Above/featured: Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse with Andreaskirche in the background.
I came here looking for a physicist, but I also found a Nobel-Prize winning chemist and a successful banker.
In the southwest corner of metropolitan Berlin tucked away under rows of leafy trees in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Wannsee is a small cemetery, next to a tall red brick church Andreaskirche. With the main (east) entrance off Lindenstrasse, the cemetery is called Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse; alternate names include “Neuer Friedhof Wannsee” and “Friedhof Wannsee II.” Opened in 1887, the cemetery is one of the smallest in the city with an area about 1.9 hectares (19-thousand square metres) or a shade under 5 acres.
(My day trip to Wannsee was only one element of my “quick” 11-day hop to Berlin in autumn 2021.)
Wilhelm Conrad, 1822-1899
• Banker, director of Berliner Handelgesellschaft; founder of Villa Colony Alsen, 1872.
• Established funding for the Wannseebahn, Berlin’s first suburban train line
• Chairman, supervisory board for Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburger Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (Berlin Potsdam Magdeburg Railway Company); train line began operation in 1874.
• Purchased land to build this cemetery originally for members of the Alsen colony, 1886.
• Grave location: field 011, number 29; formerly designated as AT 17.
Emil Fischer, 1852-1919
• Chemist; a founder of modern biochemistry who studied carbohydrates and amino acids; synthesized glucose and caffeine.
• First German chemist awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1902.
• Founded Kaiser Wilhelm Society, 1911; present-day Max Planck Society.
• Grave location: field 008, number 99; formerly designated as AT 39.
• Also, memorial statue at Robert-Koch-Platz in Berlin.
Hermann von Helmholtz, 1821-1894
• Doctor of medicine, physician, physicist.
• Wide-reaching achievements: invented ophthalmoscope to inspect the retina and back of the eye; studied the physiology of vision and hearing, showing studies of the mind could be quantified; formulation of conservation of energy in physics; energy transfer and thermodynamics in chemical processes; hydrodynamic equations in fluid dynamics.
• Helmholtz helped establish Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (Imperial Physical Technical Institute) in Berlin, 1888.
• Grave location: field 010, number 66; formerly designated as AT 52.
• Also, memorial statue at forecourt of Humboldt University in Berlin.
What I remember most about Helmholtz is an equation. A part of my science training includes this equation attributed to Helmholtz and the mathematical techniques used to find solutions to this equation. The Helmholtz equation has direct applications to optics, wave propagation, acoustics, seismology, diffusion, and quantum mechanics (with big nods to the Laplace equation and the Poisson equation).
This beautiful and versatile equation has stayed with me long after its introduction in a physics lecture many years ago. It’s a linear 2nd-order partial differential equation for some function G with spatial-coordinates r and a time-coordinate t. The way the equation is drawn up (with constant written as -k2) allows for mathematical solutions where the function G has wave-like behaviour.
Directions, Public Transport
Take S-Bahn Berlin S1 or S7 train to Wannsee station; the station is also served by regional trains from Berlin. From Wannsee station, there’s a short 2-kilometre walk, or you can hop onto BVG bus 114 to stop “Koblanckstrasse” or stop “Straße zum Löwen”. To the west of the cemetery is the Westlicher Düppeler Forst which is a park and conservation area for birds.
I made all images above on 22 Nov 2021 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-msQ.