RSxEAB: Housing First and Fun With Social Workers

Recorded Dec 6th 2023 in Berlin at Salon Am Moritzplatz, Released Dec 19th 2023

A Special Edition of Radio Spätkauf created through a partnership with Europäische Akademie Berlin. This episode is a pilot for the “RSx” series in which we seek presciptions for the problems of our city and the world which revolves around it. An attempt, in our way, to look forward to the future with hope. With hosts Matilda Kaiser and Daniel Stern, plus guests Debora Ruppert, Karen Holzinger of Berliner Stadtmission, and Kathrin Schultz of Queerhome*.
Dan and Matilde catch up and remind us of the Kältebus number: 030 690 333 690 and review some previous Radio Spaetkauf stories that overlap with today’s topic of homelessness; Zweckentfremdungsverbot, co-working spaces, commercial real estate regulations and the battles of the cities last remaining squats, with an update on Liebig14. How does the housing crisis affect the search for a home? The topic of Homelessness is introduced by Dan who struggles to find the right vocabulary and correct language with which to describe the issue.

The first guest, Debora Ruppert, (insta link) is an artist who captures the lives of marginalized people, including the homeless, through photography. her most recent exhibition “Home Street Home” was on display in the Bundestag. She emphasizes the importance of speaking with people who are experiencing homelessness rather than merely speaking about them. That dialogue and relationships help individuals out of their situation. To learn more about “Housing First” we are joined by Karin Holzinger, who in 1991 began her work with Berliner Stadtmission and later became their head of homelessness services. Karin also co-invented the Kältebus, and is a co-founder of Kumpfide, an organization twhich offers support to non-abstinent alcoholics. She clears up some common misconceptions about homelessness, “When you walk through the streets, you see people, and you think, oh, he or she might be homeless, because maybe the person is not dressed very well, he or she looks drunk or [seems to have] psychological problems, so you think, ah, this is homelessness. Some of these people are not homeless and on the other hand, about I would say about 90% of the people who are homeless you would never recognize as being homeless because they look like you and me…” Karin explains the vocabulary in German for homeless people: Obdachlos and Wohnungslos, plus attempts to teach Dan the meaning of “Bürgerlich” and tells us the value of a “Housing First” program, as well as some of the limitations. What does it mean to help people survive vs. changing their living situation?

Next, Radio Spaetkauf is joined by Katrin Schulz of Queerhome* Berlin to explain some of the challenges faced specifically by LQBTQI+ plus people in finding homes and shelter. She describes her work; “We say we are in the middle. We are not a government organization. We are not a church or Christian organization. We are not an only queer organization. We are in the middle because the organizations who work with homeless people have no knowledge about LGBTIQ and the queer organizations normally have no knowledge about homelessness…we are in the middle and try to give information to the one side and to the other side.” She affirms that helping people get off the streets is not just about bringing services to them but also about informing the general public about the reality of homelessness and dispelling misconceptions about who is homeless and why they have ended up without a home. She also underlines the importance of recognizing that many people who do find a place to live or a shelter are forced to put up with terrible conditions. Queerhome* is a relatively new organization and looking for growth in its network and resources.

Matilde laments the lack of help for people living at Moritzplatz station and the missed opportunity at Habersaathstraße, where an empty building was used briefly for housing.
The show ends with a mix of hopeful wishes, pragmatic realities, practical advice and rueful observations.Find more information on our guests and their organizations at these links:

Karen Holzinger, Berliner Stadtmission:

Kathrin Schultz, Sonntags Club and Queerhome*:

Debora Ruppert, artist, Home Street Home:
This episode was made in conjunction with the Europäische Akademie Berlin aka “EAB”: and recorded at Salon Am Moritzplatz
Radio Spaetkauf information and episodes cab be found at:
and you can find us on these socials:
Today’s hosts were Daniel Stern and Matilde Keizer.
Thank you for subscribing, following, and supporting the show.

Podfest Live (Lost & Found Recording)

The previously lost audio has been found, we apologize for the delay! Listen to our live show at Podfest Berlin, recorded on October 15th at Noisy Rooms. We cover invading hornets, sex scams while fishing, and threats to ice skating season. Plus, we talk to Tim Wechselmann-Cassim of Letzte Generation and Rachel Stewart from the new podcast Don’t Drink the Milk.

Sticking Point: Onto The Streets – Part 2

“He saw the remains of his father dug up again.” That was the traumatic experience of one man in a village which was forcibly relocated due to coal mining. It was told to us by Christopher Laumanns, who helped found the group Alle Dörfer Bleiben to fight on behalf of villages threatened by fossil fuel extraction. In Episode 2 of Sticking Point, Izzy and Anne-Marie hear the stories of pain and anger that inspire Germany’s climate movement activists.

Tadzio Müller discusses how place-based movements can break through ideology and make things more real, something that Ende Gelände was very effective in doing. While a lot of this work took place on the interpersonal level, activists like Annemarie Botzky from Extinction Rebellion and Clara Duvigneau from Fridays for Future were able to raise public consciousness and force politicians to agree to goals.

But then, the corona pandemic hit. What do climate activists do when they’re not allowed to bring people together on the streets? Botzky and Duvigneau describe how their respective groups have handled the change in momentum. Journalist Paul Hockenos and Jérémie Gagné from the More in Common thinktank help to contextualize their impact.

About Sticking Point:

Izzy Choksey and Anne-Marie Harrison take a journey through Germany’s climate movement in this Radio Spaetkauf series. Sticking Point meets the people inside Germany’s climate movement: from the tactics of the anti-nuclear campaigns, to activists clambering onto coal excavators, striking students and people gluing their hands to roads. We find out what motivates activists and why they are willing  to use increasingly radical means to force change.


Editing: Anne-Marie Harrison
Producing: Izzy Choksey and Anne-Marie Harrison
Script: Izzy Choksey and Anne-Marie Harrison
Technical Support: Daniel Stern
Art Work: Daniel Stern
Additional Support: Joel Dullroy
Music: Tom Evans


Listen and follow on Spotify
Listen and follow on Apple Podcasts


Help us keep making podcasts and mini-series! Donate now.

Maisie Hitchcock

It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of Maisie Hitchcock. Maisie died peacefully on August 9 2023 in the company of her family members. She died as she wished, in a hospice with views of her beloved English countryside.

Maisie died from the effects of ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed in 2020. Her only symptoms were slight stomach bloating. Maisie wished she and other women knew that this is a sign of ovarian cancer, for which there is almost no screening and little research.

In the three years after her diagnosis, Maisie was able to travel to many of the places that made her happiest – the mountains of Switzerland, the lakes of Italy, and of course the parks, canals and lakes of Berlin. Her favourite place in Berlin was Schlachtensee, where she would often walk, swim and paddleboard.

Maisie’s voice has brought cheer and comfort to the ears of Radio Spaetkauf listeners since 2011. Hers was the first voice ever heard on the podcast, announcing it into existence, and she was a regular co-host right up until illness forced her to return to England for treatment. We all miss her insights, interjections, laughs and sighs that characterised so many episodes.

Radio Spaetkauf was only one of her projects. She was also a writer and radio producer, and worked for a time on the BBC’s flagship Today programme. She studied for a masters in art history, and gave classes on architecture and design.

Maisie moved to Berlin in the early 2000s, drawn by an appreciation for the overlooked art and architecture of the GDR. She photographed many East German buildings and murals, and published a blog to share them with the world, at a time when they were being ignored or demolished. She found wonder and beauty everywhere, even in the style of an era that others wished to erase. Her appreciation for DDR design was captured in a documentary filmed by RBB, which you can see here (use a VPN if watching from inside Germany):

Maisie’s main job and passion was tour guiding. She worked for many years in Berlin and across Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Her favourite years guiding were spent with Rick Steves’ Europe. She described her career in an interview archived here.

Many listeners remember Maisie’s passion for music, spanning genres such as Ostrock, Deutsch Rap and new wave. For a few years she kept a blog detailing underrated East European music. Her writing was sometimes hilarious, as this post about Karel Gott ‘the Slavic Sinatra’ demonstrates.

Early episodes were music-heavy, and Maisie always picked the songs. Go back through our archive to hear some of those first shows, which feature her musical selections. Episodes from Radio Spaetkauf’s first years from 2011 to 2012 are archived here. Later years from 2013 to today are here.

Maisie spoke often about wanting more people to know about ovarian cancer, and asked people to donate to charities funding research and awareness, including Ovarian Cancer Research (UK), Eierstockktrebs Stiftung (Germany), and Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (US).

We are all deeply saddened by Maisie’s death. Her final weeks were spent sharing stories and memories with friends and family in which she expressed her deep gratitude at being able to enjoy more than four decades of a wonderful life, loved by her family, cherished by her friends, full of travel and discovery of beautiful places. We miss her profoundly, and are consoled that we have so many hours of audio in which we can always hear her beautiful voice.

We are preparing a special episode featuring our favourite moments and memories of Maisie. Please send us yours:

Live at Lakeside Film Festival 2023 | Guest: Ben Knight

Will Berliners survive the apocalypse? Should we even try? Ben Knight filmed his quest to deal with climate crisis angst. His film “We’re All Going To Die” screened at Lakeside Film Festival. Ben joins us for a live recording in the rain. Find a screening here:

Berlin’s new conservative government passed its first 100 days. They made lots of threats against bicycles, and cancelled 3 of 19 planned bike lanes. Budgets for local councils were cut, threatening services for schools, parks and Christmas markets. How much damage is the CDU-SPD doing, or is their bark worse than their bite?

Germany’s media have started calling Columbiabad a “problem pool” after a scuffle broke out between young men. The pool shut down for a week and the city started demanding visitors show their ID to get in. Was it a racist overreaction? Neo-nazis at other pools don’t get national media attention.

Want to install a solar panel on your balcony? The city is offering €500 funding for renters to generate their own power. You need permission from your Hausverwaltung, and can apply here:
And here’s where you can buy a Balkonkraftwerk once your funding is approved:

Want to join in NABU’s annual bug count? Sign up here:

This episode is presented by Dan Stern, Joel Dullroy and Ben Knight.