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Rua Gonçalves Dias, 34
Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro
tel: (24) 2245-4316

sexta a domingo de 11h às 17h

caixa postal 50060
Rio de Janeiro/RJ - Brasil


My land has palm trees where the thrush sings...
All Brazilian schoolchildren know the Song of Exile by Gonçalves Dias – which in turn has as its epigraph the famous poem by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, which every German can recite at least the first two verses: Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn, / Im dunkeln Laub die Goldorangen glühn... (Knowst thou that land, where the lemons bloom so fair/The golden oranges from dark-green branches glare...). It is curious that Stefan Zweig, the poet of coincidences, in choosing what was to be his last house, in Petrópolis, didn’t even notice that it was in the street which carries the name of the famous poet of Exile.
Nomen est omen – name is omen, goes the saying. In the same house that exiles Stefan and Lotte Zweig opted for death, distressed by the world plunged into war, hundreds of citizens who shared the same destiny, forced to flee Nazism between 1933 and 1945, will now, like them, be honored in a Memorial to Exile.

After Argentina, Brazil was the country which took in the most refugees. We don’t know exactly how many came. Some historians estimate that between 16,000 and 19,000 sought a new homeland in this land [with] palm trees. CASA STEFAN ZWEIG wants to honor them all, highlighting those who made decisive contributions to culture and science. Below, a list in no particular order of importance, which we shall be adding to regularly. Each name represents a life story, a saga, multiplied by the number of family members. Many other names will appear here as the site grows.

As a special homage to them all, we have chosen a poem by the great Jewish German author Heinrich Heine (1797-1856):):

Wo wird einst des Wandermüden
Letzte Ruhestätte seyn?
Unter Palmen in dem Süden?
Unter Linden an dem Rhein?

Werd ich wo in einer Wüste
Eingescharrt von fremder Hand?
Oder ruh ich an der Küste
Eines Meeres in dem Sand.

Immerhin! Mich wird umgeben
Gotteshimmel, dort wie hier,
Und als Totenlampen schweben
Nachts die Sterne über mir.

in: DHA, Bd. 2