Berber (1899 - 1928) was a German dancer, actress, writer,
and prostitute from Berlin. She lived during the Weimar period. By the time she was 16, she had moved to Berlin and made her debut as a cabaret dancer. By 1918 she was working in film, and she began dancing nude in 1919. She was scandalous, androgynous and
infamous, quickly making a name for herself on the Berlin scene.
In 1925, the German painter Otto Dix painted a portrait of
her, titled "The Dancer Anita Berber".
Berber's cocaine addiction and bisexuality were matters of public chatter. She was allegedly the sexual slave of a woman and the woman's 15-year-old
daughter. She could often be seen in Berlin's hotel lobbies, nightclubs
and casinos, naked apart from an elegant sable wrap, with a pet monkey
and a silver brooch packed with cocaine. Besides being a cocaine
addict, she was an alcoholic, but at the age of 29, gave up both
suddenly and completely. According to Mel Gordon in The Seven
Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber, she was diagnosed with
galloping tuberculosis while performing abroad. She died on November
10, 1928 in a Kreuzberg hospital and was buried at St. Thomas cemetery
A 1987 film by Rosa von Praunheim titled Anita - Tänze des Lasters
centres around the life of Anita Berber.