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A Trainspotting of Debauchery: ‘George Grosz’s Berlin: Prostitutes, Politicians, Profiteers’

October 17, 2013 by in Reviews

Litro, 17 October 2013

Weimar Berlin is perhaps the most seductive of the twentieth century’s hindsight illusions, a glittering shard of pop history sexiness wedged between two warmongering and wicked regimes. This is a smashingly broken metropolis of cabarets, sexologists, brazen sadomasochism and other cubbyhole perversions. It’s a decadent in a tidy, parabolic way: a decline and fall story about a defeated people poisoning themselves with erotica and eugenics and having a gaudily good time doing it. Depending on your politics and tolerance for nightlife, Weimar culture is either a grease slick on the slippery slope from Wilhelmine aggression to fascist perdition or it’s a broad-minded cultural flourishing sadly betrayed.

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