Goethe MORPH* Iceland
Walther von Goethe Foundation - Research in Residence

Walther von Goethe Foundation - Team © Wolfgang Müller
One part of the public research project by the Walther von Goethe Foundation will focus on the compositions of Goethe's grandson Walther and the questions of success, significance and failure. Who and what is considered significant or insignificant? Walther Wolfgang Freiherr von Goethe was a German chamberlain and composer, a grandson and last descendant of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. His compositions have probably only survived because he was related to the world-famous Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. But what is considered significant and what is considered insignificant? Who is important and who is considered unimportant? Icelandic Composer Una Sveinbjörnsdóttir said in an interview "In an optimal world everyone would be able to learn to play an instrument." We listen to the recordings, study the notes and talk about success, failure, talent and dilettantism. 

Another research project that will be conducted at Nordic House takes a closer look at historic significance of Island as a touristic attraction. It is well known that Marlene Dietrich was in Reykjavik and sang at the U.S. base in September 1944 in front of soldiers fighting Nazi Germany in World War II. The fact that Hitler's secret lover Eva Braun visited Iceland in 1939 with her mother and sister Margarete, on the other hand, is less well known. What did Eva Hitler (née Braun) do in Reykjavík in 1939? Today we know she went to a Geysir by cab R-943. Through surviving 8mm film footage of the amateur filmmaker Eva Braun, Wolfgang Müller already reconstructed part of her travels for his 2007 book “Neues von der Elfenfront - Die Wahrheit über Island”. By means of the license plate of the Reyjavík cab R-943, with which Eva Braun drove to the geysir, the cab driver, as well as his children and grandchildren could be identified later with the help of Stefán Julíuson. Together we will reconstruct the journey to the Geysir and discuss tourism then, now, and in the future.

Nordic House Reykjavík


Language: English
Entry: Free admission
Public Research