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.

The War on Bikes Begins

Cyclists, get ready to ring your bells. The new city government wants to shrink bike lanes, and is turning car-free zones into roads. We hear about the new war on bikes under the CDU transport senator Manja Schreiner.

What hope is there for the referendum that sought to expropriate apartments from big private landlords? We get an update about Deutsche Wohnen und Co Enteignen from our friend Wouter Bernhard.

Do you work for a tech company in Berlin? Do you sometimes wonder if your startup boss is giving you all your rights? Do you know what to do if you think you’re being screwed? To tell us how tech workers can fight for their rights is Yonatan Miller from Berlin Tech Workers Coalition.

Berlin’s former top football Hertha have officially failed and fallen out of the top league. Our sports expert Jöran Mandik tells us about this epic sporting tragedy, and the incredible rise of Berlin’s other team FC Union.

This episode is hosted by Matilde Kaiser, Izzy Choksey, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern. Research by Sebastian Filip. Edited by Trevor Silverstein. Thanks to our listeners who support us with a monthly donation via Steady! Please consider contributing here.

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We stress the importance of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Keep out of reach of children. Not suitable for children and adolescents under 18 years, pregnant or nursing women. Do not exceed the recommended daily intake.

Was Berlin’s Election Stolen?

Berlin is about to get conservative. The Christian Democrats have taken control of our once lefty, greeny, progressive and mismanaged city. The new CDU mayor is Kai Wegner, and he’s already off to a bad start. Berlin’s parliament took an unprecedented three rounds of voting to elect him, despite his coalition having a majority. That means some within his own ranks aren’t happy with him in power, and could cause trouble by refusing to pass legislation.

Was the New Election Justified?

How did the CDU come to power? They won 28.2% of the vote in the February 2023 re-election. They invited the SPD (which won 18.4% of votes) to join in a coalition. Together the CDU and SPD have 46.6% of votes and 82 of 159 seats in parliament. But the previous coalition of SPD, Greens (18.4%) and die Linke (12.2%) together had 49% of votes and taken 90 seats. Put simply, the old R2G (or G2R) coalition could have continued, and would have represented more voters.

Why did the 2023 election happen at all? Joel read the court decision which overturned the previous 2021 ‘marathon’ election and found few facts to support the claim that it was terminally flawed. You can read the verdict for yourself here:

Joel’s take: The 2021 election shouldn’t have been re-run, and the 2023 coalition isn’t democratically supported.

How Berlin is Becoming a Psychedelics Hotspot

Several major medical trials are underway at Berlin’s Charite hospital using psilocybin and MDMA to treating depression and PTSD. And plenty of Berliners are conducting their own experiments with micro-dosing. Our guest is Anne Philippi, host of The New Health Club podcast, which dives into the emerging field of psychedelic therapy. Listen to her show on Apple Podcasts here.

Try Athletic Greens!

Check out now, try AG1 completely risk-free with a 90-day money-back guarantee, and get a free year’s supply of Vitamin D3+K2 for immune support & 5 convenient travel packs with your first AG1 order! For health information about AG1 and what we have to offer, visit:
Reference is made to the importance of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Keep out of reach of children. Not suitable for children and adolescents under 18 years, pregnant or nursing women. Do not exceed the recommended daily intake.

Episode Credits

This episode was recorded live at Selina Mitte:

Hosts: Joel Dullroy, Izzy Choksey, Dan Stern. Producers: Anne-Marie Harrison, Sebastian Filip.

Thanks to our listeners who support us with a monthly donation via Steady! Please consider contributing here.

Get Help Berlin: Part 2 – The Magic Word

Jöran and Matilde outline the underground market which is making it difficult for psychotherapists to treat patients under public health insurance. But, there’s a work-around to getting psychotherapy covered! Find out what this magic word is on this episode, and read all about it in the current cover story for ExBerliner Magazine

Want to share your story? Write to us here at or leave a voice message here.


Bedarfsplanung: formal coverage plan made to ensure sufficient health service coverage across Germany, according to the need in each region.

Gesetzliche Krankenkassen: Statutory health insurance funds, Germany’s publicly-mandated privately-run insurers, covering around 90% of residents. They fund some mental healthcare costs for members.

Kassensitze: An insurance-funded therapy license for therapists.

Kostenerstattungsverfahren: cost reimbursement procedure.

Sprechstunden: Trial sessions.

Types of Therapy:

Psychoanalyse: he original Freudian analysis. You’re on the couch, talking with fairly little pushback from the therapist sitting behind you.

Tiefenpsychologisch fundierte Psychotherapie: your classic talk therapy. An evolution of psychoanalysis, where you sit face-to-face and try to find out where your patterns and issues come from.

Verhaltenstherapie: where you’re working on unlearning patterns and changing your behaviour.

Systemische Therapie: assumes that everything is connected and thus focuses on contextual frames such as family and other relationships rather than the individual.

EMDR: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, especially for PTSD.

Show Notes:

Jöran tried Berlin Institute for Psychotherapie and Psychoanalyse (BIPP):

Others went straight to a Hausarzt (a general doctor). But you can get an initial assessment appointment by calling: 116 117.


Get Help Berlin is created, written, and presented by Matilde Keizer and Jöran Mandik. Production, writing and editing by Anne-Marie Harrison. Voiceovers by Dan Stern. Music is by Ducks! and Tom Evans. Artwork is by Molly Rose Dyson. This is a production of Radio Spaetkauf, Berlin’s news podcast.

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