The 1920s

In the collective memory of the Germans the "Golden Twenties" mark a period of strong economic recovery, cultural prosperity and freedom after the traumatic experiences of the First World War.

In the fields of art and architecture Neue Sachlichkeit and Bauhaus dominated the 1920s. The German film with directors like Fritz Lang or F.W. Murnau was internationally praised and recognized. With the invention of the radio, American jazz music found its way into the German living rooms. The new sound also dominated the bars and night clubs, where young, confident women with bobbed hair danced the Charleston, drank and smoked - never without the obligatory cigarette holder; the Flapper Girl was born. Center of this new fashionable lifestyle was Berlin, which gained its reputation as a vibrant cultural metropolis in the 1920s.

While the urban Bohemia indulged in this life, for the majority of the population the realities of the unstable Weimar Republic were far less golden - the unemployment rate remained high, living and working conditions were disastrous, especially in the cities. For many people, the "Golden Twenties" remained a desire and dream. With the Great Depression, the relative stabilization of the situation in Germany and its political system came to an abrupt end.