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Information bulletin
(June 1951)

Ball, Robert P.
Goethe house restored,   pp. [3]-6 PDF (2.6 MB)


Page [4]


of the ruins like the hope of free men for a new Germanr.
The spirit of Frankfurt's most famous son, bombed out
like so many of his countrymen, once more had a place
to lay his head.
At the dedication ceremony in the sunlit music room
the speakers struck Goethe chords. Johann Georg Hart-
mann, who had pushed the restoration project through
the Frankfurt City Council and spearheaded the gathering
of funds for the work, could report with pleasure a job
well done and invoke Goethe's hope of peace and under-
standing in the world. Underlining Frankfurt's paternal
pride in Goethe, Mayor Walter Kolb picked up the
Goethian sense of cultural heritage. For President Theo-
dor Heuss of the Federal Republic Goethe's insistence
on intellectual freedom was of top importance. He point-
ed out that the Frankfurt Goethe House has a double task
so long as the Goethe Ilouse in Weimar is surrounded
by a regime of uin-Goethian compulsion.
Speaking for the Allied high commissioners, John J.
McCloy, US High Commissioner for Germany, noted that
Goethe was international in spirit and, as a private
citizen, interested in the political life of his country -
two qualities which Germans of today could well emulate.
Outside, beyond the range of Goethe words and Haydn
music, the curious residents of Frankfurt peered up aL
A corner of the large kitchen in the old Goethe homne,
a spacious room with copper pots, pans and other uteri-
sils gleaming on the walls -  an agreeable spot in
winter when it was the best-heated room in the house.
At this desk the young Uoethe wrote his famous works,
"Werther,". "Goetz von Berlichingen" and the first draft
of his drama, "Faust." The silhouettes on the wall are
souvenirs of the poet's student years in Leipzig, Saxony.
the many-windowed facade of the new-old house with
the golden monogram of Goefhc's father, Johdnn Casper,
over the door, From the wrought-iron cage windows of
the ground floor scarlet geraniums nodded back.
*    *    *
I T WAS THE SECOND TIME that the house, so appro-
priately named "The Three Lyrcs," had been rebuilt.
In 1755, when the poet was only six years old, his father
had it completely renovated. Today it is known that to
save the overhanging upper stories that he loved he
evaded the city building code, reporting the complete
rebuilding as d simple repair.
Aside from the overhanging facade, the house differed
little from the houses of other well-to-do Frankfurt citi-
zens. If thc ceilings were a shade too low for the taste
of the time, the fine broad staircase retrieved the lost
elegance.
It was a comfortable house in which the lawyer's son
grew up, studying with his father and with his tutors,
browsing in the fine library and in his father's collections.
TIhe living room on the ground floor adjoined the kitchen,
agreeable in the winter months when the kitchen was
the best-heaterl room in the house, and on the way out
to the tiny garden one could catch a glimpse of the cop-
per pots and pans gleaming on the kitchen walls.
On the second floor, clustered around the stately hall,
were the fine drawing oroms, warmed against winter
chill by gieat tile stoves; in the west wing, the music
room where Goethe's mother played the harpsichord to
father Goethe's flute.
The third floor held the studios for housing the art ob-
jects and flora which Johann Casper Goethe so assidu-
JTUNE 1951


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