to the most horrific news from America.
We have already heard a few rumours trough the wireless but today we learn the details from the newspapers.

It seems that yesterday (oct 24th) at 11 O’clock the stockmarket in America crashed, it was evening here in Berlin so most people didn’t learn about it till they woke up the next day… today.

Will this be bad or good for our Republic?
Nobody really knows, it may be good because America will borrow and invest a lot here in Europe to try and balance their stocks, like they did last year.
But if they fail…. we may be in big trouble.
And we all know that if the country is not doing well the people look at extremist parties to come and change things.
Big financial trouble may be just what the Nazi’s or communists need to start their revolutions here in Germany.

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So what does this news mean for 1929 Berlin?
You can choose to be optimistic or panic, both or alternate both states of mind, because we simply don’t know where this will take us.
Germany has huge debts, is paying back reparation for the war and has been given huge loans by the US to help us survive the hyperinflation problem of a few years back.
Will the US want their money back?
We just don’t know yet how this will all affect our fragile young country.

This chaos will last a few days but soon enough we will learn that the Weimar Republic will be the country to suffer the most (after the US) from this crash that will begin the global Depression.
The US will demand that we pay back the loans almost right away, this will destroy our industry and many employers will close their factories.
After Herr Stresemann’s death and the may riots this depression will be the last blow to our republic.
By the end of the year the republic will effectively be bankrupt.
Unemployment will affect nearly every German family.
Poverty, uncertainty and loss of faith in the future will be exactly what the Nazi party needs to gain more support and in 1933 they will take over the country.

So in the next couple of days we will become more and more depressed, frightened and insecure about our future.
Some of us may lose their jobs, optimism will die and all of us will become very uncertain about the future.
The golden era has ended, dark days ahead once more.

Some links;
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzer_Donnerstag
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_Crash_of_1929
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/weimar_depression_1929.htm

 

A great (German language) documentary on the subject;

Gustav Stresemann dead!

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Shocking news for all Germans today, the 1st of October 1929.

Gustav Stresemann (May 10, 1878 – October 3, 1929)

Gustav Stresemann (May 10, 1878 – October 3, 1929)

Gustav Stresemann has died this morning of a stroke, only 51 years old.
Most people in Berlin will be upset about this news or even in mourning.
Even those who are his political opponents will at least be shocked.
Stresemann was much respected, even by his enemies.
Everyone knows he had been very ill for the last two years and against medical advice, Stresemann retained his position as German foreign minister.
Doing his duty for the republic till the very end.

Gustav Stresemann (May 10, 1878 – October 3, 1929) was a German politician and statesman who served as Chancellor and Foreign Minister during the Weimar Republic.

We have him to thank for much of the hard work that helped Germany recover from the dark days, especially since 1923 when the country was perhaps on the edge of destruction.

Thanks to him we were helped by America with the so called Dawes Plan, his minister of finances ended the hyperinflation by giving us the Rentenmark, he persuaded the French to return the occupied Ruhr area to us, he signed the Locarno Treaty, thanks to much of his work Germany was allowed to join the League of Nations, he introduced reforms to make life better for the working classes – Labour Exchanges (1927) and unemployment pay, under his reign 3 million new houses were built, build roads, railways and factories.
Stresemann dared to borrow a fortune from America but this helped our economy to boom and this led to prosperity.

Stresemann helped Germany get back on its feet after the war and economic chaos.
He made Germany a country with power again while rendering the extremist parties almost harmless.

Perhaps the worst thing about the death of this great German is that now the Weimar Republic has become even more fragile.
Lets hope we don’t get more bad news or the extremist parties may regain their power.

Today in Berlin there will be black mourning flags and some may wear black armbands.

Please remember today what Stresemann accomplished in his short life and how important he has been to the republic.

More about him on Wikipedia.

Burial of Stresemann, 6 october 1929

Burial of Stresemann, 6 october 1929

Stresemann burial, passing Hotel Adlon

Stresemann burial, passing Hotel Adlon

RIP Brigitte Borchert

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Brigitte Borchert

Brigitte Borchert

You may not have heard of this lady but she recently died 100 years old.
In 1929 she was a girl selling records at a store in Berlin when the then unknown young writer (and taxi-dancer or gigoloBilly Wilder asked her to be in his movie.

“Menschen am Sonntag” (People on Sunday) is a semi- or fake documentary about a group of young people spending a Sunday by a lake in Berlin in 1929.

None of the stars had ever acted before and some of the footage was filmed with hidden or subtle camera and thus gives an amazing insight into what daily life in Berlin around 1929 really was like.

The movie was made on a shoestring budget with money borrowed from one of the makers dads and shot over several sundays that year because everyone had to work during the week.

It may not surprise you that together with “Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt” this movie was a great inspiration to me when I created The 1920s Berlin Project.

And as you watch the movie you may see lots of little things that seem familiar to you.

Oddly enough when watching it I see people who remind me of people who visit Berlin today 🙂

Secretly I hope, against my better judgement, that fraulein Borchert is now having eternal lazy Sundays somewhere.

You can watch this entire movie online on youtube in 5 parts, here is the first one;