Sin City: Decadence and Doom in Weimar Berlin

Anita Berber onstage, 1920s

Anita Berber onstage, 1920s

You couldn’t find anything more nauseating than what goes on in Berlin, quite openly, every day. The people there don’t know how low they have sunk. Evil does not know itself there. That town is doomed more than Sodom ever was.  —Christopher Isherwood

Maedels logoPolitics, poverty, cabaret and sex are the words that sum up Weimar Berlin, the city that flourished briefly and brightly between the wars. This week on Litro Lab, our guest podcasters are journalists and Berlin residents Jennifer Collins and Tam Eastley, known as the Mädels with a Microphone. They explore the seedier side of Weimar Berlin’s cabaret scene and gay district, speaking to a local expert about one of Berlin’s best-known chroniclers, Christopher Isherwood, and the notorious haunts of the period, like the Eldorado cabaret club in the Schöneberg district, where Berlin’s transvestive and transgender community came together to see artists like singer and cabaret dancer Claire Waldorf.

Tam Eastley

Tam Eastley

Jennifer Collins

Jennifer Collins

To listen to this episode, use the player below. Or you can subscribe on iTunes — just search “litro lab”.


You can find Mädels with a Microphone online, or on Twitter, Soundcloud or Facebook, or on itunes. In their podcast series, Jennifer and Tam strive to create informative and quirky long and short podcasts about the hidden side of Berlin. Their podcasts are entirely self-produced using Audacity free software and trusty little zoom H2 recorders.

Emily Cleaver

About Emily Cleaver

Emily Cleaver is Litro's Online Editor. She is passionate about short stories and writes, reads and reviews them. Her own stories have been published in the London Lies anthology from Arachne Press, Paraxis, .Cent, The Mechanics’ Institute Review, One Eye Grey, and Smoke magazines, performed to audiences at Liars League, Stand Up Tragedy, WritLOUD, Tales of the Decongested and Spark London and broadcasted on Resonance FM and Pagan Radio. As a former manager of one of London’s oldest second-hand bookshops, she also blogs about old and obscure books. You can read her tiny true dramas about working in a secondhand bookshop at and see more of her writing at




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