Complementing the core that displays a curated section of Erich Kästner’s possessions, the museum’s movable pillars are filled with material and information about Kästner. They are broken down by theme, encouraging visitors explore them independently. The exhibition features the following topics:
The first theme addresses Kästner’s life before he became famous, from his childhood in Dresden and literary beginnings in Leipzig to his autobiographical reflection and potential audiences in Saxony and the GDR.
This areas relates to Erich Kästner as a moralist and social critic. Throughout his life, he was an advocate of social values and did not want to be an outsider. However, the ‘others’, whether society as a whole or simply other people, were often portrayed as ‘opponents’. This includes censorship during the Third Reich and bans on his work, as well as his relationships with other people, for instance women.
Children are the positive element in Kästner’s work. This theme therefore deals with children’s literature, film and theatre in addition to children as an underlying theme of other works.
Kästner was not just an author but a journalist, critic, script writer, poet, and playwright. Thus, the fourth theme is dedicated to his skilful, modern use of print media and radio, as well as classic media such as film, theatre and cabaret.