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Object of the Month November: Prinz Eisenherz

1. November 2018

In November 1978, the first gay book store in Germany opened on Bülowstraße in Berlin. At the time it was called Prinz Eisenherz, but as many gay institutions began to open up to the queer community at large, the name was changed to “Eisenherz Bookshop,” upon their last location change. For many Eisenherz was the first point of contact, a information center, and for many authors it was a famous meeting place.

The first newspaper article about the new Prinz Eisenherz Bookstore. Photo: Archive Schwules Museum.

The second location of the bookstore was on Bleibtreustraße, where the legendary night cafes of the Berlinale were found. Filmmakers and film fans met there nightly and discussed with one another. In 1985 through Manfred Salzgeber and friends, the idea of a gay film prize was born and the winners were decided upon in night cafes by a show of hands. Since then the Teddy Award has become an internationally recognized film prize.

The third location of the shop was on Lietzenburger Straße – much closer to the red light disctrict. Today Eisenherz can be found on Motzstraße and the 40 year anniversary will be celebrated at the Ratskeller Rathaus Schöneberg.

The first flyer with the event advertisement for the store opening, the first press articles, self-made posters for events as well as almost 100 catalogs from the last 40 years of Eisenherz can be found in the Schwules Museum Archives.

Text by BeV StroganoV. Translation by Chris Paxton