Christopher Isherwood is one of the best-known English-speaking writers to reside in Berlin in the final heyday of the Weimar Republic. His final novel, Goodbye to Berlin, as part of the larger work, The Berlin Stories, was a semi-autobiographical tale about the lives of a cabaret singer, a gay couple, and a Jewish heiress as Nazism descended over Germany. The famed novel inspired the outrageously popular musical Cabaret. The Isherwood Walking Tour is a one-hour exploration of the old stomping grounds of Isherwood, primarily located throughout the Nollendorfplatz area. One of the highlights of the tour is the apartment Isherwood shared with Jean Ross, the cabaret singer who inspired the famous character of Sally Bowles.
Nollendorfplatz, Berlin, Germany, +49 15125220342
The famed writer, philosopher, critic, and social commentator Walter Benjamin once resided in Berlin before fleeing from the Nazis and ultimately committing suicide to avoid being accosted by the Gestapo in 1940. Now, if one would like to pay homage to this renowned thinker, it is possible to visit his home on Prinzregentstraße in Wilmersdorf. It is demarcated by a plaque, which is inscribed with details about his life’s work. Additionally, the Walter Benjamin Archives in Mitte includes 12,000 manuscripts of his work and exists as part of the city’s Academy of the Arts.
While much of the area was destroyed in the bombings that transpired during World War II, parts of Berlin, particularly around Ku’damm and Potsdamer Platz, were highly popular with artists, writers, and musicians. Even after the war, the western portion of the city regained some of this culture. For instance, Henry Miller, the American author, was known to spend a good deal of time at the Savoy Hotel, which still remains to this day. It is even possible to stay in a suite named after his famous novel, Tropic of Cancer. Thomas Mann was also known to hang around here.
Fasanenstraße 9, 10623 Berlin, Germany, +49 030 311030