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
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
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.
Prostitution is blamed for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis. In 1934, the majority of brothels are closed down.
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)
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.
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
Opening of Boarding House Schmidt at Giesebrechtstr. 11, the establishment that later goes down in history as Salon Kitty
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
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
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
Aged 69, Kathleen Matei tries to stop the release of the film Salon Kitty by Tinto Brass, taking legal action.
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
Civil wedding of Irena and Jochem Matei
February 4, 1986
Church wedding of Irena and Jochem Matei
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)
Director Rosa von Praunheim presents his documentary film Meine Oma hatte einen Nazipuff - - My Grandmother Had a Nazi Spy Brothel/
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
Irena Matei dies of cancer and is buried at the city cemetery Trzic in Slovenia