Anupam Bansal,
Malini Kochupillai

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Maholy Nagy

Internationale Zeitschrift
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Wilfried Wang,
Dan Sylvester

Hans Scharoun

Berlin 1956-1963



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                    Berlin: Hidden Places 

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Gründerzeit Museum in the Mahlsdorf Manor House


Registry Office

Gründerzeit Museum 

Villa von der Heydt

Villa Harteneck's Garden

Mittelhof Country-House


The steps leading up to the Mahlsdorf manor house are framed on both sides by red thorn trees pruned into spherical shapes. At the back, the old estate stretches out with its tall trees and bright flower meadows. Before Charlotte von Mahlsdorf  moved here in 1958, the ruined house was about to be pulled down, after numerous alterations and having been put to various uses. Charlotte, born in Mahlsdorf as Lothar Berfelde  was a transvestite, curator, maid, museum director, author and was awarded an Order of Merit. For decades, Charlotte devoted herself to the restoration of the old country villa, which is over two hundred years old. After only two years she opened her private Gründerzeit Museum in the first rooms to be renovated. In the 1970’s, the collection grew to 23 complete interiors and many single pieces. She commented that “nothing would have come to fruition if l had not had a feminine disposition in a masculine body. This museum is here because l played with dolls’ house furniture as a child, because I am still a cleaning lady today, because l enjoy this Gründerzeit period and because I always wanted to have a household around me.” In 1995, the expert and lover of the Gründerzeit took the last visitors around the museum herself and shortly afterwards moved to Sweden. Various circumstances led to this, among them an assault by Neonazis. The collection was bought by the city and since then has been managed by a trust. Even without the lady of the house, it is still a pleasure to be guided through the 5 living rooms, through the kitchen, washhouse, maid’s room, barrel-organ music room and the complete installation of the “Mulackritze,” the last “Zille-Kneipe” in Berlin. Every piece of furniture reflects the history of the passionate collector. Her dedication to her hobby and unusual preservation of historical buildings and monuments, against the resistance of GDR bureaucracy, are the subject matter of many an anecdote.



Address: Hultschiner Damm 333  12623 Berlin
Tel: +49 030 - 567 83 29  Fax: +49 030 - 565 94 873
Bus, Tube, Tram: S 5 Mahlsdorf; Bus 198; Tram 62
Hours of opening: Wed and Sun 10.00-18.00