Tag Archives: 1920s berlin

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


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

Being a Gigolo in 1920s Berlin


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

1920s Berlin Project sponsors monument to World War two victim


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