February 14, 2012



Der Neue Club (The New Club) was a group that grew out of a former University reading group in Berlin, Germany before the First World War. Founded in 1909 by gay rights essayist Kurt Hiller and the poet Jacob van Hoddis, the group invited numerous other poets and writers to share their work in evenings described as the Neopathetisches Cabaret (The Neopathetic Cabaret) and in regular discussions, many mediated by Simon Guttmann, the founder of the New Stage.

     Among the regulars were Georg Heym, Heinrich Eduard Jacob, Erich Unger, Ernst Blass, Golo Gangi (Erwin Loewenson) and Alfred Lichtenstein. Other famous participants in gatherings were the poets Else Lasker-Schüler, Arthur Drey, Gottfried Benn, Karl Kraus, and actress Tilla Durieux.

     The New Club was highly popular, and attracted sometimes hundreds of spectators. The last of nine such meetings was in 1912, although some form of the "Club" continued to exist until 1914.

     Because of the concerns of many of its members, in particular van Hoddis, Der Neue Club became closely connected with the German Expressionist Group.
—Douglas Messerli

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