With these two exhibitions, the larger Tanz auf dem Vulkan, or Dancing on the Volcano (involving more than five hundred exhibits), and the accompanying smaller show devoted to the Berlin perfume industry, the Stadtmuseum Berlin realized an ambitious project to present viewers with a multimedia account of the city's “golden twenties.” The historical terrain covered by Dancing on the Volcano—the Weimar Republic years from 1919 until 1933, when Hitler was named chancellor—is largely familiar territory (and not only in terms of the past: issues such as the divide between rich and poor, housing shortages, immigration, and growing nationalist sentiment undoubtedly resonated with today's visitors). Although the...

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