Berlin Heat: Gas, Grass or Pansy’s…

This episode of Radio Spätkauf was recorded live February 25th, 2024 at Noisy Rooms with hosts Mathilde, Dan and Izzy plus new guest host, the fantastic Pip Roper.
The BVG’s brand new CEO Henrik Falk’s announced a €700,000 scheme to clean UBahn stations along the U8 between Jannowitzbrucke and Hermannstraße. Berlin’s annual film festival Berlinale got off to a contentious start by extending invitations to members of the far right AFD party. The festival ended with a win for “Dahomey” by French Senegalese director Mati Diop, the first woman of color to receive a golden bear, which was presented to her by Lupita Nyong’o, herself the first black person and African to Chair a Berlinale jury. Tegel is now welcoming school students to its halls. The refugee welcome center in the former airport has now been tasked with teaching up to 300 students in need of education. Tesla faced a setback when the people of Grunheide voted against the company’s plans to expand operations. More public transportation strikes are on the way… A leaked government housing report shows that Berlin has space to create 249,000 apartments without having to intrude on Tempelhofer Feld, undermining CDU and SPD calls for another referendum on opening up the former airport to developers.

Radio Spaetkauf is joined once again by Michael Efler from Bürgerbergheren Klimaschutz  to explain the importance of Berlin’s deal to buy back its district heating system and what it could mean for other public goods in the city. He also points to more sustainable resources for heat, such as drawing warmth from the ciy’s waters.

Germany is moving to a legalization of marijuana. Hanf Museum co-director and cannabis advocate Steffen Geyer helps us understand the new legislation. We find out the details of how much you can carry, grow, and where you can (and can’t) consume cannabis. 

Our third interview of the evening: drag artist, event organiser, and returning guest Pansy told us about “Chez Pansy”, a new Queer Cabaret and supper club currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign. The venue, with a dance floor and restaurant is set to provide a new home  for drag and queer culture in Berlin. Learn more and support Pansy’s project at

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Writing production and hosting by: Izzy Choksey, Daniel Stern ( and Matilde Keizer
With support from Sebastian Filip and Radio Spaetkauf Host Emeritus Joel Dullroy
This Episode Edited by Alex Griffiths

Technical Support:
Theme Music by Ducks!

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Extreme Right vs Meteorite – Jan 28 LIVE

28th January 2024 recorded live at Zimmer48, with Izzy and Dan plus two guest hosts: Maria Debinska, a research fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin and Megan Whittington of German news in English podcast Megan’s Megacan.

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A bahn-strike started last Wednesday, running six days until the morning of January 29th included the S-Bahn. The rail worker’s union, the GDL, is advocating for a shorter 35-hour work week with full pay,  a wage increase of €555 per month immediately as well as a €3,000 one off inflation compensation. Deutsche Bahn has offered only a 4.8% raise for 2024, 5% in 2025 and 2.7% in 2026. 

Berlin’s mayor Kai Wegner and education secretary Katharina Günther-Wünsch revealed they were in a romantic relationship. An anti-semitism clause proposed by CDU politician Joe Chialo was deemed a violation of artists’ constitutional rights. Agricultural sector protestors brought the city centre of Berlin to a standstill. Emergency vehicles were blocked and streets took hours to clear. The protests were organised in opposition to the proposed end of tax exemptions for diesel used in agricultural vehicles.

A meteorite listed as 2024 BX1 crashed near Berlin last Sunday night and has not yet been found. According to Thomas Becker of Westhavelland Star Park, it may have crashed in an area east of Nennhausen. If you come across a suspicious looking rock, don’t touch it.

Members of the AfD and some CDU were present at a secret meeting last November in a villa outside Potsdam along with extreme right activists including Martin Sellner of the Identitarian Movement. Plans to ‘re-migrate’ both foreigners and Germans from a foreign country were discussed. In response over a million people across Germany took to the streets, demonstrating against right wing extremism.

Berlin politicians left in protest when AfD state Chair Kristin Brinker rose to speak at a recent Assembly session. Green party leader Bettina Jarasch commented that it would be wrong to ‘listen to AfD denials’, and Berlin CDU parliamentary group leader Dirk Strettner said “I don’t listen to right wing radical relativising and lying.”

January 27th was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and commemorations were held across the city, including in Reinickendorf where the BVV has five AfD members who were automatically invited to the ceremony, so a local alliance against the far right organised an alternative vigil on another memorial site.

Jonny Tiernan of Ex Berliner Magazine joins us to discuss changes in the print edition and invite us to take part in their research into the sex lives of Berliners. Survey LINK:

Thanks to Yvonne at Zimmer48 and to Sebastian for the pic and Joel on his travels.
Next Live Show: Feb 25th

Thanks to Yvonne at Zimmer48 and to Sebastian for the pic and Joel on his travels.
Next Live Show: Feb 25th

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.

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.