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31 October 2009

Short Novel: Bauhausler, Chapter 7

A story of Japanese woman who experienced Bauhaus art and love romance in Berlin, early 1930's when Nazis came to power.

Please read Introduction first.  

Some of her classmates were obviously communist. She heard former principal of Bauhaus school, Hannes Meyer was communist. Although she was against communism or Marxism, she made good friends with them. She just did not care because she was neither communist nor anything else. She was non-political. As long as she could have fun with them, she could get along with them.

She and her friends went to Berlin's amusement, called "Variete." That was variation of performances such as singing, dances, magic, and circus. They were different from traditional art like opera. That was why it was amusing. Berlin had great entertainment.

One day after classes, she just passed by one class room where Marcus Weiss and communist students gathered. She entered the room and was welcome by students there, though Marcus did not look comfortable. She pretended to listen to what they were talking, which she was not interested in and could never understood.

After the meeting, she talked to Marcus, "Meister, would you do me a favour?"
"What?" said Marcus furiously.
"I want to visit finest variete in Berlin if you know one." said Masako.
"Surprised! A high-society woman like you has interest in such cheap shows."
"Cheap shows?"
"You did not seem to join this communist group's meeting. Variete is something more like commoners' entertainment."
"That is why I want you to take me somewhere I can learn such commoners' entertainment. I am a student of advanced art so I need to learn any kind of arts." said Masako smiling.
"Great, then I will show you." said Marcus smilingly.
Marcus took her to Hanussen's Haus. It had a stage to show performances by Erik Jan Hanussen, known as Berlin's most famous hypnotist, mind-reading and prophet. She heard about his performance before but she and her friends were not interested in such occultic performances.
"Why did you take me here?"
"Well, this is the place where you can learn how deception took place."

Hanussen showed up. People clapped. He invited some of audience to the stage. He made them laugh and sing a song. He showed how he could easily manipulate people.
"He is brilliant, isn't he?" said Marcus.
"Yes, I think so, how did he do that?" said Masako.
"He knows the technique. But not just that, he knows who can be easily manipulated and picked up that kind of people among the audience to the stage, so the whole audience believes anybody can be easily manipulated by him. He not only manipulate people on the stage but also people looking at the stage."
"Kind of complicated" Masako wondered.
"That is how politicians do. Like Nazis. He actually works for Nazis, although he is Jew." said Marcus.
"What? Jewish magician works for Nazis?" Masako said a little bit louder.
"Be quiet, Masako. This is secret, even Nazis don't know about that. He is Czech Jew but pretended Danish aristcrat."
Masako was surprised at what Marcus said. Not just Hanussen being Jew, but how he got to know that.

Next show starts. Hanussen said "Now I would like to read your mind. Would anybody want me to read mind plus give advice as prophet?"
Masako stood up. Hanussen found her.
"Thank you, Young Lady. May I have your name?"
"I am Masako. I am from Japan." said Masako.
"Wow, a beautiful lady from Japan is asking me to read your mind. I am very honored to do that." said Hanussen delightedly.
Masako made a big smile to him. Then he started to stair at her very seriously.
"Well, I guess you are now in love with someone. He is very close to you. You don't know what he is thinking about you. You really want to know. Isn't that right?"
Masako responded by smiling, which just meant he was right.
"I can give you advice. Get close to him, you will have wonderful time with him. But as prophet, I can tell you the time with him won't be so long as you expect. Not because you and he can't but outside force intervenes."
Hanussen smiled confidently. Masako decided not to believe his words. Masako suddenly sat down and looked at Marcus. Marcus didn't seem to react to Hanussen's words.

The calender turned to December, Berlin got colder and colder. Christmas season was near.
After Marcus's class finished, he came up to Masako and said,
"Masako, I wonder if you are still interested in Jewish culture. I would like to invite you to my family's Hannukah Party."
"It is Jewish version of Christmas." said Marcus smilingly.
"Great, I would love to be there." said Masako with big smile.

It was dinner time. Masako was invited to Marcus's uncle's house. Marcus's parents died a few years ago. His uncle and his uncle's wife and a little son were the only relatives to him. For Jewish people, ethnic minority in Germany, Hannukah was most important event to recognize the unity. His uncle, his son and Marcus wore yarmulke, small hat at the party.



Hannukah was an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. That day was eighth day. The candle stand with eight shining candles was placed on the table along with pancakes and other delicious meals.


Uncle as host of the party, sang Jewish songs and prayed and then shared pancakes and meals with guests. It was like new world for Masako, non religious woman from Japan. She really touched new culture, which was holy, sacred and traditional. She was heart warmingly welcome by Marcus's uncle's family. She couldn't believe such people have been outcast of the society.

After the party, Marcus and Masako walked on the street alone. It was late at night. Masako felt like sharing love romance with Marcus. They happen to stop by a furniture shop which displayed Bauhaus's symboic furniture, Wassily Chair in the show-window case. The chair was one of Bauhaus's successful products sold in the market.


"We might not last so long." said Marcus suddenly.
"What are you talking about?"
"About Bauhaus. No matter how we are brilliant, we are losing support here. We have to survive. That is the main theme of our school today."
Masako looked at Marcus's face. He really looked very worried. She realized how he had been desperate because of his status as Jew, communist and a teacher of most advanced type of art.
"We should get support from as many people as possible because we are so brilliant. We can do that, don't we?" Masako shouted.
Marcus said, "Yes, we can. We should do something. Ummm..., oh, we will do Carnival event in February. What if we can do great exhibition and performances there, maybe we can do?"
"Annual event in Germany. Our school is scheduling to hold Carnival Fest to invite a lot of people outside Bauhaus. So we can show how brilliant we are!!
"How nice. We should do that. How about holding stage performance like Variete?"
"Oh, good idea! We used to have stage art class in Dessau, now after we moved to Berlin, we closed that. We can revive that as Carnival Performance. Let's do that! Students become dancers and singers. I can instruct that."
"I want to join that stage performance. I can dance, you know."
"Of course. You are one of the most brilliant students of our school."
Masako and Marcus were very excited.

To be continued to Chapter 8.

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