Villa Lassen during the course of time 

Time in pictures 

The industry borough of Erkner, located in the South-East of Berlin, was Hauptmann’s home between 1885 and 1889. Here, the young sculptor, who suffered pneumonia, discovered his true calling as an author. “Bound to the local landscape, I wrote “Carnival”, “Signalman Thiel” and my first drama, “Before Dawn” in Erkner. These four years have become the cornerstones of my work, so to speak.”
Places and people were backgrounds for many of Hauptmann’s works. For example, a tragic accident in February of 1887, where a family of three drowned in the Flankensee, formed the basis of the novella “Carnival”. Even in the thief comedy “The Beaver Coat” (1893) and its sequel “The Conflagration” (1911), the leading roles were inspired by then inhabitants of Villa Lassen; in “Lonely Lives” (1891) the villa itself became the main location, even if the book claims it’s a country house near Müggelsee in Friedrichshagen.
Since 1987, the old house is home to a Gerhart Hauptmann literature museum. The museum connects memorial elements with those of a biographical, historical, cultural museum, in which a comprehensive overview of Hauptmann’s life and work, in connection with the social, political, cultural, and historical literature flows of his time is displayed.
Simultaneously, his biography has been connected to the work, history, and impact of many artistic works by Käthe Kollwitz (who was a visitor at Villa Lassen in 1887), as well as Heinrich Vogeler, Heinrich Ehmsen, Charlotte E. Pauly, Johannes M. Avenarius, amongst others.
A research archive with over 30.000 pieces offers various options with which to contemplate Hauptmann and his work.