The Best of Berlin in November

Exberliner, Berlin’s leading English-language magazine, in November visits the Adolf exhibition, gets its fill of veggie cuisine, and discovers where to get vintage rock wear.

The Best of Berlin in November
Photo: Exberliner

Hitler: The people’s villain

The German Historical Museum’s latest exhibition deals with the uncomfortable and often unwelcome idea that Hitler could never have amounted to much without the proactive contribution of the German people. Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime suggests that the man who ruined a certain type of moustache forever was not some charismatic monster that seduced and subjugated a helpless nation, but a manmade villain, the product of immense popular support. There had been no sign whatsoever as Adolf was a child that he would go on to become the most infamous leader in European history. Besides brilliant rhetorical skills and a slightly skewed perception of humans, he was by no means special – he certainly had no hypnotic superpowers to explain why he had almost a whole population shrieking “Heil!” in unison. Hitler was exactly the antihero Germany needed to bounce back after WWI, as shown by enough glittery fan mail to fill any rock star with envy. And all the Der Spiegel covers he’s made it onto since show how obsessed Germans are, still trying to explain him. The exhibition is bold and challenging in the way it examines the Führer’s rise to the top, dredging up memories the German nation as a whole has spent over 60 years repressing. Although it may be intended for natives, there are still plenty of reasons for non-natives to go. The first two of eight parts – “Führer Myth and Führer Movement” and “Hitler and the Nazi Party” – provide perhaps the most interesting portrait of Hitler so far. Finally, an exhibition on Nazi Germany which rather than focusing on the human tragedy, takes time to investigate the man who was presented as its sole instigator and the German mindset which allowed it happen. Not all eight segments are equally interesting, and a more focused selection would have contributed to clarity, but it adds an interesting and much-needed new angle in examining the one German – albeit immigrant – the world will never forget.


“Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime”, through Feb 6, 10-18 at the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2, Mitte, S+U-Bhf Friedrichstraße.

Veggie grub for cash-strapped consciences

Chuck out your assumptions on soup kitchens – the lines, moping heads, food slopped on plates by well-meaning people in hairnets. The Homeless Veggie Dinner is anything but. Instead picture a charming, hostel-esque dining room in a Kreuzberg Altbau, where simply arranged tables are adorned with inviting menus (in English!) and comforting floral arrangements to encourage diners of all kinds, travellers and Erasmus students as well as homeless people, to mix and mingle, whether broke or just up for a different dining experience – homey vegetarian/vegan food. The first course is practically waiting for you when you sit down, and the second two arrive after a casually dressed ‘waiter’ takes your order – pumpkin soup to start; a choice of veggie curry with rice or veggie bigosz for the mains; and for dessert, a vegan cheesecake, chocolate brownies or pancakes with hazelnuts. Yum! All for a small, anonymous donation of whatever you can afford thanks to the generous sponsorship of two popular fixtures of the expat scene – the New Orleans Haus provides the ingredients and Café Hilde the drinks (sorry, no booze!). HVD is the brainchild of Goodwill Records owner and couchsurfer Adam and his two friends, Natasa and Toni; the three international border-bouncers wanted to do something ‘worthwhile’. Apart from the grub itself, the trio are working on a project which aims to employ homeless people with cash from the donations. It’s the type of lofty, homegrown philanthropy that could only happen on a college campus – or in the alternative hotbed of Kreuzberg. Don’t be fooled by the name. Only a fifth or so of the diners were actually homeless (perhaps they prefer Bratwurst to veggie couscous) making this a great oh-so-Berlin initiative for multilingual, curious or cash-strapped internationals. A great cheap meal for a good cause.

Homeless Veggie Dinner, typically one Saturday per month, 19:00 at Admiralstr. 17, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Kottbusser Tor. For more information email [email protected]

Well-suited vintage rocking

Another treat for rock fans opened next to the Ramones Museum just a couple of months ago. Everything a six string-loving heart could possibly desire can be found at Blitz Boutique. Well, as long as it’s rock merchandise of course. Faced with the usual dilemma of not knowing what to spend your salary on? Here’s an idea for true aficionados: a t-shirt from The Clash’s tour following their 1978 release of Give ‘Em Enough Rope. Price: €349. A steal, right? More modestly-priced merchandise is available, from the likes of Bowie and Axl Rose to local heroes like Bonaparte and the Beatsteaks. And if you’re fed up with shopping and just want to hang around listening to your heroes, you can make yourself comfortable in the sofa corner. With a dressed-up mannequin stretching out on the couch beside you, it’s hard not to get the rock star vibe and imagine she’s an admiring groupie just waiting for your next move. There’s even hope for up-and-coming rock stars: bring your own beer to avoid all that unpleasant money-related nonsense. If it’s too early for alcohol (as if), you could try the Berlin-signature ping-pong table. If you want to make some money, bring your worn-out threads to the ever-expanding shop. It might provide a welcome contribution to next month’s studio rent. Whether you’re into machine-gun-tight riffs or an old-fashioned bass drum, this gem provides a well suited (rock n’ roll) contrast to the tourist Mecca on Oranienburger Straße just a few blocks away.

Blitz Boutique: Krausnickstraße 23, Mitte, S-Bhf Oranienburger Straße, Mon-Sat 12-20,

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.