About the Kleist-Museum

An eventful past

The history of the museum's treatment of Heinrich von Kleist began in 1922, when the city of Frankfurt an der Oder set up a memorial room in the house where he was born. In the following year, a so-called book room was added, in which the library of the Kleist researcher Ottomar Bachmann, which had already been purchased in 1919, was placed.

In 1937, the two memorial rooms had to be moved to the Oderland Museum (Lienau House) for structural reasons. Both Kleist's birthplace and the Lienau House were destroyed by fire in April 1945. Most of the objects (including loans from the von Kleist family) and the library survived the war and could be presented again in the Kleist Memorial, which opened on 12 July 1953. This memorial, also consisting of two rooms, was located in the building of today's city library and belonged to the city archive.

In 1963, the Kleist Memorial was given independent status with the appointment of a scientific director and five years later moved into the late Baroque building of the former Garrison School, built in the year of Kleist's birth. The building was officially opened as a Kleist memorial and research centre on 20 September 1969 and presented the first conceptually designed permanent exhibition on Heinrich von Kleist in five rooms on the upper floor.

In 1999/2000, the building was completely renovated. On 15 October 2000, the building, now called the Kleist Museum, was reopened with the new permanent exhibition 'Life - Work - Impact'.

The long-cherished plan for an extension was realised after a Europe-wide competition between 2011 and 2013 (ground-breaking ceremony on 4 March 2011 and handover on 17 July 2013). The opening of the house and the new permanent exhibition "Rätsel.Kämpfe.Brüche" took place on 17 October 2013. The extension, which is connected to the old building on the ground and first floors via two glass passageways, provides barrier-free access to the baroque building. In addition to doubling the exhibition space, the safe storage of the collections is now guaranteed.