Scene Report Eisenhuettenstadt

I’ve got quite a hard task to write a scene report about East Germany or the entire country. But never mind, I ordered a report about the Czech Republic, too.
And now I’m sitting in front of my Computer and start to write. I’ve thought a lot how to write as best such a statement. But from the beginning on I knew it gonna be damn hard to write about one of the world’s biggest scenes which is arranged in so many groups, towns, cities and regions.
To be subjective, not to mess around with someone or even fake the truth is definitely not easy. Finely I decided to write about my hometown Eisenhuettenstadt ‘cause I know that place as best.
Right, let me tell a story about a town with deep roots on the edge but in heart of East Germany with a small but very interesting scene and its history.

Eisenhuettenstadt - The town and the Punk

Eisenhuettenstadt was the first town build in the time of socialism. It was one of the most precious exhibits of the GDR. The town had a special significance and the habitants got social benefits other people could just dream about. It was built beside a steel mill which was called Eisenhuettenkombinat Ost (EKO). The workers were ordered from all about the country. They got good offers like good jobs, nice flats or houses, a pleasant environment, just a higher quality of life. The town was growing and growing and 1989 when they put the wall down there were approximately 62.500 habitants.

In the late 80’s punk had finally reached East Germany and left some footprints in Eisenhuettenstadt as well. At this time the scene was nothing to speak of because there were just a few and they didn’t even really know each other.
The fundamental idea was the rebellion against the system and society with their old fashioned views. We had rights and freedom but the rights so restricted if you opened your mouth to question something they spied on you.
The east German Punks listened to the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Exploited, Ramones, even west German stuff like Slime or Toxoplasma and the first east German Bands like Schleimkeim, KVD or Lattentat. I think they had pretty much a good view about the scene even though everything was new and unknown. And then there were coming up the first punk bands in town. For example: LANDESWUT, ANUS PRAETER, BRECHREIZ.
ANUS PRAETER was Crust-Punk band and released 3 EPs (one of them was a split with a Brazilian Crust-Punk band) on their own. The played all over in Germany. It’s still the best known Punk band from Eisenhuettenstadt. LANDESWUT and BRECHREIZ played a style we call “Deutschpunk”. It’s a style which is only played by German bands with a significant beat and method of singing.

But beside that another scene was growing, too …

The opposite subculture (boys with the cropped hair)

I guess it was between ’92 and ’93 when the skinhead boom started in Eisenhuettenstadt when almost every yob who wanted be a tough guy cut his hair off and bought a MA1 bomber jacket and shoes with steel caps.
Even though I’ve got my first punk tape around 1990/91 I was more interested in that skinhead thing. In comparison to the Punks the so called skinheads had no clear vision and no background knowledge about their subculture. It was more kind of rebellion against everything that seemed to be weak, bourgeois and especially left wing. It was a simple game: Punks are all left wing and skinheads are all right wing. The media’s lies added fuel to the fire. And so everyone who wanted to be right wing became a skinhead and everyone who wanted to be left wing became a punk. There were many bloody battles between punks and boneheads. Our boneheads listened to bands like Endstufe, Störkraft, Kahlkopf and so on. But also non-fascist bands like Rabauken, Bierpatrioten and Springtoifel were popular in this scene. Some of those people are no more boneheads but still like this kind of music. Some of them became mainstream.

My first contact with the subculture

In 1995 we seriously got interested the skinhead cult. We organized some relevant clothes and called ourselves Bootboys, because this time we had no crop. Not a clue about the spirit. It took ca. 1 year till we cut off our hair and began to think about the history of what we were trying to be. But it was hard to find information because we didn’t know who to ask. Thanks to the journalist Klaus Farin who wrote a few objective books about the skinheads with all their political attitudes. There we found the first contact addresses and started to write letters – yes letters – there was no internet. So we could order our first real skinhead music and the old tapes with RAC music were banned from our stereos.

The Cafe Olè and the union of the subcultures

I think it must have been in early 90s when the first Oi!-Skins appeared in Eisenhuettenstadt but we didn’t know them. In 1994 the Club “Café Olé” was founded. It was the first self-managed youth club for punks. In the following years German bands like Dritte Wahl, Lousy, O. B., Manos, Bierpatrioten, Crusaders and Roimungstrupp played in this club. Also many foreign bands like the well known Operace Artaban had a gig in there. From the beginning of 2005 to the middle of 2007 my girlfriend Maria, some friends of mine and me organised some concerts in the Café Olé. Sometimes there were up to 150 people from bikers, hools, punks, skinheads and other subcultures. These were the greatest times of this club but unfortunately the Café Olé closed in 2007. Now an important part of subculture is missing in our town. But me and some friends are trying to found a new institution for subculture and music with an own recording studio, practice rooms for bands and a youth club.

Steeltown Records / Fanzine “Lockenkopf”

In 2006 Maria set up a label named Steeltown Records what has a good influence on the scene and represents our local scene beyond the town.
I released the first “Lockenkopf” in 2006 as well. It’s a Fanzine about Oi!, Punk, Hardcore and a lot more. At the moment I’m working on the fourth issue which will hopefully be finished before this report is released.


Today, there is a big offspring in the punkscene. Some of my friends are young skinheads and I think they’ll maintain that way of life.
There’re a few young bands like Reaction Rubbish or Flachmänner, who are trying by themselves to find their way in the big scene of Germany.
But there’re even more young bands who want to get out of their practice rooms and play on stages. The best known Oi!-Band and the only one from Eisenhuettenstadt is Roimungstrupp. I’m the drummer and we’re playing for more than 10 years till now. Some of you might have seen us playing at the 7th Streetkids Party in Brno this year. Roimungstrupp has released 3 albums on CD and 2 on vinyl. You can listen to us on many samplers, too. We’ve played more than 50 times in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Most of the fascist freaks aren’t disguised as skinheads anymore what makes the life in our town just more livable for me. I’m proud to be a part of this town and its scene.

I hope you enjoyed my little story. Here are some websites where you can find more information about the bands mentioned in this report.

Catch you around!

Thomas (