Above: Eldorado nightclub interior
Christopher Isherwood in Berlin
In 1929 Christopher Isherwood followed his friend WH Auden to the city, where the liberal Weimar Republic offered a small island of permissiveness, in contrast to most countries (including England) at the time where homosexual activity was illegal.
As he recalled much later in his autobiography, written in the third person: ‘To Christopher, Berlin meant boys.’
Christopher Isherwood (left) with W H Auden
When Isherwood first arrived in March 1929, aged 25, he stayed for a week with Auden. By the time of his third visit, in November, he had decided to stay indefinitely. In December 1930 he took up lodgings at Fraulein Thurau’s boarding house at Nollendorfstraße 17, in the Schöneberg area of Berlin, a district to the south-west of the city centre.
In the 1920s (and again now) Schoneberg was the hub of the city's gay community, which in turn centred on the Eldorado nightclub, just around the corner from Nollendorfstraße.
The plaque on the building, with (regrettably!) incorrect dates
This is where the story begins in his semi-autobiographical account of his time in the city, Goodbye to Berlin: