Anupam Bansal,
Malini Kochupillai

Architectural Guide


Maholy Nagy

Internationale Zeitschrift
Für Visuelle Kultur

( English, German, French, Czech)


Wilfried Wang,
Dan Sylvester

Hans Scharoun

Berlin 1956-1963



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Kleist - Grab (Kleist's Grave)


The Arts' Ruin

Mittelhof Country-House

Kleist's Grave

Gallery Mutter Fourage

Exotic Herb Garden


Kleist‘s grave is hidden by a narrow wooded strip, bordered by the neighbouring rowing clubs at Numbers two and four Bismarckstraße. The sloping site is half parkland and half uncultivated, with some dramatic features. A path, lined with yew trees, leads to the grave which is on a small hill halfway between the road and the lake. It is suprisingly modest: only an iron railing, the bare tombstone, a beautiful tall oak tree and occasionally floral tributes. The lines of the regional writer, Max Ring, – ”He lived, sang and suffered / in gloomy and difficult times / he sought death here / and found immortality. Matt.6 verse 12.“ – were replaced in 1941 by a line taken from Kleist‘s Prinz von Homburg: ”Now, Immortality, you belong to me.” With this Aryanisation of the memorial, the Jewish poet’s verses and his allusions to suicide vanished from the gravestone. 
One reaches the water of the Kleine Wannsee by means of a steep winding flight of steps. Nearby there used to be a popular meeting place for Berlin artists, where about two hundred years ago, Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel spent the last hours of their lives writing letters, drinking tea and wine. A few years after their suicide in November 1811, one of the younger Brothers Grimm reported that a circle of twenty poplar trees surrounded both graves. There is also talk of pine branches which were laid on the graves, and of a sturdy young oak which grew between them. Henriette Vogel‘s grave disappeared soon after, and has been ignored ever since. Her last letter to her husband sounds like a premonition; she wrote: „ not separate Kleist and me when we are dead.”
A period of neglect was succeeded by repeated attempts to give the poet a worthy memorial site. In 1889, poet Theodor Fontane described how Kleist‘s grave had become a much-visited pilgrimage site since the opening of the train line to Wannsee. In 1980, the first indication of Kleist‘s companion was installed, several hundred metres from his grave, at the beginning of Bismarckstraße. For the 200th anniversary of Kleist’s death, in 2011, an open tender has been announced to redesign the grave.














Address: Bismarckstr. 2-4, 14109 Berlin
Bus, Tube, Tram: S1, S7 Wannsee; Bus 114, 118, 218, 316, 318 Wannseebrücke