Gerhar Hauptmann Museum Erkner
Gerhart-Hauptmann-Str. 1-2
D-15537 Erkner

Stefan Rohlfs

academic assistent:
Sabine Seifert

Phone +49 (0)3362 3663
Fax +49 (0)3362 70 00 141

Opening hours
Tuesday - Sunday 11.00 – 17.00 h

Entry fee:
adults 2 €
Tours 10.00 €


Gerhart Hauptmann association

On June 6th, 1946, Gerhart Hauptmann died in his house,  „Wiesenstein“ in Agnetendorf, which has been under Polish custody since June of 1945. Six years after his death, friends and family, and celebrities of culture and economy got together and founded the Gerhart Hauptmann association on July 6th, 1952 in Baden-Baden.

The first chairman was author Carl Haensel, who was a good friend of Benvenuto Hauptmann. The close connection of the association with Gerhart Hauptmann’s youngest son and his wife Barbara Hauptmann was characteristic of the association’s early years. During the first years, its main concern was in securing all parts of Hauptmann’s estate – especially the hand-written estate, which was brought to West Germany in February/March of 1945, first under the supervision of
Felix A. Voigt and C.F.W. Behl (in Kemnath / Oberpfalz), and then entrusted to Benvenuto Hauptmann’s care, son of the poet’s second marriage.

Other parts of the estate were actually kept in East Berlin, where they landed after the deceased poet was brought to Stralsund via Berlin in July of 1946, where he came to his final resting place in Kloster on Hiddensee. When Benvenuto and Barbara Hauptmann decided to sell their share of the estate (it was kept in Ronco/Tessin), Prof. Dr. Helmut Külz (1903-1985), lawyer and executor of Gerhart Hauptmann’s will, made a profound contribution. He managed to convince the foundation Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian culture heritage) in West- Berlin to buy these precious documents for the hand-writing department of the state library „Prussian culture heritage“.

Dr. Martin Machatzke attended to the analysis of the rich material. He carried out important work within the German language and literature studies for the eleven volumes that comprised the Centennial Edition, first published in 1962 by Prof. Dr. Hans-Egon Hass, commemorating Hauptmann’s 100th Birthday. Furthermore, he began to publish Hauptmann’s notebooks and diaries.

After the work on The Hauptmanns’ estate and everything had been secured and finished around the end of the 1960s, things got a little quiet around and within the Gerhart Hauptmann association.
The Hauptmann family, especially Barbara Hauptmann, supported new activities in the 1970s. Well-known author, Wolfgang Paul, became the new chairman and transferred the associations’ home to Berlin in 1972.

Martin Machatzke (1933 - 1988) stood by his side for many years; the last position he held was as treasurer (until 1986) and later as Chairman. The Gerhart Hauptmann association always felt it was an important task to stay in contact with the Gerhart Hauptmann memorials in the former DDR, including East-Berlin: With the Gerhart-Hauptmann research and memorial (1958-1981) in the Märkischen Museum in Berlin, with the Gerhart Hauptmann memorial (founded in 1956) in Kloster on Hiddensee and with the Gerhart-Hauptmann-memorial (brought to life in 1962) in Erkner, which later became the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Museum (which on November 14th, 1987 it was handed over to public domain).
During the years of the division of Germany, only personal contacts were possible. Dr. Machatzke kept a close personal connection with the director of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Museums Erkner, Dr. Gustav Erdmann. He took part in the celebrations for Hauptmann’s 125th Birthday in 1987 in Erkner; and he helped expand the museum´s stock through purchases or donations.
After Martin Machatzke´s early death, Wolfgang Paul personally kept in contact with Dr. Erdmann.

Also, a my long-time friendship to Gustav Erdmann made it possible to maintain a good connection with the director of the Gerhart Hauptmann museum. The Gerhart Hauptmann Association had strong personal ties to the Gerhart Hauptmann memorial in Kloster on Hiddensee as well.
This wasn’t difficult because Dr Gustav Erdmann had been the research associate as a Hauptmann expert for this memorial for many years.

There were also strong ties contacts to Mrs. Dr. Sonja Kühne, has been the director of the memorial since 1986, even before the fall of the Berlin wall. The Gerhart Hauptmann Association also maintained good personal contact with Alfred Dreifuß, who was the director of Gerhart Hauptmann Research and Memorial at the Märkisches Museum between 1962 and 1977, and who helped to maintain a feeling of togetherness during the division of Germany, even when there were no possibilities of gaining easy access to the books and memorials which resided on the other half of Germany.

Until the fall of the wall, citizens of the DDR, including East Berlin, were not allowed to become official members of the Gerhart Hauptmann Association in Berlin, which was based on “the special political device of West Berlin”. The German Unification brought a lot of new members from the New Lander and from the eastern boroughs of Berlin, but this number still isn’t satisfactory; because of the special financial situation, these new members do not have to pay the full annual subscription.

Since the German Unification it has become possible to maintain a close relationship with the Gerhart Hauptmann memorials in Kloster (where the poet bought the “Seedorn” house in 1930) and Erkner, where he lived with his family from 1885 until 1889 at the Villa Lassen. Since November of 1990, the Association’s annual meeting takes place at the Gerhart Hauptmann Museum in Erkner.

The Association´s close connections didn´t change after Gustav Erdmann’s death in 1994. Sound connections were also maintained by his successors: Dr. Bernd Rühle, Manfred Wolter 1997 – 1999, and since the summer of 2000, Stefan Rohlfs.
Association member, Dr. Wolfgang Reuter, joined the advisory board of the museum and in March of 1998 the Gerhart Hauptmann Association joined the new promotion association corporately.
In spring of 1991, the management and members of the Association got together with the director of the Memorial, Dr Sonja Kühne, and the heirs of the “Seedorn” house, Anja Hauptmann and Dr. Arne Hauptmann, in Kloster on Hiddensee, to discuss the future of the Memorial. In early January 1993, the Gerhart Hauptmann association took over the temporary sponsorship of the “Seedorn” house, which could not have remained private property of the borough in Kloster. On January 1st, 1995, the Gerhart Hauptmann foundation, founded on April 14th, 1994, took over the final sponsorship; 2 members of the association are statutory members of the management of this foundation.

For several years, the association has also been committed to the “Wiesenstein” house in Agnetendorf. It has members in many European countries, as well as in America, Asia, and Australia, which makes for very extensive correspondence from time to time. Still the association will not stop at the idea that Gerhart Hauptmann is currently very popular around the world. There is a lot to do in this field – not just abroad! Its main goals are outlined in its charter as follows: “The aim of the Gerhart Hauptmann Association is to bring his work and person closer to the people, and to maintain the literature and research connected to him and his contemporaries. The association aims to achieve the remembrance of the life and work of Gerhart Hauptmann by supporting international research on Gerhart Hauptmann through publishing secondary literature, and holding conferences and meetings. To fullfill the goals of the charter, the association is working closely with the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Museum in Erkner and the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Memorial in Kloster on Hiddensee.
Members will be informed on the association’s activities through mailings. Additionally, our publications, released through the Erich Schmidt publishing house in Berlin, already contain ten volumes. All members receive a free issue. Our mailings are sent out three times a year to every member; they contain news and tips for events.  The board welcomes everyone who would like to become a member or would even like to participate in some area.

Office of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Association
Stefan Rohlfs
c/o Gerhart-Hauptmann-Museum Erkner
Gerhart-Hauptmann-Straße 1-2
15537 Erkner

Annual Fee:
30 EUR

Phone +49 (0)3362 36 63


At the archive in the Gerhart Hauptmann museum in Erkner, holds the complete written estate of the artist as well as a library.
Research is possible upon consultation with Harriet Hauptmann

Phone +49 (0)30 261 68 79 (in the evenings)