8Schiller's Residence

Schillerstraße 12

Black and white image of a wooden desk with six drawers, arranged three on each side. The desk is placed in front of a concrete wall with metal brackets.
Replica of Schiller's desk, 1999.

When the first heavy bombing raids were carried out on German cities in 1941, Friedrich Schiller's furniture was to be protected and safely stored as important cultural monuments. At the same time, the Schiller Museum was to be kept open to the public in order to demonstrate the importance of perservation to the war-weary "national community". On 17 February 1942, a consultation on the "protection of cultural sites, art
treasures and cultural assets" was held in Weimar. One of the measures decided upon was, that faithful copies of the house's furnishings were made and displayed while the originals were taken to the basement of the Nietzsche Memorial Hall's shell until the supposed final victory. The SS workshops in the Buchenwald concentration camp offered a pragmatic and favourable opportunity. The prisoners working there made 40 wooden boxes for storing smaller objects as well as replicas of Schiller's desk, bed, spinet and two
chairs. However, the original pieces first had to be brought to the concentration camp as samples. Schiller's furniture remained in Buchenwald for over a year. The city administration was extremely satisfied with the quality of the replicas and thanked the authorities for their co-operation. The Lord Mayor instructed that a plaque with the following text had to be placed in the Schiller House: "The furniture in Schiller's study and death room are faithful replicas of the originals that were brought to safety." After the end of the war, the original furniture was put back in the Schillerhaus. The copies were shown for the first time in the 1999 City of Culture year in the exhibition "Gezeichneter Ort. Goethe's view of Weimar and Thuringia" at the Buchenwald Memorial.