The Ring Clubs
The 1920s Ring Clubs in Germany are a fascinating topic. All over the world and during all times criminals have been forming gangs to support each other and enhance their "business". But seldom did organized crime act such open and as much respected by authorities and society as in interwar Berlin.
For a brief period in time, these "guilds of gentleman criminals" (as they would think of themselves) ruled the underworld of the city.
Nowadays the Ring Clubs and their members are almost forgotten, as are their - often brutal and horrible, non-gentleman-like - crimes. But in their heydays, they gathered great fame and inspired numerous works of fiction, glorifying or condemning them.
One of the most well-known early depictions of the Ring Clubs of Berlin might be the 1931 film "M" by Fritz Lang, about a child murderer, hunted by police and gangsters.
It is based on a true story and has several real-life Ring Club members as extras.
Lang was also “convinced” by the leader of the Ring Club Immertreu to hire him and other Immertreu members as “bodyguards and advisers”, to make sure “nothing bad happens to the production”.