Discovering Barlachs

David Zersen
Feb 15, 2014 6:50AM

I was visiting the Lutheran Deaconess Motherhouse in Erfurt, Germany, in 2001 and a few of us were speaking with an elderly deaconess. I asked where the Barlach sculptures in the living room of the deaconesses came from. She explained that as a child her family lived in Berlin during the World War II bombings. Ernest Barlach was a friend of the family and had given a number of his sculptures to the family. The parents still went to work each day, but told the children that if the bombs fell near the house and they had to flee, they should be sure to take the Barlach sculptures as they fled. That's how it happened that they were preserved and ended up many years later in the Motherhouse in Erfurt. The elderly deaconess has long since died, but I often wonder if the Barlachs are still there. 

David Zersen
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