Walking through the Village

Carwitz – the Fallada Village

Carwitz, das Fallada-DorfCarwitz, das Fallada-DorfCarwitz is surrounded by dark green woods and the rolling hills of the terminal moraine landscape in Mecklenburg. The village is an idyllic spot situated on a narrow mountain ridge between four lakes (Lake Schmaler Luzin, Lake  Zansen, Lake Carwitz  and Lake Dreetz) and dates back to the year 1216, when it was a small fishing village.
Hans Fallada  hoped to survive the Nazi period in Germany at this place of refuge by withdrawing into inner emigration. After Fallada’s realistic novel “Little Man What Now?” had taken bestseller lists by storm he earned enough money to fulfill his long-cherished wish to aquire a small farm on which to live and work. In Carwitz, among the cowsheds, threshing floor, beehives and potato fields, he was to find the physical counterbalance to his literary labours.
Carwitz, das Fallada-DorfDuring this period of eleven years in Carwitz Fallada was at the peak of his creative work because his family provided him with a great sense of security. His home life with his wife Anna and the three children Uli, Lore (Mücke) and Achim was generally happy and gave him the oppurtunity to work in peace and quiet. He devoted himself to writing and left an extremely wide-ranging, epic body of work.
Even though he had to suffer from the Nazi terror he was unable to make up his mind in favour of emigration. As a consequence he had to face discrimination because of his humanistic attitude which finally led to the disfigurement of his artistic genius. He started to drink again, had an affair with a woman whom he later married and who suffered from morphine addiction and alcoholism. According to Günter Caspar, a Fallada expert, he got by in the rigours of the time as best as he could.

Walking through the village

Das Hans-Fallada-MuseumComing from Feldberg the visitor of Carwitz is welcomed by an old, restored windmill which contains an art gallery exhibiting various works of art and literature. If you walk along the paved main street in the so-called “Oberdorf” of Carwitz you can see an old graveyard on the left, where Hans Fallada was laid to rest. It is a peaceful place in a small park with beautiful old trees and iron crosses. From there you have a wonderful view of the Lake “Schmaler Luzin” which borders on the park
In 1981 Hans Fallada’s urn was brought  from a graveyard in Berlin to Carwitz to give him a place of honour next to the graves of his wife Anna, his daughter Lore and his mother-in-law, Elisabeth Ditzen. Fallada’s grave was supposed to be plain and therefore was made of sandstone. A frieze created by the native artist Uwe Maroske gives the memorial an artistic touch and emphasises the simplicity of the grave.

If you go past several restaurants and a barn used as a pub you will reach the village green situated on a small hill.  Your eyes fall on the ancient lime tree at the entrance to the churchyard which is dominated by the church, a simple half-timbered building without a tower. Next to the building situated on the same level as the church there is the bell cage.
Walking down the hill visitors reach an area known as “Unterdorf” and after passing a baker’s shop you soon see an imaginative playground  with  figures from Fallada’s children’s book “Geschichten aus der Murkelei”. To the right the direction “Bohnenwerder” is signposted and if you go straight on you will reach the Hans-Fallada –Museum, a former peasant’s holding with the number 17.

(Photos: Martin Wunsch)