Berlins Playboy Rolf Eden vor einem Pressegespräch am Donnerstag (13.09.2012) im Hotel Radisson Blu in Berlin. Eden veröffentlicht am Samstag (15.09.2012) seine Autobiografie "Immer nur Glück gehabt". Foto: Florian Kleinschmidt dpa/lbn (zu dpa-Korr: "Deutschlands letzter Playboy: Rolf Eden legt Memoiren vor" vom 19.09.2012) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

He embodied the hedonistic post-war West Berlin: Rolf Eden was considered “Germany’s last playboy”. The Berlin original died on Thursday at the age of 92. This was announced by his family. The “image” had previously reported.

The Kurfürstendamm was his territory. In 1957, the bon vivant founded his first club, the “Eden Saloon” on Nestorstraße, corner of Ku’damm – he was just 27 years old. Over the years he collected discotheques and nightclubs as well as beautiful women by his side. The first German Playboy Club was also part of his empire. He sold his last restaurant, the “Big Eden”, in 2002.

By then, Eden had also amassed a sizeable real estate fortune. And he also liked to flaunt his wealth – appearing in a Rolls-Royce, preferably as a convertible with an open top – was considered good manners.

But the great glamor was preceded by an eventful and also threatened youth: He was born as Rolf Sigmund Sostheim on February 6, 1930 in Tempelhof, the eldest of two sons, he gave himself the name Eden at the age of 17. His parents were Jews, they left Germany in 1933, the year the Nazis seized power. All members of his family left early, which is why the family completely escaped the Holocaust.

The family emigrated to Tel Aviv. At the age of 18, Eden fought as a soldier in a special unit in the first Arab-Israeli war alongside Yitzchak Rabin, who later became Prime Minister.

Apparently, this youth fell away from him without a trace like the first short-lived marriage, when he moved to Paris, worked as a waiter there, played the piano and finally heard from Berlin that returnees can count on 6,000 marks, cash on hand. A good ten years after the end of the Second World War, Eden returned to Berlin.

The money became Eden’s seed capital, which he used to become a major nightclub owner. Eden branded the clubs and the clubs him. The “Eden Playboy Club” or the “Big Eden” became temples for the Berliners who craved entertainment and ease during the economic boom. Eden was considered the inventor of discotheques in West Germany, also ran nightclubs and turned the Ku’damm into an entertainment boulevard.

He influenced West Berlin nightlife with his clubs, he is said to have partied with the Rolling Stones and danced with Ella Fitzgerald. Anyone who went on a class trip to West Berlin in the 1980s had to go to the “Big Eden” on Kurfürstendamm.

Eden liked to show himself surrounded by beautiful dancers and young women who visited his bars. In the 1950s, the ladies gave him the title Playboy, and word of it then got around to the press, he once said. This is how the PR genius turned his passion into a business model: the more women’s stories there were, the better to stay in touch. He also acted in about 30 films.

Years ago, Eden put the number of his lovers at more than a thousand. For his monthly maintenance payments, he once named 30,000 euros for seven children by seven women.

Filmmaker Peter Dörfler documented the eventful life of Eden in his film “The Big Eden”. The film ran at the Berlinale. Eden said of himself that he was both a playboy and a businessman.