The first project of our historical society Lastoria was a book about the worldfamous varieté theatre Astoria in Bremen, a place, so many people remembered with a smile. It was founded in 1908 and closed in 1968. Many big names were connected to it. And very many life stories in front and behind the scenes. And from people in the audience. There was a documentary movie, but no book about it. The 100-
We have given money to an inclusive institution in Bremen, the Blaumeier Atelier, where handicaped, patients of psychiatry and what they call themself “just normal grazy people” (everybody) can be part of. They have a choir that fills halls, a theatre group that has a real big fan community, painters, mask theatre groups and photographers. People smile when talking about them.
After the first book, three gala shows and two films made about the shows by professionals who knew they would not make profit by that, an exhibition starting in the state archive (with a show, of course), a lot of speeches, a quiz show, a website and further researches. Visiting them in Basel, I persuaded Anne Frank’s cousin Buddy Elias and his wife Gerti, actors that had been at the Theatre Bremen decades before, to come and present the book about the letters of family Frank from Frankfurt. There were about 130 people in the audience and a video documentation was made. After that we published a second book, “Künstlerleben in Hamburg und Bremen” (the life of artists in Hamburg and Bremen), this time with me as the only author. Four photo albums of the jewish singer Olga Irén Fröhlich that someone had taken out of a public paper container had started a long research work, and when the book was published, we gave the albums to the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Olga Irén had been singing in the Astoria, as well. She was from Hamburg and left Germany because of Hitler. After the NS-
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