Prominent residents of the Hansaviertel: where Lovis Corinth, Heinrich George and Else Lasker-Schüler once lived.
Those who lived in the Hansaviertel during the imperial period and the Weimar Republic had attained a high degree of social standing: the Hansaviertel had a distinguished, middle-class and financially strong population. Politicians, officers, merchants, lawyers, doctors, bankers, artists and people of independent means appreciated the location close to the city, the good transport connections and the proximity to Park Bellevue and the Tiergarten. The Hansaviertel, like other bourgeois quarters in Berlin since the founding of the Reich in 1871, experienced an upswing and became a sought-after prestigious address as Berlin developed into a metropolis and became the economic, political and cultural center of the German Empire.
Count Botho zu Eulenburg, Prussian Prime Minister from 1892 to 1894, officers and generals, a minister of state, a district president and wealthy factory owners lived in one of the most elegant streets of the old Hansaviertel, Brückenstraße near Park Bellevue. (1) Another example of a prominent inhabitant of the Hansaviertel is Julius Carl Raschdorff, who lived right next to the Tiergarten in Handelallee 12 from 1886 until his death in 1914. Raschdorff, architect and professor at the Technical University of Charlottenburg, had been commissioned by Emperor Wilhelm II to design and build the Berlin Cathedral on the Lustgarten opposite the Royal Palace, and which was to serve as the Hohenzollern’s tomb and main Protestant church. Built in the neo-Renaissance style between 1894 and 1905, it became a major work of historicism, and during its creation it sparked fierce controversy among artists seeking something new. One of the leading minds in the debates about new art was the the painter Lovis Corinth, who was co-founder of the Berlin Secession and its chairman from 1911 , and who lived and worked at Klopstockstraße 48, not far from Raschdorff, between 1901 and 1925. Leading artistic personalities visited his studio, such as the writer Gerhard Hauptmann and the painter Max Liebermann, who was president of the Akademie der Künste and founder of the Berlin Secession.
An important artistic center of the Hansaviertel was the Atelierhaus in Siegmunds Hof 11, built by the Berlin architects Wilhelm Boeckmann and Hermann Ende. Many artists lived and worked here, among them the animal sculptor August Gaul, the sculptor and medalist Walther Schmarje and the sculptor Hugo Lederer. Popular artists’ festivals and exchanges of ideas were held in Lederer’s studios, which the Berlin artist and illustrator Heinrich Zille also visited. Lederer was also a close friend of the social critic Käthe Kollwitz, an artist and sculptor who had her workshop in the Atelierhaus from 1912 to 1924.
At the end of the 19th century several people lived in the Hansaviertel who later became influential personalities in their respective genres. In the 1890s, Else Lasker-Schüler, later poet, playwright and pioneer of women’s rights, lived here. Coming from bourgeois Jewish society, she increasingly broke with conventional ties and plunged into the Berlin bohemian scene, eventually becoming the driving force behind it. The writer Kurt Tucholsky spent his early childhood in the Hansaviertel, and the actor and director Max Reinhardt lived here between 1896 and 1900, when he was setting out to become one of the most important innovators in theater. In the 1920s, Heinrich George, one of the most famous actors and directors of the Weimar Republic, lived in the Hansaviertel for a short time. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, who was to change the world under the pseudonym Lenin, also appreciated the pleasant environment of the quarter. He stayed at Flensburger Straße 22 in the summer of 1895, used the Berlin libraries for his studies and enjoyed his daily swim in the Spree. (2)
Only a few years later, between 1898 and 1900, the future revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg lived in the Hansaviertel, too. Nelly Sachs, the poet, writer and future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, lived in the Hansaviertel from childhood until 1940, when she was forced as a Jew to leave Germany and emigrate to Sweden.
This flowering of cultural life came to an end in the Hansaviertel as a result of the National Socialists’ doctrinaire art policy and the persecution and murder of its many Jewish inhabitants (link to Jewish neighbors). After the Second World War, the Hansaviertel was a sea of debris until 1953, when the competition for the reconstruction of the Hansaviertel was announced. As part of the International Building Exhibition Interbau (link to Interbau), the Hansaviertel was turned into a demonstration area designed to reflect the new democratic and more egalitarian social order. Instead of prestigious architecture, housing based on social principles and consisting of smaller units was created, which fundamentally changed the resident population.
Dr. Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann
Map of the Hansaviertel ca. 1900
Click on a names to see the address on the map.
- Ernst Toller 1893–1939 expressionist writer Altonaer Straße 4
- Mathilde Jacob 1873–1940 assistant to Rosa Luxemburg Schreibbüro Altonaer Straße 11
- Prof. Ludwig Marcuse 1894–1971 literary critic, journalist, philosopher Bachstraße 10
- Graf Botho von Eulenburg 1831–1912 politician, Prussian Minister President Brückenallee 2
- Dr. Phil. Leo Arons 1860–1919 physicist, politician Brückenallee 3
- Else Lasker-Schüler 1869–1945 writer, poet, painter Brückenallee 16
- Carl Sternheim 1878–1942 writer, dramatist Brückenallee 30, Altonaer Straße 28 in his youth
- Hermann Struck 1876–1944 painter, etcher, book illustrator Brückenallee 33
- Max Reinhardt 1873–1943 actor, director Claudiusstraße 6
- Alexander Granach 1890–1945 actor Cuxhavener Straße 2
- Rosa Luxemburg 1870–1919 political figure, revolutionary socialist Cuxhavener Straße 2
- Petro Werhun 1890–1957 Catholic priest Cuxhavener Straße 7 Schleswiger Ufer 6
Wladimir Ilitisch Uljanow genannt Lenin
Flensburger Straße 22,
Dr. phil. Robert Dohme
art historian, director of
the Nationalgalerie Händelallee 1 Villa Dohme
Prof. Julius Raschdorff
architect in Berlin and Cologne,
work includes the Berliner Händelallee 12
- Alfred Kerr 1867–1943 journalist, theater critic Holsteiner Ufer 17
- Kurt Tucholsky 1890–1935 writer Holsteinisches Ufer 46 in his youth
- Hans Baluschek 1870–1935 painter, graphic artist Klopstockstraße 24
- Lovis Corinth 1858–1925 painter, etcher, lithographer Klopstockstraße 48
- Walter Leistikow 1865–1908 landscape artist Klopstockstraße 48
- Heinrich George 1873–1946 actor, director Klopstockstraße 48
- Ernst Koerner 1846–1927 landscape and naval artist Klopstockstraße 54
- Prof. Adolf Wagner 1835–1917 economist Lessingstraße 5
- Pamela Wedekind 1906–1986 actress Lessingstraße 50 daughter of Frank Wedekind
- Johann Gottfried Siegmund 1792–1865 banker, business, purveyor to the court Siegmunds Hof (owner)
- Käthe Kollwitz 1867–1945 graphic artist, sculptress Siegmunds Hof 11 (studio)
- Nelly Sachs 1891–1970 writer, poet Siegmunds Hof 16, Lessingstraße 33
- Gabriele Tergit 1894–1982 writer Siegmunds Hof 22
- Carl Friedrich von Graefe 1787–1840 ophthalmologist Villa Finkenherd (see memorial in the park, to the right of the church)
- Albrecht von Graefe 1828–1870 ophthalmologist Villa Finkenherd