Surplus property in 2018

In 2018 a real estate controversy typical of today’s major cities erupted. The federal government’s real estate branch was accused of sitting on the property in hopes of realizing big gains in value — in a city short of housing. Only a fleeting comment touched on the history of the house that was not a home.

This controversy is described in German at:

In 2020 Google Maps the discrete cloud that floated over Sven-Hedin-Strasse 11 had blown away:,13.2368368,135m/data=!3m1!1e3

As of 2022, Google aerial photos show that the house that is not a home still stands.


A chronology of the villa’s events, notes on sources, miscellaneous internet resources and a bibliography are provided in this pdf.

Read the story from 1915 to 1945 by clicking on “Sven-Hedin-Strasse 11” above.
Many people have assisted with the 1945–2022 project. I would particularly like to thank Florian Weiss of the Allied Museum Berlin for his help in obtaining the Zehlendorf property book records, Uta Birkemeyer of the Allied Museum Berlin for her ideas on including Michèle M. in these accounts, Michèle M. for agreeing, Udo Dittfurth of the S-Bahn Museum, Arik Komets for setting an outstanding example in his research and writing, the librarians of the State Library of Berlin where I first saw clues that a good story was waiting in tree-shaded Sven-Hedin-Strasse, and my family and friends for putting up with this hobby. Adolf Knackstedt provide a look inside in the Wall construction era. And, of course, posthumous appreciation for Dr. Robert Cruden of the Lewis & Clark College History Department. Any errors or confusion of the facts are mine and where speculation is necessary, I have tried to identify it. There are opportunities in the gaps here for student research projects in either the U.S. or in Germany. — rwr