The Weisse Maus (White Mouse) opened in 1919, at Jägerstraße 18 in the busy Friedrichstadt area of Berlin, famous for it’s numerous cabaret clubs and revue theatres.
It is rumoured to have acquired it’s name as it was across the Friedrichstraße from Rudolph Nelson’s cabaret Chat Noir (The Black Cat.)
It is described as a “beautiful 98-seat cabaret venue with a curtained stage” and was frequented by all manner of people from travelling salesmen on expense accounts to members of the criminal fraternity, alongside elderly couples from the provinces and a smattering of Berlin intellectuals.
In addition to the standard cabaret fare, naked ‘beauty dances’ were staged after midnight, with the proprietor Peter Sachse insisting before each performance that there was absolutely no pornographic content ” We come here for beauty alone”
Customers who wished to conceal their identities were given a choice of a black or white mask to wear.
In the Autumn of 1923, the outrageous and provocative naked dancer Anita Berber was performing here regularly, along with her own troupe of six teenage dancers.
” After midnight, the guests were ready for the apocalyptic moment when the blouse-less girls pranced up the stage ramp. Anita’s girls were powdered in deadly pallid shades and appeared like figures of death incarnate. But Anita performed with bitter sincerity. Each intrusion annoyed her. She responded to the audience’s heckling with show-stopping obscenities and indecent provocations”
“Berber had been known to spit brandy on them or stand naked on their tables, dousing herself in wine whilst simultaneously urinating”
” It was not long before the entire cabaret one night sank into a groundswell of shouting, screams and laughter. Anita jumped off the stage in fuming rage, grabbed the nearest champagne bottle and smashed it over a businessman’s head.”
“It was Anita’s last evening , she was sacked without notice”
( Mel Gordon – ‘Voluptuous Panic’ and ‘ The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber)
In 1926, the venue was to become the Monbijou Cabaret and home to Erich Lowinsky’s infamous Monday-night venture ‘Kabarett der Namenlosen ‘ – The Cabaret Of The Nameless.