Famous Citizens of Greifswald

Caspar David Friedrich

Photo: Caspar David Friedrich Association, Greifswald

Caspar David Friedrich is probably the most famous citizen of Greifswald. He was born on 5th September 1774 and had his first drawing lessons in Greifswald when he was only 14. For his studies, he went to Copenhagen and then Dresden. However, his travels always led him back to his home town, where a majority of his paintings were created. Many of his well-known motifs come from Greifswald. These include the abbey ruins in Eldena, the marketplace, the Bodden and meadows near Greifswald.

Further Information

Image credits: Portrait of Caspar David Friedrich, 1800, based on a painting by Johan Ludvig Lund, engraved by Johann Christian Gottschick, copperplate engraving. New edition from 2014, Caspar David Friedrich Association, Greifswald

Hans Fallada

Photo: Hans-Fallada-Archiv

Under the pseudonym Hans Fallada, Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen wrote numerous literary works.
On 21st July 1893, Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen was born in Greifswald. Starting in 1930, he wrote using the pen name Hans Fallada and published numerous novels. One of his first was “Little Man - What Now?” that even became a bestseller.

Wolfgang Koeppen

Wolfgang Koeppen receives his honorary doctorate Photo: Greifswald University Archive

Wolfgang Koeppen was born in Greifswald on 23rd June 1906. As a youth, he worked as a volunteer in the town theatre and attended lectures in German at the University of Greifswald even though he wasn’t enrolled as a student.
He became known as an author after publishing his trilogy of failure made up of the three lengthy novels: Pigeons on the Grass, The Hothouse and Death in Rome. In 1990, Wolfgang Koeppen received an honorary doctorate from the University of Greifswald. Six years later, he passed away in a Munich nursing home. His entire estate went to the University of Greifswald. It is stored and maintained in the Wolfgang Koeppen Archive. The archive is a subject of research.

Sibylla Schwarz

Sibylla Schwarz was born on 14th February 1621 as the daughter of the then Mayor of Greifswald, Christian Schwarz. When she was ten she began to write poetry, demonstrating an exceptional education for a girl of that time period. Starting in 1627, the effects of the Thirty Years’ War could be felt in Greifswald. That is why war and death are topics in her poems as well as friendship and love. When she was 17, Sibylla Schwarz suddenly contracted dysentery and died shortly thereafter. The family’s former residence is still in existence today, at Baderstraße 2 in Greifswald.