OF THE HOUSE
The history of Villa Schöningen begins in 1843:
For the court marshal of Prince Carl von Prussia (1801-1883), Kurd Wolfgang von Schöning (1789-1859), the Potsdam architect Ludwig Persius (1803-1845) designed a house in the Italian villa style that is in sight of the Glienicke and Babelsberg castles is being built directly on the Glienicke Bridge.
The new villa is to be a suitable counterpart to Glienicke Castle and replace a simple ship's house that was built on this site seventeen years earlier.
The villa is named after the town of Schöningen near Braunschweig, the place of origin of the family of Hofmarschall von Schöning.
After the death of Kurd Wolfgang von Schöning in 1859, his children sold the villa to Prince Carl of Prussia, who later sold the villa on.
In 1871 Moritz Jacoby bought the Schöningen villa and after his death in 1878 he bequeathed it to his daughter Anna (1854-1925), who moved into the villa with her husband Hermann Wallich (1833-1928). Hermann Wallich is a banker and one of the first directors of Deutsche Bank.
The Wallich family, who live in Berlin, mainly uses the villa as a summer residence. Later Anna and Hermann's first son, Paul Wallich (1882-1938), moves into the villa.
Due to his Jewish origins, the threat posed by the National Socialists increased, from which he fled to suicide in 1938.
His wife and children had already emigrated by then and will not return to Germany during the Third Reich.
In 1945 the Villa Schöningen was confiscated by the Red Army and used as a hospital for wounded Russian soldiers.
In 1950, the Russian military was followed by the Free German Trade Union Federation, which set up offices and a children's home in the Schöningen villa.
When the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, Villa Schöningen was located in the border area of the GDR. The inner-German border runs right in front of the door of Villa Schöningen and the villa is in the middle of the so-called "death strip", the border area that is guarded with barriers and shooting orders and prevents the border crossing from Potsdam to Berlin-Wannsee.
With the reunification in November 1989, the Berlin Wall in front of the door is torn down and the border area dissolved. The Villa Schöningen remains a children's home until 1993. One year later, on the initiative of the city of Potsdam, it was transferred back to the Wallich heirs, who sold it again three years later.
In 1999 the last resident moved out of Villa Schöningen. The house is becoming increasingly neglected and there are plans to demolish it in order to build new town villas on the property. After the failure of this project, the Villa Schöningen was finally sold in 2007, then refurbished in accordance with a listed building and opened as an exhibition house in 2009.