RS Lockdown: Excuse for Everything


Berlin starts counting the cost of the shutdown. Business tax revenues have plummeted by 90%. Who’s going to pay the bill? Are we going back to the dark days of “saving until it squeals”?

This week’ status: Mask compliance is at about 90%. Public transport use is at 50%. Restaurants are open, but only until 10pm: they’re demanding an extra hour of trading. 400 people are in hospital with the virus.

After Berlin’s successful project of converting roads to temporary Spielstraßen, play streets, Dan and Maisie come up with other ways we can replace cars: dining streets, gym streets, coworking streets.

Construction of the Wippe is about to begin. The monument to reunification will be a giant moving platform in front of the Stadtschloss. Opponents are using the coronavirus crisis as a new reason to try to scrap it.

What’s a fair punishment for a driver who kills a cyclist? License lost forever, or just three months? We discuss a recent sentencing.

This episode was presented by Daniel Stern, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy. Support us with a donation! http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate/

RS Lockdown: Involuntary Rehab



Berlin is days away from the great restart. Restaurants, pools, hotels and kitas will soon be open again under new rules. But there’s no return in sight for the things some people liked about Berlin the most – drinking, smoking, partying and then recovering in cinemas. What will Berlin look like after this involuntary rehab?

The Club Commission is requesting that clubs and bars be allowed to operate open air areas until midnight, with guests wearing masks. Clubs want to use public spaces, such as parks and squares. No luck so far.

Pools are due to reopen from May 25, but it’s unclear how they’ll cap numbers. Are we heading for a world of online registrations, timed tickets and digital queues? Where will that leave people without internet access and skills?

The mask requirements are being expanded to more public spaces, but still without penalties. Compliance has been patchy, and seems to be decreasing. How is your rage factor at seeing unmasked rebels?

This episode was presented by Daniel Stern, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy. Support us with a donation! http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate/

RS Lockdown: Masked Vigilantes


Berlin is emerging from its lockdown hibernation. Shops are open again, but some of us have lost the will to consume. Restaurants are still closed. They’re bearing the cost of the government’s strategy of transmitting a message of abnormality. Joel says restaurateurs should be compensated for lost profits, not just costs.

Simple masks will be obligatory on public transport from Monday. But the BVG says it can’t enforce the rule and is worried about vigilantism. Maisie gives a review of your face-covering options.

Trying to evade the lockdown? Jöran’s got some advice for you:  “People who are circumventing the rules, trying to make everything normal – you’re missing out on the chance of a lifetime to experience quarantine. You’ll look back and say – ‘I didn’t really live through that.”

This episode was presented by Daniel Stern, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy. Support us with a donation! http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate/

RS Lockdown: Stop Snitching

Berlin police ask snitches not to block the emergency hotline 110 with coronavirus kontaktverbot reports. They’d prefer to use drones to control people. New fines are in place: it could cost you €10 if you leave the house without a reason (or a creative excuse).

The Financial Times reports on illegal ‘raves’ in Berlin costing €100 a head. We can’t prove they didn’t happen, but the story smells like a fabrication to us. Let us know if you went to one of these top-secret warehouse raves.

E-scooters have almost disappeared from Berlin’s streets. Only one company with 700 e-scooters remains active: at the peak, there were five companies with 15,000 scooters. Many shared bike companies are also withdrawing. One is just rebranding – Lidl Bike will revert to the name Call-A-Bike.

The €5000 Soforthilfe coronavirus grants have gone out to freelancers, but some are worried they could be prosecuted for wrongly receiving the cash. The rules changed half-way through the process. Recipients will soon get an e-mail asking them to review their eligibility, and could be asked to pay the money back.

This episode was presented by Daniel Stern, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy.

Help us pay our server costs! We now accept one-time donations: http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate/

RS Lockdown: Park Police

Put that picnic blanket away, and don’t dare drink a beer in the park. Berlin’s signature freedoms are being restricted. How far is too far? Should you cancel your gym membership, or keep paying to help businesses survive? And Tegel Airport may soon fall victim to the virus crisis.

Berlin police are busy patrolling parks and shutting down candlelit dinners in ‘spreadeasies.’ We debate the morality of flouting the rules for a bit of fun.

Are you tech-savvy and want to help build community solutions for the crisis? Dan interviews Victoria Boeck from Hack The Crisis. You can sign up or suggest a solution here: https://hackthecrisis.citylab-berlin.org/

Berlin freelancers and small business owners suffering financially can now apply for various grants and loans.
Here’s where you apply for the Corona Zuschuss: https://www.ibb.de/de/wirtschaftsfoerderung/themen/coronahilfe/corona-liquiditaets-engpaesse.html
Here’s how you apply for ALG 2 (Hartz IV): https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/unemployment-benefitii
Schreiben und Lernen have posted a helpful podcast in English about help for freelancers: https://soundcloud.com/literaturszene

This episode was presented by Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock.

RS Mini: Time Capsule



This mini episode of Radio Spaetkauf features an interview with Chad Matheny aka Emperor X of Neukölln music venue Donau115.

A few Berlin news updates with Daniel Stern: Berlin is quiet as new restrictions limit gatherings and movement. Districts are offering financial support to residents who are helping their neighbors. Schools and daycares remain closed but some workers are entitled to childcare.

Connect to Donau115 at http://donau115.de
Find Chad’s music at http://emperorx.net

RS Lockdown: Streaming Fomo

How are we going to survive this month of Sundays? Berlin freelancers are being promised €5000 cash, but who can get it and how? Rent payments could be delayed so we can stay in our flats and keep our shops. And… what good changes have come from our time under lockdown?

Keen to maintain their distance from one another, Radio Spaetkauf’s Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern- in Berlin- and Maisie Hitchcock – in the UK- linked up remotely using the wonders of modern technology.

The lockdown has expanded: restaurants and cafes can no longer open their doors, but supermarkets can, even on Sundays. Although they don’t actually seem to want to. More radically, Spätkaufs have finally received legal permission to open on Sundays!

Sick of staying indoors? You might have to get used to it. Gatherings of more than 2 people are now forbidden, unless you’re a family. But Berlin’s Mayor Michael Müller doesn’t want to bring in a total lockdown. His coalition partners the Greens and Die Linke are also wary of restricting everyone to their apartments. The Berlin CDU is calling for a 21 day total lockdown.

Morality over science? Reports about so-called corona parties are getting old folks worked up into a moral panic. But are young people really to blame? Joel makes a case for defending the young, who have sacrificed their liberty and opportunities during the crisis, in order to protect the old.

Self-employed or freelance and wondering how you’re going to survive? Help is at hand: the German government has announced a plan for an aid package for the self-employed and other small companies in the Corona crisis. We talk about some of the options on the table, as well as extending tax deadlines, options for KSK members , and applying for good old-fashioned Hartz IV welfare. Here’s a good explanation of how to get it: https://justpaste.it/36x5f

No earnings, means that both tenants and landlords with mortgages will be struggling. Luckily there’s the rent delay law, and a proposed mortgage holiday for landlords. And we also talk help for those who aren’t lucky enough to have a roof over their heads.

Good news! Last show’s guest, Ben Maclean is negative! He’s still in quarantine though…

  • Some recommendations for home entertainment: Dj sets at https://www.unitedwestream.berlin/
  • For eclectic sets from international Berlin-based DJs & former members of the Scrufix collective, follow https://www.twitch.tv/bad_dubs
  • The Sameheads pub quiz: March 30th – on the Sameheads website http://www.sameheads.com/heads-radio and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/2670422609736940/?active_tab=discussion
  • One venue that is streaming performances is Donau 115, a little experimental jazz bar on Donaustraße in Neukölln. http://donau115.de/

Worried about your health? Call the Berlin Corona Hotline: 030 90 28 28 28. Don’t go out seeking a test.

Support us with a donation! https://steadyhq.com/en/radiospaetkauf

RS Lockdown: Clean Your Windows

“The time for partying is over,” Berlin’s health senator Dilek Kalayci said, announcing the shut down of the city. Berlin’s government has enacted the widest restriction of liberties since the war as it struggles to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hosts Daniel Stern, Joel Dullroy and Jöran Mandik record an unscheduled episode in an empty room. Our correspondent in Maisie Hitchcock joins us via Skype to tell us about pre-lockdown England.

Noah Telson from the Comedy Cafe Berlin tells us about shutting down his business for a month. What’s life like in quarantine in Berlin? We talk via Skype with comedian Ben Maclean.

Worried about your health? Call the Berlin Corona Hotline: 030 90 28 28 28. Don’t go out seeking a test.

Support us with a donation! https://steadyhq.com/en/radiospaetkauf

Rent Freeze #2: Magic Words

Berlin’s rent freeze has begun, but nobody seems to know what’s going on. Landlords and tenants alike are confused about what to do next. Rents are now capped at the rate paid in June 2019 – all increases since then are invalid. New contracts can’t exceed about €9.80 a square meter – half as much as many advertised prices. And landlords face fines of half a million euros for cheating.

On this episode we go inside Berlin’s parliament to hear the moment the rent freeze law was passed. Supporters and opponents gave fiery speeches in a rowdy session, which ended with politicians voting to suspend the free market for rental property for five years.

We hear what landlords think about the new law. Some are devising ways to cheat – by renting to ignorant foreigners: “Those who screw their landlords are old Germans.” Despite the threat of huge fines, some don’t think the city has the resources to prosecute them.

And what should tenants do if they hope for a rent decrease? Lawyer Daniel Halmer from Wenigermieter.de says they should start adding three magic words to their rent transfers: “Zahlung unter Vorbehalt.” It means paid with reservations, and gives tenants the right to to try to claim back overpayments at a later date.

Rent Freeze is produced and presented by Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern. Artwork by Jim Avignon. Music by Tom Evans and Ducks!. Recorded by Stephan Lindner. Rent Freeze is a production of Radio Spaetkauf and RadioEins.

RS Live: Library Darkroom Secrets


Berlin’s favourite free coworking space also has books. We meet Juliana Pranke from the ZLB, Berlin’s central library. She tells us the secrets of the Bibliothek: You can borrow art to hang on your wall, digitize vinyl and stream films online. Why don’t you have a library card already?!

The revolutionary Mietendeckel has started. It applies to all tenants, even subletters in WGs. Find out more on our spin-off podcast Rent Freeze. The next episode is landing soon.

Berlin Mayor Michael Müller says he’ll quit before the next election. Joel reviews his political flops: the Tempelhofer Feld building plan, the Olympic Games bid and his opposition to the rent freeze.

It’s Berlinale time, but there’s another important film festival coming up: Berlin Feminist Film Week. We meet founder Karin Fornander, who says we should stop giving the Academy Awards such importance: it’s decided by a jury of mostly old white men.

In the wake of the terrible Hanau racist attack, Dan Stern gives an emotional acknowledgement that our show doesn’t do enough to reflect racial diversity, and that most Berlin expats live in a mostly white bubble. We pledge to try to expand our racial inclusivity.

Thanks to Tom Evans for sound engineering, and Comedy Cafe Berlin for hosting our show.
Hosts: Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.
Support us with a donation! https://steadyhq.com/en/radiospaetkauf