A Gold Coast entrepreneur once asked my advice on promoting his nightclub. He wanted a new theme – something completely different...really wild...something people will talk about.
Joking I suggested a Last Days in the Bunker Concept – a 40’s Mercedes Benz staff-car parked by the front door...searchlights set up outside sweeping the sky...doormen with dobermans...wailing air-raid sirens...bar staff in tight black leather pseudo-Nazi SS uniforms...a Marlene Dietrich lookalike singing...dripping water...smoke...sounds of bombs dropping...a Volkswagen Kubelwagen set up as a bar...
Of course he didn’t go for it - thought he’d cop too much flak. But it seems I might have been on to something according to a report this week from Italy via the English Guardian newspaper
Had the Nazis won the war, they planned to open a big, flash nightclub in Berlin.
“It’ll be the most beautiful, the most modern, the most elegant in Europe” according to the then Italian Consul, Giuseppe Renzetti. “The project is said to have met with the ardent approval of the Führer.”
Renzetti’s report has been lying unread in archives for 65 years and was published this week in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
According to him, by 1940 the Nazis were preparing their capital for the tourist boom they expected would follow victory. (Welcome to Naziland).
Renzetti reported “ a manager has already been found for the nightclub and that it had been decided to restrict entry to foreigners, the diplomatic corps and the members of Berlin (high) society.”
The report was dated July 23 1940. And it seems Renzetti was close to the Nazi hierarchy and very well-informed. Goebbels wrote that Renzetti could almost be seen as a Nazi. To compile his report the diplomat interviewed top officials including the SS leader, Heinrich Himmler.
Did Herr Hitler Like to Dance?
While we're at it...let's clear up a bit of Allied Anti-Nazi Propaganda concerning Hitler. In June 1940 he accepted the surrender of the French government at a ceremony in Compiegne, France. He insisted on further humiliating the French by receiving their surrender in the same railroad car in which Germany had signed the 1918 Armistice ending World War One. After the papers had been signed, Hitler stepped back slightly, as if in shock. But this is not what Allied audiences saw in the movie-reels at the cinema. What they saw was Hitler dancing a bizarre little jig after signing the documents - Allied Propagandists had simply looped the footage of Hitler's step backwards so that it looked like he were dancing. The film clip served its purpose, which was to ridicule the Nazi leader.
Still and all...what do you reckon they would have called the new nightclub had it got up? Club Nazi? Hitlers Hideout? Blitzkreig?