Storm’s father Johann Casimir had already bought the house in 1818. Theodor Storm spent the first years of his life in this house until the family moved into Hohle Gasse 3 in 1821. In 1845 Storm returned to Neustadt 56, which had remained his father’s property. After marrying Constanze Esmarch in 1846, the three sons, Hans, Ernst and Karl were born in this house. Storm wrote the first prose sketches, the novella Immensee (1850) and poems such as October song (1848) and The Town beside the Sea (1851) in Neustadt 56. He later made it the setting for the novella Der Herr Etatsrat (1881).
The rising fog, the falling leaves:
to wine we are beholden!
The grayish day no longer grieves:
it’s golden, yes, it’s golden!
And if all madness be unfurled
(by church or temple polished),
this world, this most amazing world,
can never be demolished.
Verses 1 and 2 of October song
Translation by Walter A. Aue, 2008
In 1853 the family said goodbye to this house and Husum to go into exile in Potsdam and later in Heiligenstadt. Storm had argued for the Schleswig-Holstein cause in the chaos of the Schleswig-Holstein uprising against the Danish king. The Danish government therefore refused to renew his license to practice law in 1852.
Text by Holger Borzikowsky (1947–2015)
Translation by Bjarne Albertsen