Hosts & Guests
From 1929 to 1943 Harnack House ran a hotel for foreign scientists but also for diplomatic guests of the German Foreign Office. The researchers came to give guest lectures but also for longer stays as scientific fellows. Current information indicates that at least 35 Nobel Prize laureates visited Harnack House as guests between 1929 and 1943.
However, it also provided accommodation for leading politicians, artists and industrialists. The guest and event lists reflect the Kaiser Wilhelm Society’s extensive networks which were cultivated at Harnack House from 1929 onwards.
The portrait wall in the Wintergarten Hall shows 156 figures who were guests at Harnack House before its conversion to an American officers’ club, bringing an end to its first period of history as an academic guesthouse. Many of the guests were in contact with one another as colleagues working on the same topics or through personal relationships.
The installation invites visitors to explore 30 thematic paths. Each figure on the portrait wall is part of a theme’s history. Visitors will find a short biography of the person when they open the portrait boxes. For more information about the figures and their relationships with one another, simply take a card from the postcard compartment in the box.