vintage, nostalgia and memories


September 15, 2017

Vintage Photographs of Cafe Lehmitz and Its Customers in a Hamburg's Red-Light District in the 1960s

Cafe Lehmitz, a beer joint at the Reeperbahn, was a meeting point for many who worked in Hamburg's red-light district: prostitutes, pimps, transvestites, workers, and petty criminals.

Anders Petersen was 18 years old when he first visited Hamburg in 1962, chanced upon Cafe Lehmitz, and established friends that made an impact on his life. In 1968 he returned to Lehmitz, found new "regulars," renewed contact, and began to take pictures.

“Lehmitz was the first thing I did seriously. It filled me up,” Petersen said. “I really identified with these people and their situation, this group who were outside society. I respected them. I felt very strongly about them.”

His photographs have become classics of their genre. Their candidness and authenticity continue to move the viewer. The solidarity evident in them prevents voyeurism or false pity arising vis-a-vis a milieu generally referred to as "asocial." The "other" world of Cafe Lehmitz, which no longer exists in this form, becomes visible as a lively community with its own self-image and dignity.





















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