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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here's To Anita!

Berlin in the "roaring twenties" was a city of drugs, sex and art. More than one third of its population were less than 30 years old. The survivors of the war enjoyed life, and life was regarded an art. Ten years after the prude "Kaiserreich" the experience of the bloody battle fields and the collapse of the old order had swept away all inhibitions among the city's avant-garde. All kinds of drugs were offered in Berlin's dark night clubs where stark naked girls entertained the rich, the young and the crazy. And a new type of women took the stage: The unabashed lesbians. Her protagonist was a dancer called Anita Berber. She performed in the nude, but regarded herself as an artist and did not accept vulgar comments from tipsy guests. On one occasion she interrupted her dance number, grabbed a bottle from one of the bistro tables and crashed it on the head of a man who had yelled an obscene remark. Anita had loved a great number of generous gentlemen, sexy girls and many pounds of cocaine when, only 29, she died shortly before Berlin's crazy Twenties came to a sudden end.

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