Walther Rathenau

Schloss Freienwalde, 2022

In 1909 the Weimar statesman and aesthete Walther Rathenau acquired and restored the royal palace at Bad Freienwalde outside of Berlin. In 1922 Rathenau was assassinated by far-right extremists. At the time of his murder, he had been Foreign Minister for only three months. Today, the Schloss at Freienwalde is a museum dedicated to the life of Rathenau. To mark 100 years since Rathenau's assassination, urKultur commissioned German-British artist, Sophie von Hellermann to create a site-specific artwork in the Schloss interior. Using her characteristic loose and lively brush strokes, von Hellermann has painted directly onto the walls bringing back to life aspects of the original interior. Sophia von Hellermann’s work hints towards both the life once lived there and a possible future use. This project is part of Oxford University's Jewish Country House Project and was realised with the support of TORCH and Oxford In Berlin.


Site-specific commission


Schloss Freienwalde / Jewish Country Houses

Collaborator / Artist

Sophie von Hellermann




Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Jewish Chronicle

Historic photographs:

Courtesy of the Walther-Rathenau-Stift gGmbH Bad Freienwalde


Courtesy the artist and Wentrup, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb.