Friedrich Wilhelm Vitt
born 1880 – died 1970
Group of pub regulars, Stammtisch “Ruhige Ecke” – 1931 to 1941
To forget everyday pressures through lively conversation
On the 11th of July 1931, a number of regular pub-goers form the “Ruhige Ecke” group in Magdeburg. The members adopt detailed rules with a treasurer, “banner warden” (responsible for the group’s flag), “tank attendant” (who made sure everyone was supplied with drink), visitors’ councillor (who looked after visitors) and “umpire” – in charge of dealing with outsiders. The author Friedrich Wilhelm Vitt took over as president.
He was a metal-worker by trade, a train driver and later manager at an engineering works in Magdeburg until his retirement in 1945. He kept the minutes of the weekly meetings and carefully recorded the generally brief “business” part of the “meetings” in two fat notebooks. Entries mainly revolve around planning joint meals, outings or birthday celebrations.
What’s unusual is the way the two books of minutes have been laid out, with various drawings, cartoons and “beer boots” that convey a clear impression of the upbeat mood during the group’s cosy get-togethers.
In their rules and regulations, the members note:
The purpose of the meetings, which shall be held from 5 pm to 8 pm every Saturday, is to forget everyday pressures through lively conversation.
Members may discuss anything and everything, but no card playing is permitted during meetings. Any decent and well-conducted citizen may become a member, but the Stammtisch may not have more than 12 regular members.
All depictions: © Gerhard Seitz, Das Deutsche Tagebucharchiv e.V.