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Menschliches, allzu-menschlichcs.
(Human, all-too-human.)

Friedhich Nietzsche.




First Published in igts




The Human



The Human



The Human Maidservant


The Human



The Human



The Human



The Human World-City


The Human Holiday


The Human

Lawmaker .


The Human



The Human



The Human



The Human



The Human



The Human

Tradesman .


The Human



The Human



The Human



















Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place {Jeremiah).

ON the third of October we removed from
I our old flat in Aktiengesellschaftstrasse
to Number 70 Konkursplatz, Schoneberg.
Being now in residence a fortnight, Letitia wants to
change ; and to-day for the seventh time in four
days, she took me to brand-new flats in different
quarters of Berlin, S.W., and required me to marvel
at the greatness of German comfort. And she re-
marked that while pretentious Britons want to live
in fiats, and sniff at the meek villas of Putney and
Chiswick, here men with just social ambitions seek
out suburban villas, while poor and honest clerks
pig it in central flats.

The middle-class flats in New Berlin are indeed
Europe's best ; they impose outside, and inside
they are better than any fiats of London. There
are lifts, and velvet-pile carpeted stairs with stained-

2 •• : :-^?>? >rHE HUMAN GERMAN

glass windows, and central heating (which makes you
sneeze), hot water, ice-chests, safes, vacuum-cleaners,
and mysterious shafts in the wall, replacing dust-
bins, through which you hurl to eternity bones,
potato-skins, and compromising, affectionate letters
from Grete and Mizzi.

The splendour of the flats impresses you as visitor
even more than as tenant. The flats are built for
Besuch — for Visits ; and the greater splendours are
marshalled in vast reception-rooms, while beds, twi-
light, cockroaches, and the smell of dinner lurk
elsewhere. You are surprised to find in your
modest seven-roomed flat a drawing-room fit for a
ball, a dining-room fit for a banquet, a large " living-
room " and library ; and, tacked on behind, three
shrunken bedrooms and a unicellular servant's bed-
room and pantry, into which one servant and
perhaps ten eggs may be wedged. Greatest of all is
the dining-room. The fleck on its splendour is that
it is often a " Berlin room " — a Berliner Zimmer —
with only one window, stuck obliquely in a corner,
overlooking the tiresome courtyard in which every
Saturday morning untiring Herr Houseporter Schack
beats his carpets and children. This dining-room
takes up a fourth of the flat. The one servant's
room has just space for a bed, so that straw-haired
Hedwig only sleeps in her room, and makes her toilet
in the kitchen or hall. This is bad for servants, and


worse for masters and mistresses ; and some (of
British birth) have died of fright on catching sight
of virgin Brandenburg forms in efflorescence un-

Berhn servants sometimes sleep in corridors, bath-
rooms, and rooms which in daytime are used by
their haughty employers. Until lately flats had no
servants' rooms at all. Hedwig slept in the Hdnge-
hoden — the hanging loft — a broad shelf near the
ceiling, usually in the back hall, sacred to mildew
and arachnids. When night drew nigh Hedwig
climbed thither on a ladder ; and at icy dawn she
descended to the floor to put on her clothes and take
off her cobwebs. It is now unlawful to hang Prussian
servants in a hanging loft ; but Letitia, usually
humane, praises the old barbarous way, and wishes
the meddlesome police . . .

" What happened," she asks you, " if the ladder
fell some night, and Hedwig couldn't get down ? "

*' Then she stayed up."

" It is a good custom," says Letitia, whose doc-
trine is that servants " make more trouble than
they save." " I should throw the ladder out of
the window."

Naturally since comfort is made subordinate to
" visit " the decorations of hall and of reception-
rooms are numerous and costly. Particularly splen-
did is the great entrance hall below. It transcends


a Wall Street broker's. It glows and glitters with
bronze and marble and (painted) malachite, as if
it were meant not for bald surveyors and notaries
but for bathing odalisques and reclining Nubian
slaves. In our Aktiengesellschaftstrasse flat the
drawing-room ceiling was adorned with green frogs
in Secessionist style, and there was a frieze with
scenes (so we thought) from the Inferno. Letitia
turned the handsome dining-room (with dull gold
medallions and purple doors) into a bedroom ; and
thereby provoked trouble with Herr Apothecary
Schmudy, our landlord, who affirmed that we were
injuring the house's repute for distinction. The
lawyers advised Herr Schmudy that he had had no
case, as, when drawing up the contract, he had for-
gotten this prohibition.

Berhn tenancy contracts stand far above British
for refinement and comprehensiveness. Where the
indifferent Briton rents a castle on the strength of
a letter, and pays the rent when he chooses or not at
all, the meanest tenancy in Moabit, N., requires four
thousand words. First is a clause requiring you to
pay rent in advance. Next follow two thousand
words of House Statutes, for violating any one of
which you may be ejected. You may not tub before
seven in the morning or after eleven at night ; in
winter you may not open windows for more than
an hour a day ; when you make music you must.


at all seasons, keep the windows shut ; you may not
wash sheets at home, though you may wash hand-
kerchiefs ; you must not let your children play on
the stairs ; you may keep no animals ; you must
put a rubber sheet under your typewriter ; and you
must not walk in heavy boots after ten. Some con-
tracts provide that if you become a happy father
your contract summarily ends. Although Prussia
has a higher birth rate than most states, and children
are welcomed in the Imperial Statistical Yearbook,
in houses they are received with just displeasure.
Prussian courts have quashed this ban on multi-
plication as against good manners. Such Berlin
contracts, opulent as they are, are less circum-
stantial than the provincial. The provincial land-
lord may insist, '' 47b. The tenant undertakes to
hang his windows with beautiful and distinguished
curtains " ; and when you walk through Pednitz or
Schoppenstedt you see this injunction in force.

The landlord, naturally, reserves all proper powers.
If you are three days late with your rent, or if,
after one warning, you break the meanest of the
House Statutes, you may be summarily expelled ;
and you must pay the rent to the end of your con-
tract term. Some contracts say that this fate may
overtake you if, without any warning, you break a
House Statute ; so that if, on the day you move in,
your button-nosed Hanschen rolls marbles down-


stairs you may be required immediately to leave,
and made to pay three years' rent as fine. The
landlord is not always as ferocious as his contract ;
but the Berlin tenant signs his submission to such
conditions ; and if he does not sign he gets no flat.
For the houseowners are organised in unions which
have a standard contract form ; and their unions
even keep black Hsts of vicious and all too human
tenants who pay their rent only on the fourth day,
and whose button-nosed Hanschens are detected
rolling marbles down the stairs.

Germans change their dwellings usually in autumn.
As material for wit the first days of October rank
with Britain's spring-cleaning. In moving-time
Berlin grows Babylonian in confusion. Wise men
who remain in the dull old flat with the dusty tile-
stove in the corner suffer together with the ambitious
unwise who fly to brand-new suburbs in search of
moderner Komfort. For the period September 20th
to October loth, the stayers get no work done.
Carters, carpenters, glaziers, paper-hangers, and
other manual idlers vow that they're engaged by
removers ; while lawyers, doctors, and members of
the parasite professions, vow that they're busy
superintending the manual idlers. Life is dry. News-
papers groan under Answers to moving Correspon-
dents, and instead of the usual animating " Swind-
ling Count's Amours," you find the tiresome : *' A. N.


StuUenstrasse. The shelf is a fixture : you cannot
force the landlord to pay the 80 pfennigs."

Police wisdom governs removals. Although you
rent your flat from and to October the ist you may
not necessarily remove on that day. That depends
on Herr Police-President v. Jagow, who issues
decrees. People, he says, who live in one-roomed
flats must move by the ist October ; people with
two rooms on the second ; and so on symmetrically.
If you leave too soon you would spend the night in
the street, for the parting tenant of your new flat
might be in possession, flaunting Herr Jagow's
authority to stay till the 4th.

In moving-time you risk paying rates and taxes
twice. Greater Berhn is made up of numerous
boroughs ; and a change of address often means a
change of municipality. The municipality is tax-
collector. It collects its own rates, which are assessed
on your income ; and with them it collects the State
income-tax, the Church income-tax, the dog-tax,
the drainage-tax, the land-tax, the supplementary
tax, the communal tax, the industry tax. The law
makes you pay these taxes to the old municipaUty
down to the end of the removal month. If you give
notice only on October 3rd, the old borough requires
taxes for November ; and the new borough wants
them from October 3rd.

Moving-time has consolation. You lose no letters.


The Imperial Post shows bloodhound persistency in
tracing you. Letitia and I have lived at seven
addresses, and to-day we get letters which have
been addressed to the first, and have been in turn
at all the following five. Naturally when even
letters of love and compliment thus pursue you,
bills do not fail : even with unstamped circulars
from St. Louis, Mo., to Mr. Ed. Edgeworth, Berl.,
Germ., the Reichspost sniffs us out.

What we miss the most, after our charming house
near Canonbury Junction, is, of course, a garden.
Germans have no gardens ; and the House Statutes
forbid their children to play in the courtyard. But
you can rent a tiny, fenced patch of suburban ground
which waits the speculative builder ; and thither
every morning send Fritzchen, flat-nosed Ella, and
nursemaid Martha. The working-man's garden is a
patch in an Arbour Colony. An Arbour Colony is a
stretch of sandy, unfertile soil, also awaiting the
builder, which is cut into fenced patches the size of
a room, dug, sown, and decorated. The patches
have summer-houses, mostly rickety tarpauhned
sheds built by the colonists. They have no grace.
There are flags, and oleographs, glass balls, bird-
cages, brand-new shrubs, grey-green cabbages, ligni-
fied geraniums. Arbour Colonies — there are twenty
thousand patches round^Berhn — are nests of rest,
drink, skat, and occasional crimes of passion. Bureau-


crats chivvy the colonists ; fine them for watering
the Hgnified geraniums on Sunday ; forbid them to
light matches ; evict their cooking-stoves because the
shed is "an unregistered edifice the designs of which
have not been passed by the Building-Police."
Cooped with their infants in fenced squares on a
chessboard desert, with wise authorities controlling,
the colonists look, and feel, like the llama parents
from Acay which in the Zoological Gardens last
August gave life to twins.

Only wealthy workmen settle in colonies. The
garden of the poorer, indeed of most Berliners, is
the flowering balcony. Most old, all new, houses
have balconies — balconies big, solidly walled in,
usually roofed, with tables, chairs, electric lamps,
and ash-trays, where you can drowse, eat, even
sleep. These are Berlin's hanging gardens. Balcony
rises over balcony to five stories' height ; and all
burn with geraniums, petunias, scarlet runners,
hydrangeas, and sweet peas. That is, the distin-
guished {vornehm) balconies. The workman's bal-
cony shows more varied taste. For vegetation he
likes vines, trained on elaborate lattices to exclude
the light ; and for mood he seeks gaiety ; and you
will see flags (seldom German), bright balls, teddy
bears ; and on the wall behind merry pictures of
clowns, of Count Posadowsky, of the doom of Mes-
sina, Johnstown, Pa., and Sodom and Gomorrah, Pal.


The balcony plays a semi-public role. By a man's
balcony you know him. And by a woman's. To
some women balconies are back yards. You walk
down a prosperous working-class street ; and see in
terraces over you mostly gracious things : vines,
Italian flags, roses dripping odour, aphides dripping
honeydew, cohcea scandens climbing into windows,
earwigs climbing into ears. And then you come
across a naked balcony crossed by a cord, from the
cord fluttering wet white flags of the kind displayed
in incomparable England's shops at 2/iiJ. Beside
them sit the attractive owners. Thus to degrade
the balcony into a laundry yard — also to beat in it
carpets — is polizeilich forbidden ; but policemen
nod ; and sometimes you have the dust of some-
body's carpets considerately washed from your neck
by the drops from somebody's shift.

Some take sunbaths in balconies. This at least is
done by top-floor dwellers whom only angels over-
look. The sun-bathers — the angels too — do it
" splinter naked," as Germans say here ; mid nod-
ings on, as angels say in New York. Sunbaths need
foresight. The balcony, remember, is appendage to
a room, often a drawing-room, and it is reachable
only by way of the room. Through forgetfulness
here a tragic tragedy was acted yesterday week.

Our oldest German friend, Herr Dr. Ing. Gamradt,
regularly takes sunbaths. As you will later meet Herr


Dr. Ing. Gamradt, let me commend him as the clever
technologist, whose lectures on Roofing and American
Construction (he has lived in New York and Charles-
town) had such success in Westphalia. At midday
Dr. Gamradt lay lazily and nakedly on his balcony,
roasting his Pomeranian skin, and reading the proofs
of his Tendencies and Aspirations in the Belgian
Portland Cement Industry. His clothes were in the
bathroom. Just as his dreams were thickening, and
his Pomeranian skin was turning rich Kanaka, two
dreadful voices echoed from close by. It was his
wife, Frau Dr. Ing. Gamradt (Mieze) conversing
eagerly with a visitor, Frau Schoolteacher Morgen-
stern. The two were in the drawing-room which
opens on to the balcony. The position was grim.
The noontide sun flamed with dog-day fierceness ;
Herr Dr. Ing. Gamradt had emphatically had
enough ; and something uncommonly like blisters
rose on his rose-red arms. But between him and
shadow sat unsuspecting Frau Dr. Gamradt with
Frau Schoolteacher Morgenstern ; and the only
robe in sight was Tendencies and Aspirations in the
Belgian Portland Cement Industry.

The position was grim. The sun persisted in
flaming ; the last cloud shrank ; the voices echoed.
Herr Dr. Gamradt's skin peeled. He suppressed
screams with difficulty. He began to think of death,
of overdone veal, of the Aztec Emperor Guatomozin.


And then, oh joy, dehverance transiently smiled.
Frau Schoolteacher Morgenstern rose to go. Herr
Gamradt's heart hopped. And then it stood still.
" Sit down, Kathie," said hospitable Frau Dr. Med
Gamradt. " Of course you're here for lunch. Let's
look at my travel photographs. I have just eight
hundred. After that we'll go on to the balcony,
and see the nasturtiums."

Watering balcony flowers is a well-ordered matter.
By police decree you water them only in the morning
before eight or after ten at night. Because water
flows from the balcony, and wets the day-time
crowd. Within lawful hours you may pour down
Niagaras. This has possibilities. Some waterers
gratuitously revive the tradesman's lettuces beneath.
Some show less human zeal. It was while armed
with a watering-can that Herr Undertaker Buehl
of Berhn-Pankow fell dead with joy on seeing his
wife's betrayer come down the street in a new silk
hat. The balcony has better uses. By playing the
part of the late Mr. Stead's Introductions League, it
makes about 3 145 per cent, of all Berhn marriages.
Prussians, remember, do not call ; and flat neigh-
bours seldom see each other's faces. But often
adjoining flats have adjoining balconies severed by
mere iron shields ; and this dualism fosters fruitful
companionships. Fraulein Typist Kupp comes out
to swamp green-fly off her scarlet runners, and in-


evitably Herr Cand. Theol. Flech, who lives next
door, at once issues on his balcony to shear aged
leaves from geraniums. If it is after ten, mother is
asleep, and Fraulein Typist Kupp seeks a theological
view why green-flies flourish in an otherwise perfect
world. And naturally Herr Cand. Theol. . . .
Thereon the estranging shield proves a barrier as
frail as the wall of Thisbe and Pyramus. Thus the
versatile balcony sends up the marriage rate. And
sometimes, says Herr Dr. Gamradt, it merely sends
up the birth-rate.

With iron reserve in the matter of neighbourly
calling, Germans have a freedom from vulgar pride
which contrasts soothingly with the arrogance of
England. That is your first discovery when you take
a flat, the more so if it is one of those sumptuous
apartments which the Dwellings-gazette calls *' high-
gentlemanly." The flats seem all to be classed
either as high-gentlemanly (hochherrschaftlich) or
merely gentlemanly (herrschaftlich) ; but alike
whether you live among high-gentlemen or merely
among gentlemen, you welcome everywhere the
pleasant freedom from pride.

Though this for me is the same, Letitia has always
insisted on a high-gentlemanly flat. The flat which
we now inhabit is in a tolerable street ; has central
heating, a hall-porter, a lift which sticks between
floors ; and entrance-hall impressionist frescoes of


Swabian gleaners with rich green elbows and arth-
ritic toes. The rent works out at £25 per year per
room. At Canonbury Junction on such abundance
we should put on side, give occasional bridge parties,
and talk of our nephew's acquaintance with a baronet.
But here vanity shrinks. We are struck into
Christian meekness by our fellow-tenants' unexact-
ing ways and unspoiled austere domesticity.

Our high-gentlemanly house has two staircases,
back and front. The front one is labelled in black on
white enamel : *' For Gentlemen Only." This notice
is meant to exclude servants and messengers — post-
men are gentlemen within the sense of the enamel.
But though our hall-porter, Herr Gielsdorf, sternly
forbids the servants to drag home beer pitchers by
the gentlemanly stairs, he makes no objection to the
gracious lady coming up the gentlemanly stairs as
her own domestic. And this gives you an illumin-
ating view of the domesticity of local souls.

At eleven every morning we go out to skate in
Lutherstrasse Ice-Palace ; and twice in the week we
meet on the stairs Frau Accountant Felix Curt.
She lives overhead ; and gives dances ; so she must
be a high-gentlewoman. She is tastefully dressed,
wears five rings over her white cotton gloves ; and
has plainly been marketing. Under her arm she
carries, half-papered, a grey-green loaf of bread.
At midday we return ; and stumble in the lift on


nice-looking Fraulein Else Schimmelpfennig, who
lives on Treppe 4. She is unquestionably a high-
gentlewoman ; her colonel father fights the Artillery
Staff in the Zeitschrift fur Kruppel, and her student
brother at Bonn was fined for ungentlemanly con-
duct. She has laid down in the lift a reed sack,
such as is borne by carpenters and burglars, and
above the edge twinkle six bottle-tops. Other high-
gentlemanly neighbours are as domestic. Frau
Architect Riehl, who used to nod so pleasantly to
Letitia from her hall, the while she ate straight out
of a frying-pan, lets beer drip on the stairs. On
Letitia's complaint, our landlord took action ; and
soon he sent us the answer of Frau Architect Riehl
to the complaints of " die Englische Familie Groane
which impertinently and with quite-unheard-of
obtrusiveness in our internal affairs with persistence
to meddle the assurance has."

That little trouble led me to call on Herr Dr.
Ing. Gamradt. I found him, seated on soft cushions,
reading Pohlmann's Chemical Reactions of Sunlight
on Organic Matter. He met me with the news that
our house is not high-gentlemanly at all.

" How many rooms have you ? "

•' Five."

" Then don't complain. Your flat is simply
gentlemanly ; and you cannot expect high-gentle-
manly amenities. The number of rooms in your


flat locates precisely your place in society. A house
with five-roomed flats cannot possibly be genteel.
Londoners take big houses because they have large
families or many visitors ; Berliners take them
because they have large positions. Follow my
advice ; change next October into a six- or seven-
roomed apartment. You may not want the extra
rooms ; but you will gain high-gentlemanly privi-
leges, and you can insist that beer is not ..."

Herr Gamradt has nine rooms. On the way out
we met a high-gentlemanly gentleman carrying —
for all the world like a British election candidate — a
large black load. Letitia thereat engaged me in the
usual argument, I holding that Germans are not
really as humble as they seem, while she persisted
that they are meeker than lambs.

" The transport of supper by the gentlemanly
stairs," said I, "is probably not domesticity at all.
More likely it's a perverse and subtle vanity. The
origin is pride, the pride of conscious worth. It's
the pride that apes humility."

" If that is so," said Letitia, " it apes it exceed-
ingly weU."


I see the lords of humankind pass by {Goldsmith).

WHEN we removed to Konkursplatz we
got into trouble. The cause was the
basic assumption of Prussian criminology
that every man is a burglar until he proves himself
something worse.

In short, we got into war with the pohce.
In Prussia every citizen, native or aUen, must
procure within three days of removal to anywhere
three spacious, cream-coloured police registration
forms. A registration form has eleven columns,
and five-and- thirty questions, and all the questions
must be answered, in triplicate, on pain of fine.
They ask your Christian names and surname ; your
occupation (or occupations) ; the names of your
wife (or wives), of your children, of your servants.
Your wife (or wives) must give her (or their) maiden
name(s) ; and if she has (they have) been married
before, then all disused surnames are required.
Relatives and visitors must be entered. You must
give your and their birthdays and birthplaces ;

2 17


religion ; conditions ; whether single, married,
widowed, or divorced ; whence you have come ;
your last settled address ; whether you have

formerly lived in Police-District ; if so, when,

with whom, at what address ; and lastly, you must
truthfully describe the position and condition of your
dwelling. Experienced men with no children and
one servant do this in an hour. Letitia and I, being
without experience and with two children, need a
day ; for an hour is spent in dragging from nurse-
maid Hesperia, whether she was born in Weissensee,
Thiiringia, or Weissesee bei Berlin. She says they
are the same. At nine that evening, thanking Heaven
you're done with it, you fall exhausted on a bed,
and dream of the birth of Hesperia in two places at
once. It is the 8th October.

On the loth October a document addressed "Herr

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