Upon returning from Zurich in 1917, Richard Huelsenbeck discovered Berlin’s social atmosphere very favorable to the creation of the Dada movement. The magazines Die Neue Jugend and Die Freie Strasse in particular, provided a rich medium for the distribution of revolutionary and progressive ideas. With the help of Franz Jung, Huelsenbeck created at first a community of artists around George Grosz, John Heartfield and Raoul Hausmann. In his first short speech given on 18 February 1918 in the New Secession Hall in Berlin, Huelsenbeck announced the foundation of Club Dada: "Dada is a club created in Berlin which you can join free of any obligation. Everyone is President ..." Nihilist, his address ends with these words: "[...] being against the obvious means being Dadaist". In his 'Pamphlet gegen die Weimarische Lebensauffassung', published in Der Einzige in 1919 in Berlin, Hausmann also discussed the ideological principles of the Club: "During the war Club Dada represented the world’s international, it is an international and anti-bourgeois movement. [...] Club Dada is a revolt against the intellectual worker".
In a spirit similar to that of Johannes Baader, who in February 1918 proclaimed himself 'President of the Society of Interllurical Surdadaist Nations', Club Dada actually came into existence at Franz Jung’s home in March 1918. Huelsenbeck, Jung and Hausmann founded the Club. Grosz, Golyscheff, composer and artist, Baader and Mehring, writer, joined them. Modeled on the numerous clubs born following the revolution of November 1918, Club Dada promoted political stability in a very unstable political environment and protected itself from censure behind its ludicrous name – the first club meeting actually occurred in secret.
Sophie Bernard, 'Berlin Club Dada', published in the catalogue Dada (Editions du Centre Pompidou : Paris 2005) 144-145 and translated from the French text. The translation was part of the Press Pack, published by MNAM Centre Pompidou 2005, p. 62-63 [Courtesy MNAM Centre Pompidou].
Postcard for Club Dada by Johannes Baader and Raoul Hausmann, c. 1919.
'Berlin Club Dada', published in the catalogue Dada (Editions du Centre Pompidou : Paris 2005) 144-145 and translated from the French text. The translation was part of the Press Pack, published by MNAM Centre Pompidou 2005, p. 62-63.