My first poetry reading on April 15, 2011 at Café Jolesch in Zittau
This evening I read the first five of my poems before an audience in the beautiful Art
Nouveau atmosphere of Café Jolesch under the direction of Karin Kayser and Rolf Monitor in
the context of the "Open Stage" for the 3rd Lusatian Culture Night. I waited for my first
appearance with a good Czech Svijani fresh draft beer. On the small stage were already
loudspeakers, microphones and musical instruments installed. From 8 pm on the room filled
with visitors. A live band playing rock music and blues and a young woman performed a
belly dance. All the tables were now occupied, and I cleared my place for some students,
listening to the sounds from the bar and watched the dance. There was much applause and
some young people shot photos with their cell phones. Then I was announced by Rolf
Monitor, stepped to the stage and read my five poems for the first time in public. It was
quiet in the room and all listened to me and when I had finished, came rapturous applause.
Rolf Monitor asked me if I could not read more of my poems, but I was only prepared to
read five. I promised to repeat my reading with more poems next time.
Note: The Lusatian Culture Night is a yearly event in April from 7 pm till midnight with
different performances, exhibits and other events. Café Jolesch is a pub in the so called
The villa was built at end of the 19th Century. It was for decades the home of the Jewish
Hiller family. Gustav Hiller, an inventor from Großschönau, using the proceeds from his
first patent, a machine for manufacturing curtain strings, founded Zittau's Phänomenwerke.
They were known in GDR times as VEB Robur Works Zittau, in which bicycles of the brand
Phänomen, the Phänomobile and later the Robur truck were produced. During the Nazi rule,
Mrs. Hiller, could be bought off for an annual payment of 300,000 Reichsmark from
deportation. After the war the family moved into the West Zone. Today the Villa Hiller is
home for the Multicultural Center (MUK), a nonprofit organization. In 1993, the
granddaughters of Gustav Hiller, Mrs Anne Frommann and Mrs Claudia Siede-Hiller, now
living in Israel, donated the villa to the MUK. The ground floor houses the Café Jolesch.