At home with Anna Seghers: the author’s apartment gives a vivid impression of her life and works.
"Seghers-Radvanyi" is the name on the downstairs door, and the nameplate shows the way to the former apartment and studio of the author Anna Seghers in Adlershof. When you enter the flat, it takes you back in time to the 1950s, when the author lived here with her husband and daughter.
Anna Seghers is most well-known for her novels The Seventh Cross and Transit Visa, which are some of the most important works of the time. She wrote nine long novels, as well as numerous short stories and essays.
Anna Seghers’s apartment
Anna Seghers moved into the flat in 1955 after having returned to Berlin from exile in 1947. As a Jew and a communist, she had been persecuted by the Nazis, who had also burnt her books. In 1933, she fled via Switzerland to France, and later went into exile in Mexico. After returning, she lived in the flat until her death in 1983. Even as president of the East German writers’ association, she did not change anything, and continued to live in this modest apartment.
Anna Seghers particularly loved the balcony – which she called her “crow’s nest” because it felt like being on a ship. She used to like writing there with a view of the trees.
Since the author’s death, the flat has been run by the Akademie der Künste as a memorial centre, since 2018 as a museum.
The apartment – and all its furnishings – has been left exactly as it was when she lived there. It is simply decorated, with lots of warm wood and souvenirs from her exile in Mexico. It’s as if Anna Seghers has just gone out. Her writing desk with her typewriter and glasses bears witness to her work as an author. The library contains 10,000 volumes.
There is a small exhibition with first editions of her books, photographs and letters, and her voice can be heard on sound recordings. Readings are held in the flat, and the intimate surroundings give them a special atmosphere.
Information for schools
The museum can only be visited as art of a guided tour. Classes of more than eight are split into groups for the tour.