Berlin in the 1918/19 Revolution: Photography, Film, Entertainment Culture

9 November 2018–3 March 2019

Exhibition Overview


Otto and Georg Haeckel: soldiers with guns on Unter den Linden, corner of Charlottenstraße, November 1918. Detail of a photograph, 13 x 18 cm.

The revolution in winter and spring 1918/19 was decided in the streets of the imperial capital, Berlin. Berliners celebrated the abdication of the German Emperor with demonstrations in front of the Reichstag and the palace on November 9th, 1918, in the newspaper quarter in January 1919 rolls of printing paper were used by the Spartacists to erect barricades against approaching government troops, after fighting had ceased, a large funeral procession crossed Frankfurter Allee to the cemetery in Friedrichsfelde. Press photographers were omnipresent with their big plate cameras, taking shots of orators in the crowd, soldiers behind machine-guns, vehicles carrying party posters in the National Assembly election campaign, and destroyed buildings and ravaged squares. At the same time, everyday life in the city went on. People went to the numerous cinemas with their expanding repertoire of films, enjoyed themselves at revues and cabarets, and danced the two-step and the foxtrot. The exhibition in the Museum für Fotografie shows both a photographic visual history of the revolution in Berlin and a panorama of the entertainment culture of those months.

(Photo © bpk / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek, courtesy of Willy Römer / Gebrüder Haeckel.)

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