RS Live: Deutschrap Iced Tea

What does Deutschrap have to do with the boom in bling-decorated iced tea? Maisie Hitchcock delves into her considerable knowledge of the genre to explain.

Want a hot investment tip? Get into chili farming. Berlin’s chili expert Neil Numb tells us how the city’s hot sauce boom needs more suppliers. Start growing on your balcony. Visit this weekend’s Berlin Chilli Fest at the new Reviere Südost: http://www.berlinchilifest.com

Gorillas riders are holding rolling strikes at depots around the city. They’re protesting the summary firing of a worker who came late to a shift. Riders have formed a workers’ council, but say management are pressuring staff not to join. The billion-euro startup boss says “Gorillas are about cycling, not politics.” Seems he’s wrong about that. Should you shop from them? Dan says riders are just the most visible part of exploitation in your supply chain.

Tiny igloo-shaped cars are the latest shared mobility object to appear in Berlin. The Swiss company Enuu says their electric cars don’t take up as much road space. But they’re frequently parked on the footpath, and some drivers drive them in bike lanes illegally.

Urban Jungle is being retired. Urban Jungle is the name of the design on most BVG seats – that mess of red, blue, black and white squiggles. It was introduced in the 90s to hide graffiti tags. But the BVG’s new boss isn’t a fan and has ordered it to be phased out, replaced by a black and grey pattern. Get to a BVG shop and buy any remaining Urban Jungle merchandise.

Today’s episode of Radio Spaetkauf was made with support from Wander. Wander offers immersive audio experiences in locations all over the city. Visit places you always wanted to go and others you didn’t even know existed. Guides such as Daniel Ryan Spaulding will help you discover hidden corners of the city. Listen now for free at https://www.getwander.app/
Find them on Insta at https://www.instagram.com/getwander.app/
Apple Podcasts at https://podcasts.apple.com/de/podcast/wander/id1545586440?l=en
And Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/show/6JLLnFuFwYLEtWYXsp3veI?si=FGr5XzAqS6aN8gCXWKzHUw&nd=1

RS Open Air: Ban Cars & Racist Chocolates

Everything is reopening. We’re shooting up on vaccines, getting nose-gouged in strange places – and loving it. And best of all – Maisie is back! We’re recording in a garden in Kreuzberg, accompanied by the birds and the breeze.

Coronavirus testing centers are popping up faster than bubble tea shops. There are more than 1000 stations in the strangest locations – converted restaurants, bikes, basements. Is this creative capitalism, or a state-funded stimulus? The government is paying €12 per test. Some of that money is going amiss. Joel witnessed some test centers sending results without actually performing the tests, and others using incorrect personal data.

Our guest Nik Kaestner, a spokesman for Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei presents their goal of removing cars from within Berlin’s S-bahn Ring. This would create the world’s largest car-free zone. The idea has gained a great deal of support from cyclists and pedestrians. Nik says even the 1.3 million car owners will be happy when they see the improvement. The initiative’s website’s English language version is here: http://volksentscheid-berlin-autofrei.de/index.php?lang=en

It’s time to ban schokoküsse, the chocolate marshmallows with a racist former name. Their continued existence allows racists to use them as a vehicle to attack Black people. A man attacked in the chocolate aisle in Aldi on Grenzallee in Neukölln by a white man, who used a box of chocolate kisses as a pretext for racial abuse. Changing the name (only in 2005) wasn’t enough: choco kisses have to go.

Berlin voters are being asked by the SPD to elect a mayor who has resigned as a federal government minister over a PhD plagiarism scandal: Franziska Giffey. She has quit the federal cabinet in anticipation of losing her degree. But she’s still the SPD’s mayoral candidate for the upcoming election.

Local sports: Berlin’s two football teams had very different Bundesliga season campaigns. Hertha played a terrible season, narrowly escaped dropping out of the Bundesliga, and fired some staff over racist comments. Union Berlin, however, had a fantastic year, finishing 7th overall.

Today’s episode of Radio Spaetkauf was made with financial support from Wander. If you are looking to discover and explore the great places in Berlin check out Wander. Wander offers immersive audio experiences in locations all over the city. Visit places you always wanted to go and others you didn’t even know existed. Wander suggests their audio experiences at Teufeslberg or the Neukölln Wochenmarkt on Maybachufer. Listen now for free at https://www.getwander.app/

Cohost Daniel Stern has a show live online Friday night via Comedy Cafe Berlin. Tickets and info at https://www.comedycafeberlin.com/event/night-show-berlin-live-from-ccb/

Thank you again to https://www.getwander.app/ for their support. On Insta at https://www.instagram.com/getwander.app/ Apple Podcasts at https://podcasts.apple.com/de/podcast/wander/id1545586440?l=en
And Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/show/6JLLnFuFwYLEtWYXsp3veI?si=FGr5XzAqS6aN8gCXWKzHUw&nd=1

Rent Freeze #4: How To F#€k Up A Mietendeckel

Rent Freeze #4: How To Fuck Up A Mietendeckel

The Berlin Mietendeckel experiment is finished. The city’s revolutionary attempt to freeze rental prices for five years, and reduce overpriced leases, has been killed off by Germany’s highest court.

The decision has unleashed a political storm. Everyone is angry – but who will voters punish? The R2G parties who tried to regulate rents? Or their opponents, the CDU and FDP who successfully derailed the project? We make the case for why each side is to blame.

There’s a big bill to pay, as hundreds of thousands of Berliners now face back-payments, higher rents and permanent shadow contracts. We’ll run the numbers on the potential local economic crisis that could follow.

What hope is there left for affordable housing? And what can the rest of the world learn from Berlin’s short-lived rental revolution? The experiment is over. Now it’s time to analyze the results

The Challengers

The CDU and FDP took the Mietendeckel law to the constitutional court, where it was struck down. They perpetuated a false narrative – “build, don’t cap” – which claimed, incorrectly, that the Mietendeckel prevented new development (constructions from 2014 were specifically excluded from the law). The CDU was responsible for weakening federal rental regulations in the first place, enabling prices to skyrocket.

And then there’s political donations – or as Joel calls it, legalized corruption. Almost 80% of the CDU’s publicly-declared donations come from the real estate sector.

Joel interviews Berlin FDP leader Sebastian Czaja and challenges him on his false claim that the Mietendeckel prevented building, and on the FDP’s donations from real estate companies. Czaja says his party takes donations from all parts of society.

The Supporters

Are the parties who created the Mietendeckel culpable of incompetence? The governing coalition of the SPD, Die Linke and Die Grünen – or R2G – took a huge political and financial gamble, and lost.

The R2G promised renters a revolution, but delivered a regression. Many tenants must now make large back payments for which they have not saved. They went against the advice of many legal experts who warned their law was unconstitutional.

We speak to two of the Mietendeckel’s creators. Kilian Wegner is a law professor and SPD member who co-authored a policy paper which laid the groundwork for the Mietendeckel. He says the R2G was right in taking a chance on an uncertain law, due to out-of-control property prices.

Another lawyer, Professor Franz Mayer, wrote an expert opinion which argued Berlin had the constitutional right to create the Mietendeckel. He says there was a chance of success, and believes the court should have helped tenants by negating backpayments.

The Big Bill

How much will the Mietendeckel fiasco cost? We interview real estate researcher Christoph Trautvetter. He estimates the backpayments will cost renters between €100 to €300 million. Ongoing rent increases will cost around €500 million annually – that’s half a billion euros flowing from tenants to landlords, money not going into the local economy.

Daniel Halmer from Conny.Legal, formerly Wenigermieter, says tenants may be able to reduce backpayments and shaddow rents by using the Mietpreisebremse – the existing rental regulation that limits rent increases to 10% of local prices.

Time to Sieze Property?

An even more radical concept is now gaining support – the referendum initiative known as Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen, who want to seize properties from big corporate landlords.

We speak to Wouter Bernhardt from the movement’s podcast Von Menschen und Mieten. He says expropriation would be a permanent solution to rising rental prices.

The End of the Experiment?

The Mietendeckel experiment ran too short to answer many questions, and the data was disrupted by the parallel pandemic. But we did learn a few things. If you want a minor reform, demand a revolution. If you get your revolution, prepare for reprisal. Tenants globally now know rent control is no longer excluded from the political discourse.

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!

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RS Livestream: Not A Curfew

Berlin finally has an overnight curfew – but not really: we can go out alone from 9pm to 5am. We need a negative test to go shopping – but not really: grocery and household shopping is exempt. We ask – what’s the point of making rules with so many holes? Matilde says Germany’s leaders are like bad parents scared of disciplining their children.

Berlin vaccine centers are throwing away unused doses. People are being turned away due to paperwork. Hotlines are failing. Staff can be fired for being flexible. Joel asks – isn’t it better to vaccinate the wrong people than nobody? Matilde found a doctor giving left-over vaccines to anyone who shows up. Why can’t the rest of Germany be so practical and sensible?

A terrifying concrete building with a horrible history is threatened with destruction: the Mäuserbunker in Lichterfelde. Two architects want to save it. Turns out it’s a fantastic example of form and functionality. Berlin has several amazing examples of Brutalism. Felix Torkar and Gunnar Klack tell us why we should love concrete.
Join their campaign here: www.mäusebunker.de
Get their Berlin Brutalist Map here: https://bit.ly/3sKas0P

People of colour are reporting violent and humiliating experiences while having tickets checked on public transport. Journalist Anne-Marie Harrison has been following the campaign @BVGWeilWirUnsFürchten which details stories of abuse by ticket controllers. Black Womxn Matter are petitioning the city government to reform the BVG’s handling reports of discrimination and violence. The BVG responded, saying it checks all complaints and deals with ticket controller issues through labour law.
Links: Stoppt Diskriminierung und Gewalt durch Kontrolleure Petition – https://bit.ly/3fvfGtA

Thanks to our co-host Matilde Keizer! You can hear her German-language podcasts here:
MUGPU (matilde und georg Produzieren Unterhaltung) https://www.buzzsprout.com/854239
Schamlos: https://play.acast.com/s/schamlos

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Live: A Board Game With No Winners

There’s a lot of bad news around about Germany’s slow vaccination rate, and Berlin’s system in particular. The vaccination centers are processing far fewer people than they potentially could and Berlin has doses sitting around that are going unused. One solution may be in sight: Doctors may be allowed to administer vaccinations in their clinics.

State and federal leaders have agreed to extend the current lockdown until March 28th, with a very complicated multi-step plan for reopening. Each step has two weeks in between, and if things don’t improve we don’t move on. The second step arrives on Monday March 8th – flower shops, garden supply stores will be allowed to open. And German residents will be entitled to one free rapid coronavirus test per week – also Aldi wills tart selling them.

Berlin streets are full of yellow and purple posters in multiple languages demanding a real estate revolution. The campaign Deutsche Wohnen und Co Enteignen has entered the next phase of its attempt to trigger a referendum, and they’re out collecting signatures to make it happen. To delve deeper into the Enteignung campaign, we’ve invited on an expert – fellow podcaster Wouter Bernhardt who has just launched a new podcast about the initiative called “Von Menschen und Mieten”. For more info or to get involved go to https://www.dwenteignen.de/

We also speak about a recent incident of racist police violence at Kottbusser Tor, where a well known busker had his leg broken. Help out, find a detailed report and get updated on the aftermath here.

And we take a good hard look at a new anti-semitism project by the police. We have mixed feelings but it turns out the Berlin police has an anti-semitism hotline you can call – 030 / 4664 979 660. Important to point out: this is not an emergency number.

Thank you to our returning co-host Gilda Sahebi.

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Lockdown: Snow Crimes

Who stole the snow from a Berlin park? A local newspaper has been investigating one of the winter’s cruelest possible crimes. Parents at Parkaue think a disgruntled local might have cleared a popular toboggan hill of snow. We read the Berliner Zeitung’s in-depth investigation.

Should we have gone walking on the ice? After ten days of minus temperatures, half of the city went out onto the canals. But no Berlin authority is willing to say if the ice is safe. The police spent days flying helicopters over frozen lakes telling people to move on. Several people fell through the ice. One man died trying to swim under the ice layer.

Hairdressers will reopen on March 1 under the latest pandemic lockdown measures. Schools will start returning from February 22, starting with youngest students. Schools are planning to give students self-administered virus tests. There’s no word yet on when small shops, gyms, bars or restaurants might open. Mayor Michael Müller says he hopes normalcy might return after Easter (April 4).

BER needs a financial injection of €3.5 billion – enough for an entire new airport. The Tagesspiegel reported on a leaked document from the airport’s supervisory committee warning of a huge hole in the budget. In other airport news, Flughafen Schönefeld, rebranded as BER Terminal 5, is due to close on Feburary 23 due to the dramatic drop in air traffic. We talk about our favourite Schönefeld memories.

In sports news, Berlin’s newest Bundesliga team, FC Union Berlin, has officially overtaken Hertha Berlin in terms of fan numbers. Union is also ahead of Hertha on the league table (9th vs 15th).

The latest issue of Lola Mag is out now, with an article by Joel. You can get a copy by picking one up in a park. Follow Lola to find out where: https://www.instagram.com/LOLAmagberlin/ Or you can order one on their website: https://lolamag.de

Thanks to our co-host Matilde Keizer! You can hear her German-language podcasts here:
MUGPU (matilde und georg Produzieren Unterhaltung) https://www.buzzsprout.com/854239
Schamlos: https://play.acast.com/s/schamlos

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Mini: Getting Vaxxed

Jöran sits down with Eli Wenzel-Fisher, a caretaker at a Berlin retirement home to talk about vaccinations arriving at the residence and getting vaccinated himself.

Getting vaxxed – how does it work? What is it like? And what is the atmosphere like at the home? We get Eli’s detailed report.

Thanks to our recent sponsors! We’re using your donations to buy new audio equipment for our future live shows. You can become a supporter here. http://www.radiospaetkauf.com/donate/

RS Lockdown: Fireproof Nazi Curtains

With the new medical mask rule in force, will the Querdenkers now start wearing banned fabric masks? What about people who can’t afford the expensive masks? Should prices be regulated to stop profiteering?

Already some bars, cafes, restaurants and other cultural spaces have closed down during the pandemic. Our friends at Lola Mag are starting to document these closed culture spaces. Know of a shuttered spot? Send details to hello@lolamag.de

Stoners beware. A Vice documentary says a lot of Berlin weed is laced with addictive and dangerous synthetic cannabinoids. Where’s our organic weed already? Watch the video here.

BER workers are suffering from electric shocks from baggage scanning machines. More than 60 cases have been recorded. The workers’ union wants the new terminal closed until the problem is fixed.

What’s it like to be a teacher in a Berlin school these days? We meet Ryan Plocher, a US emigrant who teaches in Neukölln, and is active in the GEW trade union. He says teachers think schools should be closed until they’re made safe, explains why so many schools are in terrible condition, and tells how expensive fireproof Nazi curtains made him get active in the union. Want some advice about joining a union? Contact Ryan here.

Dan invites Radio Spaetkauf listeners to watch a free live show Saturday the 30th. He will be streaming from an empty comedy club; joined by comedians from Berlin and around the world. “Whoopsie Doopsie Doo is a comedy show streaming live on youtube, facebook and twitch. Goofy shenanigans, preposterous games, total mishegaas and friendly banter.” Dan assures us of a good show; his mom watches all the live streams and says they are great.

Thanks to guest co-host Carmen Chraim! You can find her podcast People of Carmen here.

Radio Spaetkauf is produced by Joel Dullroy, Jöran Mandik, Daniel Stern and Maisie Hitchcock. This episode was made with support from RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

RS Lockdown: We Read The News Today, Oh Boy

Jöran ushered in the new year with jelly donuts, Joel an ice cold swim and Dan watched the ZDF livestream. All were pleased with their experiences. Hospital on the water Urban Krankenhaus gets positive reviews from the team, though recent expansions ignore the buildings aesthetic and surroundings.

How was Berlin’s NYE with fireworks sales banned? : 862 fire crew call-outs, 43 in ‘verbotszonen’, and 211 fires; 10 victims in ER, 2 hands partially amputated, one Brandenburg man killed by self-made rocket; one Neukölln supermarket destroyed by stored fireworks. Those numbers are about half of last year’s.

How many fewer fireworks were fired? The Frankfurter Allee air quality station measured one third as much particle pollution. The rubbish collection company BSR said 130 meters of fireworks trash was collected, also about one third the volume of last year. If it was like this every year, we’d have nothing to complain about. 

Christmas is long gone, but the trees are yet to be picked up. 350.000 of them per year according to the BSR. This year, they will begin their tree-pick-up rounds on January 7. They ask to remove all decorations from the tree when putting them out on the street. Even if you have a little baby tree. Don’t put them in the bio-bin – they can’t be used for biogas-production. The collected trees will be shredded and burnt for the production of heating energy. 

The lockdown is set to continue. With about 30% of intensive hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and a boost in testing numbers expected after the holidays. Kitkat Club continues to attract huge crowds with its €25 test. And the ‘queerdenkers’ keep protesting, dancing in a conga line on Alexanderplatz singing about how we need a little virus. Maisie tweeted: “It’s funny how Holocaust denial is illegal here but Corona denial isn’t. Why aren’t they banned outright? Because they don’t use hate speech?”

Public transport tickets have gone up to €3 for a single journey; in Paris it’s €1.90. New S-Bahn trains are on the tracks, with flat windscreen windows, giving them a futuristic vibe. To see them take the S47 between Spindlersfeld and Hermannstraße. Initially there are only ten of the new vehicles on this route. More will be added in 2022. The new trains have air conditioning, a new door signal, faster acceleration and deceleration. But no USB chargers, as was once promised.

You’re going to be seeing a lot more shared electric mopeds on the streets: The company Emmy plans to put 800 more of its red scooters. Joel questions why he only needs a class B European driver’s license to use one, and how much is the fish?

Much of Berlin has already seen and mocked the  “Psychometric WG” . Do they deserve less ridicule or should they be condemned for an embrace of villainous cyborgishness? At €800-€1000, their rent is definitely over the Mietendeckel limits (which also apply within WGs). If you want to report them or any other suspected overcharging landlord to the city government for investigation, here’s the link. Click link under “Online-Abwicklung”: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/330040/standort/123904/

2021 is an election year, which Radio Spaetkauf is excited to report on. But who should we run for office this year? Give Juri another shot despite only garnering 66 votes last time, or run a new candidate? Perhaps Carmen, our recent guest host? Should we really campaign or would that only degrade the democratic process? 

Maisie says thanks for the messages, they have been wonderful.

If you, your business, or organization is interested in starting your own podcast get in touch with the Radio Spaetkauf team. We’ll make sure you have a unique concept that will keep your audience engaged and help you expand your following. hallo@radiospaetkauf.com 

Thanks to all our donors! Support Radio Spaetkauf with a one time or ongoing donation at radiospaetkauf.com/donate. Grab a gift for the Radio Spaetkauf fan in your life at our new merch page, totes, mugs and T-shirts printed in Berlin.

RS Lockdown: Twenty 20 II

Why can’t Germany finally ban fireworks? The failure to prohibit the use of rockets on NYE shows the pandemic response still isn’t being led by science, we say. Many shops are closed, and alcohol outdoors is banned. Berlin is preparing for vaccinations, but unless you’re over 80 you probably won’t get one for quite a while.

We’re joined by guest co-host Gilda Sahebi, a journalist and doctor. Gilda is part of Neue Deutsche Medienmacher, a network that promotes greater diversity in Germany’s very white media industry. Follow Gilda’s here: https://twitter.com/gildasahebi

Gilda’s network helped write a handbook for Berlin’s city government that discourages the use of racist and exclusionary language. For example, city officials have been told to not use the term “Ausländer”, but rather “Einwohnende ohne deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft”. Dan says making such phrases cumbersome should encourage us to question whether we even need to say them at all.

The BVG has a new voice. An actor with a gender neutral tone will read station announcements. Will the BVG also please finally hire a native English expert to check their translations? This new platform announcement is both bad and dangerous: “Please keep distance to each other.” Please don’t!

This episode was hosted by Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy, Daniel Stern and Gilda Sahebi.