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Press section: lieben. kämpfen. tanzen. – 50 years Sonntags-Club

6. June 2023

Opening: 20. July, 7 PM
Duration: 20. July – 31. December 2023

The Sonntags-Club in Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most important and integrative queer institutions in Berlin. Over 20 groups come together there and exchange ideas, there is counseling, culture, dance and actions, seven days a week. The militant and eventful history behind it is now made visible in an exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sonntags-Club in two places: the Sonntags-Club itself and the Schwules Museum.

A path through five decades and two social systems. A struggle for recognition as an initiative, association and club. A decades-long, finally successful search for a permanent place that offers security, exchange, fun and spaces for action. Early actions of trans*, inter*, bisexual and non-binary people, long before they were a integral part of the German LGBTIQA* movement. The diversity of members and guests, but also the conflicts and negotiation processes that exemplify developments in community and society. All this becomes visible in memories of contemporary witnesses, objects, documents, historical film footage and photographs. The Sonntags-Club can be celebrated!


The decision to form a “Homosexuelle Interessensgemeinschaft Berlin” (HIB) was made in 1973 in an East Berlin living room in front of the television. “It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives” by Rosa von Praunheim and Martin Dannecker was shown. As in many other places in Germany, the desire for exchange and action arose from the self-reflection it called for. Putting this into action was difficult. Political organizations outside of state structures were forbidden in the GDR, and meetings were monitored. The HIB met in private living quarters, later in the basement of the Gründerzeit Museum run by Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. From the beginning, public actions were held in East Berlin, and performances of the cabaret “Hibaré” took place with great success. Admission as an association was denied until the fall of the Wall, and HIB events were held at various locations under the innocuous name “Sundays in the Club” (“Sonntags im Club”).

In 1990, the Sonntags-Club finally found an official structure as a registered association, public support – and premises that soon became too small for the concerns and the members. Initially located in Rhinower Straße, and from 1999 onwards in Greifenhagener Straße, the Sonntags-Club became the important institution for a wide variety of groups in the LGBTIQA* scene that it is known as today. In 1988, for example, a bisexual interest group was formed at the Sonntags-Club, which has since become a major force in the Bi+ movement. Already in the early 1990s there was a contact point for trans* people with “KOMM TV/TS”, the Sonntags-Club participated in the organization of the Berlin CSD and fought against the adoption of §175 in the former GDR area.

Until today, the Sonntags-Club has remained true to its three principles, which were already drafted in the HIB:

– First: the group becomes family for its members and friends, is a place of security and partnership formation.

– Second: the group provides advice and information in the community, solidarity and life support, leisure time activities, political and cultural work.

– Third: the group works in the heteronormative public, takes over representation of interests opposite authorities, media, specialists, organizations, promotes clearing-up and education.


In times when even the community is moving apart and is polarized by different interests and voices, the Sunday Club has remained a place where people of different backgrounds, of all ages, with the most diverse experiences and in constant – even controversial – exchange with each other feel comfortable. What people agree on are the other three principles of the Sunday Club for 50 years: love, fight, dance!


Press Photos:

These photos are to be used for press purposes only, with complete credits as shown here.