How It All Began 

June 25, 1882

Birth of Kätchen "Kitty" Emma Sophie Schmidt in Hamburg; she grew up in an apartment at Holzdamm 37, Hamburg 

April 20, 1889 

Birth of Adolf Hitler in Braunau am Inn, then Austria-Hungary 

ca. 1900

Kitty Schmidt goes to the UK as a piano teacher and governess, where she meets her great love, a Spanish diplomatic consul named Zammit 

October 15, 1906 

Birth of Kitty Schmidt's daughter Kathleen Schmidt in Cardiff, Wales.

Between 1906 - 1917 

Kitty's wedding with the Spanish consul Zammit. Zammit later commits suicide with a gun (year and date unknown) 


Kitty Schmidt leaves the UK and travels with daughter Kathleen to Berlin 

1918 and 1919 respectively 

Kitty Schmidt starts to rent rooms for an income


Kitty Schmidt settles in Berliner Straße 10 in Wilmersdorf under the name "Käthe Schmidt" with her 13-year-old daughter Kathleen. She is registered as living there until 1932


In Berlin about 120,000 prostitutes sell sex to clients.

Between 1922 - 1932 

Opening of Kitty Schmidt's first salon at Budapester Strasse 27 

November 8/9, 1923

Failed Hitler coup in Munich 


Hitler's Mein Kampf appears in 2 volumes (July 18, 1925 / December 11, 1926) 

October 24, 1929 

Stock market crash in New York ("Black Thursday") and outbreak of the Great Depression

July 1932 

Reinhard Heydrich becomes Head of the Security Service (SD) 

January 15/30, 1933 

The start of concentration camps, including Dachau. Initially, political opponents to the Nazis are imprisoned there, but from 1935 onward, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and other asocials are increasingly sent to them.

Summer 1933

Prostitution is blamed for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis. In 1934, the majority of brothels are closed down.

Nazi Germany 

Turbulent brutal years 


Opening of Kitty Schmidt's second salon at Kurfürstendamm 63

1935 – 1937

Kitty Schmidt lives with her daughter Kathleen at Budapester Str. 17 

September 15, 1935

With the Nuremberg Laws, the Nazis officially begin their program of anti-Semitism. Jews lose civic equality.


According to Peter Norden, Kitty Schmidt began regularly taking black money to London in 1936 

August 26, 1936

Heydrich becomes Chief of the Security Police (Sipo) and its departments Secret State Police (Gestapo) and Criminal Investigation Department (Kripo) 

January 1937 

According to Peter Norden, Kitty Schmidt starts to experience difficulties transferring money to England, so she turns to illegally transferring money.

March 12, 1938 

Austria annexed by Hitler's Germany.

July 1938 

According to Peter Norden, Kitty Schmidt tries again to transfer money to London legally, but there are difficulties due to the tax and customs investigation. Two charges of currency smuggling follow. 

November 9/10, 1938

Reich’s Night of Pogroms

Early 1939 

Opening of Boarding House Schmidt at Giesebrechtstr. 11, the establishment that later goes down in history as Salon Kitty 

April 1939

According to Peter Norden, a commissioner of the criminal investigation department in the Vice Squad and its boss Arthur Nebe makes a proposal to Kitty Schmidt to smuggle a certain number of V-girls, Nazi trained agents, into the Salon to check the loyalty of the Nazi party members, the Wehrmacht and diplomats. Kitty gratefully but firmly rejects the offer

June 1939 

According to Peter Norden, Kitty Schmidt tries to flee to Amsterdam, but the Gestapo arrests her at the Dutch border and locks her in a cell at the RSHA in Berlin. There she is given the choice: be sent to a concentration camp or cooperate with the Nazis.

Nazi Germany: The War Years 

Horror, terror, misery 

September 1, 1939 

Beginning of the World War II. Hitler attacks Poland.

September 27, 1939 

Merger of SD and Sipo in the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) under Heydrich. Peter Norden reports this is also the birth of the the Reich Secret Operation at Salon Kitty

End of February 1940 

According to Peter Norden, Salon Kitty will be converted into an espionage centre within four weeks.

December 7, 1941 

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The USA enter the War.

January 20, 1942 

Wannsee Conference on the Final Solution of the Jewish question under the leadership of Reinhard Heydrich 

May 27, 1942 

Assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. He succumbs to his injuries on June 4, 1942. SS chief and Reichsführer Himmler temporarily takes over as head of the RSHA 

June 20, 1942

Birth of Kathleen's son Jochem Matei 

October 28, 1942 

Wedding of Kathleen and Jean-Florian Matei at the registry office Charlottenburg, Berlin 

Winter 1942/43 

Battle of Stalingrad and psychological turnaround in World War II. The German population’s in a victory for Hitler is shaken.

January 30, 1943

Ernst Kaltenbrunner becomes head of the RSHA in Berlin 


Bombing of the house at Giesebrechtstraße 11. The third and fourth floors of the building burn down. Kitty Schmidt moves her salon to the first floor.


According to Felix Graf von Luckner, after a bomb attack in Berlin, he slips a Jewish woman a false passport, hides her in the kitchen of his friend Kitty Schmidt, saving the woman’s life.

February 18, 1943 

Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels declares Total War

July 20, 1944 

An assassination attempt on Hitler in the Wolf's Lair by Colonel Count Schenk von Stauffenberg fails.

April 16, 1945 

Final battle for Berlin begins 

April 30, 1945

Hitler commits suicide in the Führer's bunker

May 7, 1945

Unconditional surrender of the German armed forces 

The post-war years

How everything ended

December 25, 1945

Jean Florian Matei dies of pneumonia in Wilhelmshaven 

February 23, 1954 

Kitty Schmidt dies at 6.00 a.m. at the age of 71 in her apartment at Giesebrechtstraße 11

February 27, 1954

Funeral of Kitty Schmidt at 11.00 a.m. at the Waldfriedhof Heerstraße in Berlin. Her daughter Kathleen Matei takes over her mother's business at the age of 48, which she continues in the artists' quarter as the Boarding House Florian.

April 2, 1954 

House owners of Giesebrechtstraße 11 "Hackenberger & Loll" have an architect draw up a floor plan of the Boarding House Zammit on the ground floor 


First publication of Walter Schellenberg's memoirs in the UK in English under the title "The Schellenberg Memoirs"


First publication of Peter Norden's documentary novel Salon Kitty

May 1975

Aged 69, Kathleen Matei tries to stop the release of the film Salon Kitty by Tinto Brass, taking legal action. 

March 1976

The film Salon Kitty by Tinto Brass celebrates its premiere in Italy 

February 4th, 1985 

On this day Jochem Matei meets his future wife Irena 

December 1985 

Civil wedding of Irena and Jochem Matei

February 4, 1986

Church wedding of Irena and Jochem Matei 

March 1992 

The property management company terminates Jochem Matei’s lease at Giesebrechtstraße 11 

August 23, 1992

Kathleen Matei dies at the age of 85

September 10, 1992 

Funeral of Kathleen Matei at 11.00 am at the Waldfriedhof Heerstraße in Berlin 


Jochem and Irena Matei move to Uhlandstraße 33 (Charlottenburg/Wilmersdorf), later to Wildenbruchstraße 90 (Neukölln district) 

November 1993

Director Rosa von Praunheim presents his documentary film Meine Oma hatte einen Nazipuff - - My Grandmother Had a Nazi Spy Brothel/

December 1995 

Jochem Matei talks about his plans for his book project Salon Kitty II - As It Really Was


Filmmaker Claus Räfle premiers his documentary film Salon Kitty

November 28, 2009 

Jochem Matei dies at the age of 67 in Berlin 

January 15, 2010 

Funeral of Jochem Matei at the forest cemetery Heerstraße in Berlin 


Irena Matei goes back to Slovenia and lives with her sister Miri Peraic 

September 2015

Irena Matei dies of cancer and is buried at the city cemetery Trzic in Slovenia