Berlin: Metropolis of crime 1918 - 1933 (2) | DocFilm | DW | 06.02.2019
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Berlin: Metropolis of crime 1918 - 1933 (2)

Berlin during the ‘Golden Twenties’ was regarded as the most modern metropolis in Europe. People flocked to nightclubs to enjoy raucous, uninhibited and decadent parties.

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Berlin might have struggled to adapt to the fledgling democracy of the Weimar Republic, but it had less difficulty enjoying the freedoms it brought. In the 1920s, Berlin was regarded as the most modern metropolis in Europe. Life was described as a "dance on a volcano." People flocked to nightclubs to enjoy raucous, uninhibited and decadent parties. But the capital was also rife with poverty, misery and violence. Crime was epidemic. The Sass brothers, two bank robbers, became urban legends, and the specter of serial killers haunted the city. Ernst Gennat, head of the criminal police, was a gifted criminologist with an exceptional solve rate. He revolutionized forensic investigation practices and laid the foundations for modern profiling. The two-part documentary uses criminal cases to paint a picture of Berlin during the Weimar Republic, reconstructing events with the help of documentary photographs from 1918 to 1933, interviews with experts and case files.