It’s not true that the Germans are unromantic; The Bavarian takes me out somewhere special once a week. This week we went to Dorotheenstädtischer cemetery off Chausseestraße in Berlin Mitte, where almost every prominent body in Berlin rests, including…
Bertolt Brecht, novelist and playwright
10 February 1898–14 August 1956
Brecht’s second wife, actress Helene Weigel, is buried next to him. Their house, at Chausseestrasse 125, overlooks the cemetery and is open to visitors.
Heinrich Mann, novelist and brother of Thomas Mann
27 March 1871 – 11 March 1950
Nearby is a tablet in memorial of his wife Nelly Mann (15 February 1898 – 17 December 1944), who committed suicide in Los Angeles. Heinrich Mann also died in the USA and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica. His remains were relocated here in 1961.
Johannes Rau, former President of Germany between 1999 and 2004, and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1978 to 1998.
16 January 1931 – 27 January 2006
Rau’s personal motto was “teneo, quia teneor”: I hold because I am held.
Johannes R Becher, novelist, expressionist poet and politician
22 May 1891 – 11 October 1958
The inscription roughly translates to: Completion of a dream, Have I completed my work ends, if not as accomplished. For this was my work sacred mission: service to humanity Future completion.
Anna Seghers, novelist, short story writer and essayist
19 November 1900– 1 June 1983
Anna Seghers (pseudonym of Netty Radványi) is most famous for the novels The Seventh Cross (1942) and Transit (1944), which deal with Nazi persecution. She herself fled to Marseilles and Mexico because of the Nazis, and returned to Berlin in 1947.
Arnold Zweig, novelist, journalist, polititian
10 November 1887 – 26 November 1968
Zweig fled Germany when the Nazis came to power like many of the writers buried here – he spent time with Anna Seghers and Bertolt Brecht during his time in exile.
Karl Friedrich Schinkel, architect, urban planner, painter and stage designer
13 March 1781 – 9 October 1841
Responsible for some of Berlin’s greatest buildings including the Altes Museum and the Shauspielhaus. Before the second world war it was said that he who knew Berlin knew Schinkel.
Friedrich Hitzig, architect and student of Karl Friedrich Schinkel
8 November 1811 – 11 October 1881
Another great Berlin architect – he is responsible for the Berlin Armory (now the German Historical Museum) on Unter den Linden among others.