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Authors, expressionists and political extremes in an idyllic small town

Friedenau, founded in 1874: In the middle-class idyll of small country villas and old buildings with attractive Art Nouveau facades and front gardens, successful authors, well-known painters and sculptors as well as politicians of all stripes have lived for the past 100 years.

art:berlin - Landhauskolonie Friedenau  - Literaten, Künstler, Revoluzzer
art:berlin - Landhauskolonie Friedenau - Literaten, Künstler, Revoluzzer © David Varnhold

The expressionists Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, Otto Müller and Ludwig Meidner as well as Hans Baluschek painted in imaginatively furnished roof studios. In Görresstraße there was a sculptor's yard nicknamed Klein-Carrara. In the Ceciliengärten housing estate, Kolbe's sculptures of evening and morning face each other.

After Kurt Tucholsky and Erich Kästner lived here during the Nazi era, an illustrious crew of German-speaking authors moved to Friedenau in the late 1960s and 70s, who drank, discussed and wanted to change the society of the FRG in “literary pubs and clubs”. Today and then people shop at the market on Breslauer Platz.

There were arguments and got along (or not): Günter Grass, Uwe Johnson, Hans-Magnus Enzensberger, Max Frisch, etc. Grass and Herta Müller Friedenauer received the Nobel Prize for Literature twice.

The idyll is deceptive; Politically it was often uneasy here: the RAF carried out its first bank robbery, Rosa Luxemburg cooked for the Kautsky family and Hermann Göring grew up in a cruet á trois. Goebbels and Theodor Heuss lived on Fregestraße. In the “Einküchehaus” on Wilhelmshöher Strasse, the political resistance of the Rote Kapelle formed.

You will also hear about the “Friedenauer Rad” and the establishment of the first boy group, the Comedian Harmonists. Finally, we visit Marlene, Helmut Newton and Jeanne Mammen at their final resting place: the Friedenau cemetery.
Additional information
Meeting point: in front of the S-Café, Bahnhofstraße 4C, 12159 Berlin S Friedenau
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