Day 8: Exploring Weimar
Exploring Weimar is anything else but just a sight seeing tour. You need to be ready to be confronted with any kind of thing – from politics, through Philosophy, art works in music, architecture and literature – up to crimes against single people, groups, races, religions and humanity.
Weimar is diverse – has always been, is today and as far as I can see, it will be in the future.
After seeing Goethe’s garden house yesterday, we chose to visit four museums today – all with a different perspective and theme.
- Bauhaus Museum
- Nietzsche Archive
- Neues Museum Weimar
- Gingko Museum
Bauhaus has been a rather short lived trial to build up a ‘New Style’ in teaching and put in service of craftsmen’s ship. Architecture, art design and production after World War 1. Coming from designers as Van der Velde and Gropius with their rather distinct socialist mindset, it was a wave of new thinking, revolutionizing, designing and restarting mass production of individual goods in Germany. This went from houses, things of daily life use to rooms, chairs, tables, art pieces up to the organisation how to give training to achieve these ideas. Nothing was really forbidden, so many substreams were formed – even introducing different religious formats for professors and students – called masters and trainees. Unfortunately, this created a lot of friction with other people – who were thinking that a more nationalistic approach would be better. Eventually after five, six years Bauhaus was discontinued due to the raising political pressure – and some years later, even prohibited under the NS regime.
For me, Bauhaus has been very courageous for the 1920s and showed a forward, future directed vision. Things are in use today that Bauhaus claimed first. I would even claim the sentence ‘Without Bauhaus principles, today’s IKEA furniture would not exist’ as my true own opinion. Clear as well that they did not have loads of friends during this time. It was only a question of time until backward thinkers and people with a view towards the past took over and removed/prohibited those ideas.
We continued by having a look at the Nietzsche Archive. Another very interesting personality and philosopher at the end of the 19th century. His ideas were bright, under discussion and thought towards the future. However, Nietzsche became sick and developed a mental disorder the eventually killed him – the year 1900 saw his passing in Weimar. His sister, who cleverly took custody of all of his belongings, writings and ideas has then done something very awkward. She changed certain pieces as such that it could be interpreted as if Nietzsche was predicting the NS time with its racial, religious and human crimes due to the dominance of the Aryan race. This has clearly not been in the interest of Nietzsche at all – but has put his sister in position of power and economical success during the NS time. Even the highest level were communicating and visiting her. In the archive, original telegrams and letters of Hitler and Mussolini are on display. The contradiction is interesting. It needs to be noted that the inner design of Nietzsche’s house has been completed by Van der Velde – later connected with Gropius and the Bauhaus style.
After some ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’, we continued our museum visits at the Neues Museum. Many sculptures and pictures of contemporary art are on display here. Very enjoyable to see and enjoy.
On the way back to our hotel, we have been passing many pictures of witnesses – inmates of KZ Buchenwald – depicting the brutality of the NS regime and architectural modifications of Weimar during this time.
We shortly dropped in the Gingko Museum and bought some remembering pieces for this incredible stay in this charming city. With the brain full of positive, negative, intriguing and sometimes even sad impressions, we retired and took a lovely dinner in our hotel to close the day.
Weimar is a ‘must visit’ for me. In today’s perspective, it is a true European city with a lot of developing history, mind changing thoughts and a requirement to walk through the city with an open eye and ear all the time.
A clear indication that we need to come back to this town.
Tomorrow, we continue to Bamberg.