Best commie hideout: Rotes Antiquariat

2 Dec


From Exberliners “Holidy indie bookshop guide”:

Looking for a first edition of Karl Marx’ Das Kapital from 1867? It will set you back €9000, but Rotes Antiquariat is the place to find it. The store belongs to a very different era than the luxury apartments under construction next door. Its 27,000-plus books, stacked to the ceiling, focus on the workers’ movement before 1933 – including expensive rarities as well as bargain reprints from the 1970s.

You can get copies of newspapers from the General Commission of the Trade Unions from the early 20th century or from the Communist League of West Germany from the 1970s. If you know older Berliners who left behind radical pasts, wouldn’t they be thrilled to get an agitational poster from a defunct Maoist sect for Christmas? A shelf in the back carries English editions of Lenin and Bakunin.

Around since 2003, the store is “a normal capitalist company” with an owner (the rarely seen Christian Bartsch), but at least all the workers earn the same wage regardless of qualifications. And it wouldn’t be a bonafide left-wing location if it didn’t occasionally get into trouble: in 2007, police raided the shop because one of the employees was accused of belonging to an underground left-wing group. JR

Rungestr. 20, Mitte, S+U-Bhf Jannowitzbrücke, Mon-Fri 12-18, Sat 11-15


Picture: Charlotte Eberwein


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