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“Assembly Line of Joys”: Touring Hamburg's Red Light District, 1949–1966

  • Julia Sneeringer (a1)


Hamburg, as any tourist guide will tell you, occupies a unique position within Germany. Now, every city can make this claim, so what constitutes Hamburg's uniqueness? Natives would say it is the harbor (Germany's largest) and the water that flows through the metropolis that claims more bridges than Venice. But ask an outsider, German or not, and he or she will likely say the Reeperbahn, Hamburg's notorious red-light district, known also to music fans as the incubator of The Beatles. Historically speaking, the harbor has been this Hanseatic city's source of trade and prosperity, as well as a major transit point for overseas travelers; the nearby Reeperbahn has long been a magnet for those seeking pleasure and distraction from the cares of life. In the 1950s and 1960s—the years of West Germany's “Economic Miracle” (Wirtschaftswunder)—Hamburg saw greater numbers of visitors than ever before. These guests included Germans from west and east (before the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961); international tourists, particularly from neighboring countries; British NATO troops stationed in the northern Federal Republic; and seamen from around the world. Some chose Hamburg specifically as their destination, others passed through on their way to someplace else.



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1 Hamburg. Mappe mit 6 von der Fremdenverkehrs- und Kongress-Zentrale Hamburgs herausgegebene Werbeschriften 1961/62, in Staatsarchiv Hamburg, A905/0029.

2 Billy Childish is a British artist and beat-music revivalist born in 1959 whose band was one of the last to play on the Star Club stage when the building was taken over by sex impresario Rene Durand in the 1970s. For hair-raising tales of the Reeperbahn in this period, see his autobiographical novel, Notebooks of a Naked Youth (Northville, MI: Sun Dog Press, 1998).

3 “Reform along the Raper [sic],” Time, June 12, 1964.

4 On this idea of citizenship, see Canclini, Nestor Garcia, Consumers and Citizens: Globalization and Multicultural Conflicts (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), 15, 43. See also Koshar's, Rudy introduction to Koshar, ed., Histories of Leisure (New York: Berg, 2002), 21. For a useful theory of the relationship between popular culture—of which tourism is a part—and political culture, see Fiske, John, Reading the Popular (New York: Routledge, 1989).

5 Koshar, Rudy, German Travel Cultures (New York: Berg, 2000), 6.

6 Keates, Jonathan, “Guidebooks of Old,” Times Literary Supplement, July 13, 2005.

7 Koshar, German Travel Cultures, 9. Historians have finally begun to pay attention to tourism. For an overview of this literature, see Baranowski, Shelley, “An Alternative to Everyday Life? The Politics of Leisure and Tourism,” Contemporary European History 12, no. 4 (2003): 561–72.

8 Case in point: in his controversial best-selling biography of John Lennon, Albert Goldman cites one of the guides analyzed in this paper, Miller's, F. H.St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn. Ein Bummel durch die Nacht (Rüschlikon-Zürich and Stuttgart: Albert Müller Verlag, 1960), as his source on “the Hamburg tenderloin.” Goldman, Albert, The Lives of John Lennon (New York: William Morrow, 1988), 702.

9 The durability of this cliché was revealed during the recent uproar over Günther Grass's revelations about his youthful service in the Waffen SS, a detail he claimed he could not bring himself to confess in the 1950s because that time was already so “ghastly,” a society “fed by a kind of stuffiness that never existed under the Nazis.” See Grass, Günther, “Warum ich nach sechzig Jahren mein Schweigen breche,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 12, 2006.

10 This was by no means the first period in which mass culture swept through Germany, but its scale, its widespread adoption, and its penetration into the elite starting in the 1950s give it unprecedented reach. See Maase, Kaspar, “Establishing Cultural Democracy: Youth, ‘Americanization,’ and the Irresistible Rise of Popular Culture,” in The Miracle Years: A Cultural History of West Germany 1949–1968, ed. Schissler, Hanna (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 428–50; Schildt, Axel, “Einführung,” in Demokratisierung und gesellschaftlicher Aufbruch. Die sechsiger Jahre als Wendezeit der Bundesrepublik, ed. Frese, Matthias, Paulus, Julia, and Teppe, Karl (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2005), 577; Schildt, and Sywottek, Arnold, “‘Reconstruction’ and ‘Modernization’: West German Social History during the 1950s,” in West Germany under Construction: Politics, Society, and Culture in the Adenauer Era, ed. Moeller, Robert G. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 413–43; Wildt, Michael, “Continuities and Discontinuities of Consumer Mentality in West Germany in the 1950s,” in Life after Death: Approaches to a Cultural and Social History of Europe During the 1940s and 1950s, ed. Bessel, Richard and Schumann, Dirk (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 228; Höhn, Maria, GIs and Fräuleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 7584.

11 In the popular picture book, Die Schöne Heimat. Bilder aus Deutschland (Königstein im Taunus: Karl Robert Langewiesche Verlag, 1955 ed. [1st edition 1915]), a nighttime scene of the illuminated Alster Lake, stuck near the book's end, appears out of place in a volume dedicated to the picturesque: the cathedrals, Fachwerkhäuser, and timeless landscapes of the mythical Heimat. The Golden Book Deutschland. Allemagne. Germany (Bern and Stuttgart: Verlag Hallweg, 1965) relies on pictures of sailboats and the wealthy suburban enclave of Blankenese to represent a picturesque Hamburg. On Hamburg's lack of historic structures, see Koshar, Rudy, Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill, NJ: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 253. On tour guide clichés, see Barthes, Roland, “The Blue Guide,” Mythologies (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972).

12 “Es lohnt sich sehr, sich umzusehen,” Hamburger Vorschau. Offizielles Wochenprogramm 6/1956 Nr. 11; Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg (hereafter FZH) archives.

13 Fodor's Modern Guides: Germany (London: Newman Neame, 1959), 282.

14 “Horny mile,” or in post-1968 youth slang, “groovy” or “cool mile.”

15 For a useful popular history, see Barth, Ariane, Die Reeperbahn. Der Kampf um Hamburg's sündige Meile (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1999), 44.

16 Hamburg regulators favored a system of “brothelization” that forced actual and suspected prostitutes to register with the police, who then assigned them to live and work in specific houses; see Bruggemann, Julia, “The Business of Sex: Evaluating Prostitution in the German Port City of Hamburg,” in Women, Business, and Finance in Nineteenth-Century Europe, ed. Beachy, Robert, Craig, Beatrice, and Owens, Alastair (New York: Berg, 2006), 182–96. Then, as now, prostitution could only be solicited and carried out in designated areas; however, there have always been significant numbers of unregistered prostitutes, whose ranks swell in times of economic upheaval.

17 This judgment disappeared from later editions, which assessed Reeperbahn amusements less pejoratively, though it remained a staple of other guides, such as Cooper, Gordon, Your Holiday in Germany (London: A. Redman, 1954), 168–69. As the century wore on, bourgeois publics abandoned the Reeperbahn. Only with Cats in the 1980s did the area begin to rebound as a theater destination.

18 For a brisk portrait of the area's crime scene in this era, see Ebeling, Helmut, Schwarze Chronik einer Weltstadt. Hamburger Kriminalgeschichte 1919 bis 1945 (Hamburg: Matari, 1968). See also Amenda, Lars, Fremde—Hafen—Stadt. Chinesische Migration und ihre Wahrnehmung in Hamburg 1892–1972 (Hamburg: Dölling und Gallitz, 2006); Schildt, Axel, “Jenseits der Politik? Aspekte des Alltags,” in Hamburg im Dritten Reich, ed. Zeitgeschichte, Forschungsstelle für (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2005), 282.

19 Intermittent bombings began to hit St. Pauli and the harbor as early as 1940. The deadliest raid on Hamburg, Operation Gomorrah (July 25-August 3, 1943), killed 3.3 percent of the populace and ruined a third of St. Pauli's structures, including the landmark Trichter and Volksoper; survivors from the devastated eastern part of the city crowded into St. Pauli. See Musgrove, Gordon, Operation Gomorrah: The Hamburg Firestorm Raids (London and New York: Jane's, 1981); Nossack, Hans Erich, The End: Hamburg 1943, trans. Agee, Joel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004 [German original published 1948]); Iklé, Fred Charles, “The Effect of War Devastation upon the Ecology of Cities,” Social Forces (1951): 383–91; Barth, Die Reeperbahn, 80–90. On spending the late war hours in the cinema, see Timm's, Uwe Hamburg novel, Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (Munich: dtv, 1997); also Schildt, “Jenseits der Politik?,” 294–96.

20 Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer (Frankfurt am Main: Wofe-Verlagsgesellschaft, [likely 1959]), 143.

21 An affectionate term for a proletarian neighborhood, also used to refer to St. Pauli's red-light district.

22 Massaquoi's, HansDestined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany (New York: Perennial, 2001) provides a lively portrait of this bacchanalian moment. St. Pauli's role as a hub of the black market began during the war years; see Schildt, “Jenseits der Politik?,” 291–92.

23 This according to Hans-Henning Schneidereit, an ex-sea captain who acquired one area property after another after 1963 with profits wrung from his club Safari, which was the first to offer a simulated sex act onstage; Barth, Die Reeperbahn, 108. The phrase, “Zeit des grossen Saufens,” appears in several sources. For the story of one successful bar of the era, see 50 Jahre “Zum Silbersack” 1949–1999. Die Geschichte einer Kneipe auf St. Pauli (Hamburg: Christians, 1999).

24 This sentiment marks, for example, Bartels's, Willi introduction to a recent volume of photographs from the period, Das Herz von St. Pauli. Herbert Dombrowski Fotografien 1956 (Hamburg: Dölling und Galitz, 1997). Bartels remains St. Pauli's best-known entrepreneur and unofficial “king”; see also “Nach dem Krieg Gunst der Stunde genutzt. Willi Bartels feierte 90. Geburtstag,” Allgemeine Hotel- und Gaststätten Zeitung, January 2005.

25 Herzog's, DagmarSex after Fascism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005) dates this culture of sexual repressiveness as beginning in “1953 at the latest” and lasting until around 1966.

26 As the Wofe guide put it, “Wenn Sie nach Hamburg reisen, dann haben Sie hier sicher geschäftlich zu tun.” Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer, 104. Despite long-standing efforts to create a working-class travel culture, Angestellte were still most likely to travel in this era; Keitz, Christine, Reisen als Leitbild. Die Entstehung des modernen Massentourismus in Deutschland (Munich: dtv, 1997), 288.

27 Heineman, Elizabeth, “Der Mythos Beate Uhse. Respektabilität, Geschichte und autobiographisches Marketing in der frühen Bundesrepublik,” WerkstattGeschichte 40 (Feb. 2006), and Heineman, , “The Economic Miracle in the Bedroom: Big Business and Sexual Consumption in Reconstruction West Germany,” Journal of Modern History 78 (2006): 846–77.

28 Foreigners had long been central to Germany's tourist industry, as were Jews. See Semmens, Kristen, Seeing Hitler's Germany (New York: Palgrave, 2005), 8.

29 Schildt, Axel, “‘Die kostbarsten Wochen des Jahres’: Urlaubstourismus der Westdeutschen 1945–1970,” in Goldstrand und Teutongrill. Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte des Tourismus in Deutschland 1945 bis 1989, ed. Spode, Hasso (Berlin: W. Moser, 1996), 73. Enabling mass travel had been a stated goal of the Nazis' Strength Through Joy program, but access was, in fact, limited; see Semmens, Seeing Hitler's Germany, and Baranowski, Shelley, Strength through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

30 In the 1950s most Bundesländer mandated a minimum of twelve workdays' vacation for all workers; a federal law in 1963 raised this to fifteen.

31 Alon Confino, “Dissonance, Normality, and the Historical Method: Why Did Some Germans Think of Tourism after May 8, 1945?” in Life after Death, ed. Bessel and Schumann, 323–47.

32 Three-quarters of West Germans polled in 1955 reported that they “like traveling.” Two-thirds of those who took a holiday between 1958 and 1961 reported that they stayed in West Germany; only in 1958 did the boom in travel abroad begin. See Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth, The Germans 1947–66 (Allensbach: Verlag für Demoskopie, 1967), 4750; Koshar, German Travel Cultures, 172.

33 “Saison 1950 ausverkauft,” Die Welt, January 12, 1950; Wilhelm Hartmann, “Weltstadt-Wochenende Hamburg,” Staatliche Pressestelle Hamburg, March 20, 1958 (FZH archives).

34 The Deutsche Zentrale für Fremdenverkehr (German Central Tourist Association) had by this time reestablished offices in four North American cities and nine west European capitals. On the steady growth of foreign tourism to Hamburg, see “Reisebüros wieder dienstbereit,” Hamburg Freie Presse, March 31, 1948; “Hunderttausende nordische Gäste,” Hamburg Freie Presse, December 14, 1951; “Über eine Million Fremde,” Hamburger Anzeiger, February 23, 1956; “Ausländer bleiben länger,” Die Welt, January 2, 1958.

35 For example, see Schönkopf, Lennart, Hamburg Dag och Natt (Malmö: Framtiden, 1955), 2324. The note about Danes being able to import alcohol duty-free comes from the director of the Fremdenverkehrs- und Kongress-Zentrale, Hartmann, “Weltstadt-Wochenende Hamburg.”

36 Baedeker's Northern Germany: A Guide for Travelers (Leipzig: K. Baedeker, 1900), 164.

37 As Barthes put it, in tour guides “the human life of a country disappears to the exclusive benefit of its monuments.” Barthes, “The Blue Guide, 75.

38 See Koshar, , German Travel Cultures, 17–18, 164; Fodor's Germany 1954, ed. Fodor, Eugene (Fodor's Modern Guides, 1954); U.S. Department of Defense, A Pocket Guide to Germany, 1952 (the 1965 edition does mention Hamburg as “the Federal Republic's largest port,” 44, but says little else); Laughlin, Clara E., So You're Going to Germany and Austria! (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), 120–21. The U.S. soccer team's choice of Hamburg as their home base for the 2006 World Cup tournament occasioned some of the most favorable and extensive press that Hamburg has ever received in the U.S.; see, for example, Timmermann, Tom, “Guten Tag! German City Greets U.S. Team,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 8, 2006.

39 Barthes, “The Blue Guide, 77. This was a reference to Franco's Spain, but can be applied to West Germany as well.

40 Confino, “Dissonance, Normality, and the Historical Method,” 329; also Koshar, German Travel Cultures, 17–18.

41 Fodor's Germany 1959, 282.

42 Guide to Hamburg (Hamburg: Frank Wagner, 1955).

43 Hamburg. Gesicht einer Weltstadt (Hamburg: Verlag Das Topographikon Rolf Müller, n.d.).

44 Meyer-Marwitz, Bernhard, Hamburg. Ein Wegweiser für Fremde und Einheimische (Hamburger Fremdenverkehrsverein, 1951), 16.

45 This is the English version of a German publication bearing the official city seal. Hamburg: What You Need to Know (Hamburg: Verlag Mohrendruck, 1957). Lars Amenda also discusses this slogan in a study that appeared too late to be included in this essay. See Amenda, Lars and Gruenen, Sonja, “Tor zur Welt.” Hamburg-Bilder und Hamburg-Werbung im 20. Jahrhundert (Hamburg: Dölling und Gallitz, 2008), 4055.

46 Meyer-Marwitz, Hamburg. Ein Wegweiser, 19.

47 Führer durch Hamburg (Hamburg: Verband Hamburgischer Verkehrsvereine, 1927), 62.

48 Kiesel, O. E., Hamburg: Führer durch die Freie und Hansestadt und ihre Umgebung. Offizieller Führer des Vereins zur Förderung des Fremdenverkehrs in Hamburg, 2nd ed. (Hamburg: Von Broschek & Co., 1922), 9, 12.

49 Amtlicher Führer zum Weltkongress für Freizeit und Erholung. Hamburg 23.-30. Juli 1936, Staatsarchiv Hamburg A500/0534.

50 Fremdenverkehrsverein Hamburg e.V., Hamburg (1935), 3. On Nazi plans for the harbor, see Uwe Lohalm, “‘Modell Hamburg.’ Vom Stadtstaat zum Reichsgau,” Hamburg im Dritten Reich, 142–43.

51 Führer durch Hamburg (1927), 20, 26.

52 Fremdenverkehrsverein Hamburg e.V., Hamburg (1935), 22.

53 Leonhardt, Rudolf, This Germany: The Story since the Third Reich (New York: Penguin, 1964), 305.

54 Meyer-Marwitz, Hamburg. Ein Wegweiser, 19; Hamburg. Gesicht einer Weltstadt, unpaginated.

55 Koshar, German Travel Cultures, 163.

56 Quote from the English translation, Leonhardt, This Germany, 303. Original published by Piper in 1961.

57 Amtlicher Führer zum Weltkongress für Freizeit und Erholung, 25.

58 Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer, 141. Italics mine.

59 Walter Pogge van Ranken and Dirks Paulun, St. Pauli (Flensburg: Christian Wolff, n.d. [but clearly 1950s]).

60 See Hamburg und Umgebung (Munich: Grieben-Reiseführer, 1959), 140; Hartmann, “Weltstadt-Wochenende Hamburg.”

61 Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer, 141. Labskaus is pickled meat with potatoes, herring, pickles, and a fried egg. Ründstuck warm is a roll topped with a pork chop and gravy.

62 Grosse Freiheit Nr. 7, directed by Helmut Käutner, was actually filmed on soundstages in Prague and Babelsberg; it was only released in Germany after 1945, as Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry deemed its portrayal of drunken revelry unsuited to the goal of shoring up home-front resolve. Albers' funeral in July 1960 became a massive celebration of nostalgia for a rapidly disappearing “old St. Pauli.”

63 F. H. Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, 6. For an example of the clichéd vision of St. Pauli in the popular press, see “Heimweh nach St. Pauli?,” Stern, November 18, 1962.

64 Günther, Horst, Hamburg bei Nacht (Schmiden bei Stuttgart: Franz Decker Verlag, 1962), 91.

65 Located on the far end of the mile-long Reeperbahn, this area was officially part of Altona, which belonged to Denmark until 1863, when it was incorporated into Prussia. It was only absorbed into Greater Hamburg in 1937. After riots in 1830, St. Pauli residents were granted limited Bürgerrechte in Hamburg.

66 The original meaning of the Greek exotikos.

67 Chauncey, George, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890–1940 (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 36.

68 Müller, Christian, 1899–1999. 100 Jahre Fremdenverkehrsverband (Hamburg: n.p., 1999), 26.

69 Ernst Bader, piano player at the Colibri-Bar, wrote that the drug trade resumed around 1950; see Bader, Ernst, Die Welt ist schön Milord. Erinnerungen und Begegnungen (Fischerhude: Verlag Atelier im Bauernhaus, 1984), 22. Robert Stephens argues that this trade revolved around stolen pharmaceuticals and actually trailed off during the 1950s, becoming localized among small groups such as sailors and sex workers; see Stephens, Robert, Germans on Drugs: The Complications of Modernization in Hamburg (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2007), 1834. Unlicensed prostitution increased especially just before the building of the Berlin Wall; Barth, Die Reeperbahn, 99, and Freund, Michaela, “Women, Venereal Disease, and the Control of Female Sexuality in Post-War Hamburg,” in Sex, Sin, and Suffering: Venereal Disease and European Society since 1870, ed. Davidson, Roger and Hall, Lesley A. (New York: Routledge, 2001), 205–19.

70 BILD headline cited in Müller, 100 Jahre Fremdenverkehrsverband, 23; Schmidt, Manfred, “Lange Nacht am Ankerplatz der Freude,” Quick, January 31, 1965.

71 Falck's campaign was even noticed by the American press. See “Reform on the Raper [sic],” Time, June 12, 1964.

72 Fodor's Germany 1959, 282–86. This sentence was repeated in the 1964 edition. See also Bahnsen, Uwe and Stürmer, Kerstin von, Stürmische Zeiten. Hamburg in den 60er Jahren (Hamburg: Convent, 2006), 4849; and Grobecker, Kurt and Müller, Christian, Die Stadt im Umbruch. Hamburg in den 60er Jahren (Hamburg: Kabel, 1998), 157–58.

73 This panic should also be viewed in the context of worries about the German tourist industry as a whole, fanned by publications such as Quick, which ran a cover story on the industry's woes, including bad service, rip-offs, and falling numbers of visitors; see “Ist Deutschland keine Reise wert?” Quick, May 12, 1963.

74 Key texts on this subject include Grotum, Thomas, Die Halbstarken (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 1994); and Poiger, Uta G., Jazz, Rock, and Rebels (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).

75 See files 354–5 II, Jugendbehörde II, Abl. 16.1.1981, 356-10.05-1 Band 1, Staatsarchiv Hamburg.

76 See Whisnant, Clayton, Hamburg's Gay Scene in the Age of Family Politics 1945–69 (Ph.D. diss., University of Texas-Austin, 2001), 229ff. On Jugendschutz, see also Stephens, Robert P., “Drugs, Consumption, and Internationalization in Hamburg 1960–1968,” in Consuming Germany in the Cold War, ed. Crew, David (New York: Berg, 2004), 179206. On the Star Club's problems with the authorities, see Siegfried, Detlef, Time Is On My Side. Konsum und Politik in der westdeutschen Jugendkultur der 60er Jahre (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2006), 224–37.

77 Moreck, Curt, Führer durch das lasterhafte Berlin (Berlin: Nicolaische Verlags-Buchhandlung, 1996 [facsimile reprint of 1931 ed.]), 78.

78 Koshar, German Travel Cultures, 208; also 78–79.

79 Wofe's Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer refers to its “great freedom, which can today be enjoyed without inhibition,” 35.

80 The publisher is Franz Decker Verlag, a subsidiary of Versandhaus Gisela (many thanks to Lisa Heinemann for this information). Interestingly, the quick guide was torn out of the copy of Hamburg bei Nacht that I purchased from an antiquarian bookstore—it is tantalizing to imagine the uses to which that original owner may have put the guide.

81 Günther, Hamburg bei Nacht, 13.

82 See Horst Günther's Düsseldorf bei Nacht, 15–27, and Berlin bei Nacht, 15–25 (both Schmiden bei Stuttgart: Franz Decker Verlag, n.d.).

83 Günther, Hamburg bei Nacht, 24.

84 See Herzog, Dagmar, “Sexuality in the Postwar West,” Journal of Modern History 78, no. 1 (2006): 144–71. Playboy magazine debuted in 1953 in the U.S.

85 Sources reveal a degree of confusion over how much flesh could be displayed in this period. The 1953 Law on Youth-Endangering Publications (GjS), as well as §184 of the State Legal Code, regulated print matter and advertising, hence ads for strip clubs featuring topless women were forbidden. Government commentary on the GjS stated that while the naked body itself was neither immoral nor obscene, a “majority of the German people rejected uninhibited displays [ungeniertes Zurschaustellen]” of nudity as hazardous especially to youth; see Buchloh, Stephan, “Pervers, jugendgefährdend, staatsfeindlich.” Zensur in der Ära Adenauers als Spiegel der gesellschaftlichen Klimas (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2002), 8190. Horst Günther claims that ambiguities in the law led many Hamburg club owners to adopt the “English solution” (i.e., what was allowed in England): total nudity for a brief moment, but only if the model stood still; Günther, Hamburg bei Nacht, 174.

86 Theodor Adorno quoted in Herzog, Sex after Fascism, 133.

87 Herzog argues that censorship of nudity and sex in mass media ceased to function by 1966; ibid., 142.

88 Günther, Hamburg bei Nacht, 207.

89 Ibid., 24.

90 On this period's push for domesticity, see Moeller, Robert G., Protecting Motherhood: Women and the Family in Reconstruction Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).

91 Compare this description of Reeperbahn women from Wofe's Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer—“here the women are liberal [großzügig], like the police and the wind from the sea,” 141—with that of Inge Viett, a Red Army Fraction member who had briefly worked as a Reeperbahn stripper in the mid-1960s: “die Frauen sind der Rohstoff, der Basis für alle ‘Vergnügungsmilieus’ auf der Welt. Sie haben an dem ‘Vergnügen’ so wenig Anteil wie die Arbeiter an dem Reichtum, den sie schaffen,” in Inge Viett, Nie war ich furchtloser. Autobiografie (Hamburg: Edition Nautilus, 1996), 64. On dance halls as sites of work for women, see also Fiske, John, Understanding Popular Culture (New York: Routledge, 1989), 77.

92 Günther, Hamburg bei Nacht, 131.

93 Ibid., 24.

94 On these debates, see Heineman, Elizabeth, What Difference Does a Husband Make? Women and Marital Status in Nazi and Postwar Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 210–35.

95 This small street near the Gänsemarkt, about a mile from the Reeperbahn and not technically in St. Pauli, also housed the beatnik youth hangout Die Palette, immortalized in Hubert Fichte's 1968 novel of the same name.

96 Paragraph 175 was in effect an anti-sodomy statute. As late as 1969, fifty percent of West Germans polled supported it, though younger respondents were less supportive. A 1969 reform decriminalized homosexuality among consenting males; the age of consent was lowered from twenty-one to eighteen in 1973. Total repeal came only in 1994. Whisnant, Hamburg's Gay Scene, lays out the debates over homosexuality in this period nationally and in Hamburg.

97 Günther, Hamburg bei Nacht, 140.

98 Ibid., 25. Günther's guide to Frankfurt also expresses anti-prohibition sentiments; Horst Günther, Frankfurt bei Nacht (Schmiden bei Stuttgart: Franz Decker Verlag, n.d.), 114–16.

99 Grobecker and Müller, Stadt im Umbruch, 149.

100 Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, photos 12–14, 29, 99. The area's bars were off limits to the German navy.

101 This idea would become central to the cultural identity of the ‘68ers; Siegfried, Time is On My Side, 366–98. The classic equation of Blackness with hip is Mailer, Norman, The White Negro (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1957).

102 Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, photograph 11.

103 Ohnesorge, Rudolf, Hamburg in Licht und Schatten (Hamburg: Christian Wegner, 1959).

104 This notion of interracial coupling as part of the “freak show” is also conveyed by the notorious 1963 Italian “documentary” Mondo Cane. Its segment on the Reeperbahn juxtaposes scenes of drunks and “asocials” with a close-up of a white woman and a black man kissing—all part of a larger narrative about human oddities around the world. On other images of Blacks in West German pop culture from this time, see Lester, Rosemarie K., Trivialneger. Das Bild des Schwarzen im westdeutschen Illustriertenroman (Stuttgart: Akademischer Verlag H. D. Heinz, 1982), especially 3555, 136.

105 This is driven home by the fact that, like Günther's Hamburg bei Nacht, Miller's book was published by a firm with ties to sexual commerce, Zürich's Müller Verlag. Lesbians, it should be noted, are invisible in all of the texts under review, despite the fact that there were several known lesbian bars in the area; it would be a stretch to argue that these female images had a lesbian subtext.

106 Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, 25–28; the accompanying photos (nos. 42-49) show Erna's transition from “just another girl at the Imbiss” to Trixi, who doffs her top in the last photo.

107 In the Herbertstrasse, prostitutes sit in show windows, openly advertising their “wares.” Blinders were installed at both ends of the street during the Nazi era and remain there today.

108 Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, 9, 41–44.

109 Ibid., 49–52.

110 On the idea of heteronormativity, see Berlant, Lauren and Warner, Michael, “Sex in Public,” in Intimacies, ed. Berlant, Lauren (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2002), 311–30.

111 Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, 60. Translating “schwule Sittenfilme” is tricky: “schwul” means homosexual but can also be a northern variant of “schwül,” which simply means “erotic.” Either way, the reference to some kind of sex film is clear.

112 “Ein Abend in Hamburg zu zweit zwischen 2 und 100 Mark,” twen 3, no. 7 (March 1965).

113 On the club's colorful history, see Krüger, Ulf and Pelc, Ortwin, The Hamburg Sound. Beatles, Beat und Grosse Freiheit (Hamburg: Ellert und Richter, 2006); Zint, Günter, Große Freiheit 39. Vom Beat zum Bums, vom “Starclub” zum “Salambo” (Munich: Heyne, 1987), 778. The Star-Club News was published 1964–65; see Siegfried, Time Is On My Side, 209–37.

114 Menke first moved in this direction in 1957 when it briefly opened an “Existenzialistenkeller”; on this establishment's postwar evolution, see StaHH file 442-1 Bezirksamt HH-Mitte 95/92–15/6, Band 1-2.

115 The term is attributed to Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, who coined it in the mid-1960s to refer to the new spirit epitomized by figures such as Edie Sedgwick, Twiggy, and Mary Quant.

116 Hamburg. Ein Stadtführer, 128.

117 Miller, St. Pauli und die Reeperbahn, 33–36.

118 Stahl, Walter and Wien, Dieter, Hamburg von 7 bis 7 (Hamburg: Seehafen-Verlag Erik Blumenfeld, 1966), 10. A special section on St. Pauli appears on pages 243–94.

119 On all of these trends, see Barth, Die Reeperbahn, 114–41; Zint, Grosse Freiheit 39, 95–114; Stephens, Germans on Drugs, 46–87; see also note 2 above. The Star Club could not bear over time the increasingly high salaries performers demanded or its high tax burden. The 1977 edition of Hamburg von 7 bis 7 put noticeably greater emphasis on two themes: the Reeperbahn's stronger element of crime and the area's more sexually explicit offerings, including a section on prostitution whose illustrations make Günther's and Miller's seem tame by comparison.

120 Heineman, “The Economic Miracle in the Bedroom,” 847.

121 “Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins” [“On the Reeperbahn at half-past twelve”] was, and still is, the most famous ode to the area's charms.

This work was supported in part by a grant from The City University of New York PSC-CUNY Research Award Program. Thanks also to all those who gave valuable feedback, especially Bonnie Anderson, Renate Bridenthal, Lisa Heineman, Maria Höhn, Ed Larkey, K. Molly O'Donnell, and Dorothee Wierling.

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