So it is customary to call Germany in the period from 1919, when a new democratic constitution was adopted, to 1933, with the advent of Hitler.
With the defeat of militarism in the First World War, the “golden age” of creative Germany began. It was called so – “golden twenties”. The flourishing of science, cinema, music, painting and sports.
In the short period between the two wars – one past and the second, which was yet to come – they finally breathed the air of freedom. Creative and sexy, seasoned with debauchery and cocaine.
The Weimar Republic was a place of absolute sexual liberation, there was nothing that was considered “too” or “too much.” Berlin became, of course, the center of German cultural life. In 1920, it grew almost 13 times.
Behind the door of the cabaret
Cabarets have become the centers of Berlin’s nightlife. Inside was a wild mixture of alcohol, drugs, sex and dancing. Indeed, until the 1920s, any entertainment establishments in Germany were under strict supervision, many of them went underground.
Cabarets were a cross between a bar, a restaurant and a nightclub. The guests sat at the tables and enjoyed the candid performances of dancers and dancers, as well as satirical performances by comedians who joked toughly about politics. The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig described one of the Berlin cabarets as follows:
“Berlin has become Babylon. The Germans went into perversions with all their passion and love for the system. Painted boys with accentuated waists walked around the Kurfürstendamm … Even the ancient Romans did not arrange such orgies as took place at transvestite balls, where hundreds of men in women’s clothes and women in men’s clothes dance right under the benevolent glances of the police. There has been a complete overthrow of values. <...> Young ladies brag about their perversity, and if a girl at 16 is suspected of being a virgin, she will be laughed at.
Gender, what gender?
Each of the hundreds of bars in Berlin had its own specialty: for straight men, for gays, for lesbians, for transvestites or pansexuals. As a dancer in one of Berlin’s Eldorado bars was rumored to have said, “I can be of whatever gender you wish, madam.”
Gender variability was the norm in the Weimar Republic. Cross-dressing and transvestism, androgynes and the blurring of gender lines were the order of the day. In Berlin cabarets, fashion became one of the tools through which men and women demonstrated their attitude towards gender and sexual orientation.
Gay and lesbian subcultures emerged. Writer Kathy Sutton wrote in her book The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany: “With the advent of the female homosexual subculture, menswear has become a kind of opposition to mainstream trends and the mainstream.”
So men and women willingly explored their sexuality and switched roles.
Prostitution and goose
Depending on the size of the purse, a courtesan in furs and diamonds could come to a client in a limousine, or he could pick up a woman or a boy right on the street. After the war, prostitutes went, first of all, to women with no other possibility of income. Second, young people of both sexes. The infection of venereal diseases spread across Europe: syphilis and gonorrhea. Pimps were ready to fulfill almost any fantasy of the client, if he was willing to pay. Italian journalist Luigi Barzini wrote: “I have seen pimps who offer everything: little boys, little girls, strong men, voluptuous women, animals. There’s talk of a goose whose neck can be cut off in an ecstatic fit and you get it all in one: sodomy, bestiality, homosexuality, necrophilia and sadism. Also a snack if someone can eat this goose after.