Podcast #9: Käthe Paulus

Our latest podcast, produced and presented in May 2018 by Susan Stone.

Listen to the now-familiar tones of co-host Katy Derbyshire telling you all about a dead Berliner, Germany’s first lady balloonist and parachutist Kaethe Paulus. Plus our other host, Florian Duijsens, with some bodacious book tips.

Also available on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, and other podcast purveyors.

Show notes:

Here’s Kaethe Paulus doing her audacious thing.

KP

Here’s one of the streets named after her, out near Berlin’s one-day future airport.

Street

And here’s Kaethe’s baby-daddy, balloonist and lady’s man Hermann Lattemann. For sideburn fans.

HL

And here’s Kaethe with one of her more outlandish flying contraptions.

Bat

Plus a couple of links to Florian’s book recommendations: Here’s the interview he mentions about the reissue of Elsa Lanchester, Herself, which also led him to reading the memoirs of Tallulah Bankhead, Ann Miller’s Miller’s High Life, and Shelley Winters. The excerpt is from the latter’s second memoir, Shelley II.

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! Check back in June for our next episode.

Dead Ladies Show #15

New year, new Dead Ladies! February sees a fabulous array of foregone females dished up for your delight: an award-winning author who taught herself to read and write, a swashbuckling lady sea captain, and an early stuntwoman and inventor. Presented by top Berlin writer Deniz Utlu, amazing translator Laura Radosh, and your regular co-host Katy Derbyshire. All kept on the rails by your other beloved co-host, Florian Duijsens. So get ready to laugh, gasp, and cry as you raise a glass to a trio of inspiring women with us in the ACUD Studio on 13 February, 8pm.

Presented in a messy mixture of English and German. €5, or €3 reduced entry. Now generously supported by the Berliner Senat. Doors open 7:30 – come on time to get a good seat!

Also, since we last wrote you three (!) more podcast episodes have gone up. Courtesy of our magnificent producer Susan Stone, these present highlights from past events, plus one or two extra bits to delight your ears. Do click through for a listen to Katy on the great poet May Ayim (recorded live in the studio), Florian on the deathless Dorothy Parker(recorded live in Wannsee), and the fab Jessica Miller on surrealist artist/author Leonora Carrington (recorded live in front of you, our beloved audience)! Get them wherever you get your podcasts (and don’t forget to rate and subscribe).

Romanian-born Aglaja Veteranyi came from a family of circus artistes. After a decade of being forced to perform as a dancer around Europe, she settled in Switzerland and taught herself German while training as an actor. She went on to run the acting school where she had trained. Alongside her work on the stage, she wrote novels, short stories, poetry, and plays, winning prizes and acclaim. Facing a crisis in 2002, she drowned herself in Lake Zurich. Her work is available in Spanish, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovenian, French, Polish, and English translations.

Grace O’Malley, or rather Gráinne Mhaol, is lauded as a “pirate queen,” “a most famous femynyne sea captain,” and “the dark lady of Doona.” She was lord of the O’Malley dynasty in 16th-century Ireland, owning up to 1000 cattle and horses, leading men on land and sea, and allegedly wreaking cruel vengeance for the murder of a lover. When her sons and half-brother were captured by the English, she met with Queen Elizabeth I and negotiated their release in Latin, while also teaching the court about disposable handkerchiefs. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Our dead Berliner is Käthe Paulus, Germany’s first female airship pilot, a professional aerial acrobat, and the inventor of the folding parachute. On meeting a balloonist, she decided to learn how to pilot a hot-air balloon and perform parachute jumps. Having had his baby out of wedlock, she lost him in a ballooning accident and made a living for herself – and her mother, who she lived with throughout her life – flying balloons, airships, and planes, and jumping out of them, starting her own parachute production line during WWI. And yes, they have named a street at BER after her.

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