Café Monopol was considered the Zionist center in Berlin. Every Zionist activist from Russia-Poland who passed through Berlin knew that in the café…he could meet at any time colleagues from east and west and friends from the Zionist congresses….In this café, we, the few Hebraists in Berlin, created a “Hebrew corner”… The language spoken on this table in the café was Hebrew, and this was a novelty, almost a miracle: The Berlin Zionists were visiting this table from to time, to hear how modern, cultured people converse in the language of the prophets. Even the gentile waiters – among them the head waiter, Eduard the magnificent – were welcoming us with “Shalom.”[i]
These memoirs all highlight the “Hebrew corner” and the Zionist activity at Café Monopol, but in fact this place in the heart of Berlin was a multilingual, transnational hub of communication and modern Jewish culture.
[i] Aharon Hermoni, Be-‘ikvot ha-bilu’im (Jerusalem: Reuven Mass, 1951), 151.