The Erich Kästner Museum library, which houses all works by Erich Kästner and their international translations, when available. A list of these works is presented in the form of a database on the museum`s website.
We continue to collect all publications on the life and works of Erich Kästner. These include biographies, essays and articles from journals and newspapers as well as independent research work.
The Erich Kästner Museum Dresden actively seeks to cooperate with institutes involved in researching life and works of Erich Kästner, including the Technical University of Dresden and the German Literature Archive in Marbach. The results of such academic cooperation will be presented in the Erich Kästner Museum, as will be the results of our own research. The Erich Kästner Museum Dresden also functions as a "research centre" for academics and interested lay persons, providing ideal working conditions with its comprehensive inventory of works by and about Kästner.
The museum is a communication forum for all those interested in the life and works of Erich Kästner.
The museum's principal areas of interest are Kästner's early years in Dresden and Leipzig, Kästner and the GDR, Kästner as an author, journalist and screenwriter as well as the reception of and research about Kästner.
The completed museum core presents an overview of Kästner's biography with highlights of his works in the form of a selection of original first editions. Thirteen columns, whose contents are chosen according to the underlying museum concept, reveal hands-on exhibits covering the following themes:
- "Erich Kästner, a German from Saxony: Biography and place of birth"
This section of the exhibition documents his literary beginnings in Dresden and Leipzig, as well as his autobiographic reflection. The reception of his works in Saxony and the GDR is also covered in this theme.
- "... The man between the chairs. Kästner - a reluctant outsider"
This theme covers Erich Kästner's role as a moralist and critic of society. Where does he belong? In his life and works, he defended bourgeois values, and did not want to be an outsider; but the "others" - society or other people - generally appear in the role of opponents. This includes the censorship during the Nazi dictatorship, the suppression of his work and his relationship to selected others - e.g. women.
"You must be more like children ... Kästner's utopia"
The third area covers children as the positive aspect in Kästner's works. They assume his position as "moralist", and justify him - the outsider - as the actual "insider". This theme concentrates on children's literature, film and theater, as well as on Kästner’s concept of the "childish".
- "Kästner and the media"
This theme is concerned with the author's relationship to the media. Kästner's modernity and skill in using the print media, radio, as well as the classic visual media - especially film- in addition to the theatre and cabaret are documented here.
The 13th column contains only original objects (for example manuscripts and photographs of great importance), which give and an impression of Kästner's persona, and like the museum structure itself, combines individual facets to form a whole.
Our public events include traditional readings, talks and discussions as well as experimental art events.
Contemporary artists are invited to enter their projects in the database of the Erich Kästner Museum during their working visits.
Most of Erich Kästner's estate is in the German Literature Archive in Marbach, which has agreed to provide the Erich Kästner Museum Dresden with material relevant to the themes of the Erich Kästner Museum, as far as copyright laws permit. The Erich Kästner Kinderdorf in Oberschwarzach presented the Erich Kästner Museum with a suit from the estate of Kästner's partner, Luiselotte Enderle, and gave the museum a typewriter and a hat as long-term loans.