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German History in Documents and Images
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Poster Advertising a Performance by the Dancer Saharet at the Wintergarten (1902)
The Wintergarten was established in 1886 within Berlin’s Central Hotel, located at Friedrichstrasse train station. By the turn of the century, it was the most famous of Berlin’s 80-plus variety theaters. Its program changed frequently and included dancers, actors, singers, circus performers, and comedians from around the world. Many entertainers, such as the famed singer-song writer and humorist Otto Reutter (1870-1931), launched their careers there. Other performers included the magician and escape artist Houdini and the Australian-born Cancan dancer Saharet, who is featured in this poster. By the mid-1920s, the Wintergarten could boast a 20-meter wide revolving stage, the first of its kind, and an auditorium that seated some 3,000 guests. The Wintergarten remained in operation for over half a century. It was destroyed in a bombing raid on June 21, 1944.