Our permanent exhibition of private collections regarding Romy and Magda Schneider opens in early May. It is located in Seestraße 17, Schönau am Königssee, at the “Alter Bahnhof” (old railway station).
Even more unseen items from private collections of Romy and Magda Schneiders’ eventful lives have been added to the exhibition. These originate from Romy’s childhood in her family’s home Haus Mariengrund, as well as from her time at school in Schönau and the girls’ boarding school Goldenstein near Salzburg.
The playpen in which Romy and her brother Wolfi learned to walk, as well as private correspondence with her friends from school are shown to the public for the first time. Also private clothes, pieces of jewellery and even an antique wardrobe from Haus Mariengrund are exhibited for the first time ever.
We would like to thank all the donors and private collectors. Above all, our thanks go to Mrs. Gisela Schubert, who has actively supported us from the very beginning and who left us parts of her collection.
We also owe a lot of gratitude to Sister Bernadette, who is a former school friend of Romy’s and today a nun in boarding school Goldenstein. She has given us original costumes, drawings, pictures and much more for the exhibition.
We are particularly grateful to the community Schönau am Königssee for the premises they provided in the historic building "Alter Bahnhof" (old railway station) and especially to Mayor Hannes Rasp, who also took over the patronage of our exhibition.
Due to its new location at the main entrance of Lake Königssee we are sure that our exhibition will enjoy even more popularity. “A world star returns home” – the exhibition’s title has never been truer to its meaning . Opening day is 7th of May 2015.
Why Schönau am Königsee?
At the age of 14 Magda Schneider visited Berchtesgaden for the first time. The actress recalled later that she had been enchanted, "and so fascinated by this mountainous region." This is when the "dream to own a house in the mountains" was created. With her will of iron Magda Schneider saved the first salaries she earned from her films. In 1935 she finally fulfilled her dream. Her children, Romy and Wolfi, grow up in house "Mariengrund", not far from Lake Königssee in Schönau.
Rosemarie Magdalena Albach, which was Romy’s real name, is born in Vienna on September 23rd, 1938. A few weeks later, mother Magda and father Wolf Albach-Retty move with Romy to Schönau, where they settle at the grandparents’ house "Mariengrund". Here Romy spends a carefree childhood and youth.
Romy attended elementary school in Schönau until she was eleven years old. Here, at the local church, she also received her first Holy Communion.
In 1949 Romy changed to boarding school Goldenstein in Elsbethen near Salzburg where she completed the secondary education (Realschulabschluss). With almost 18 years she got her driver's license at a local driving school.
Up to the age of 19 Romy had been registered in Schönau, even if in 1955 she started travelling to several shooting sets. She enjoyed breaks from the stressful film business at home in her mother’s house.
In 1982 Magda Schneider married her long-time partner Horst Fehlhaber. After a heart attack she had completely withdrawn from work and spent her remaining years in "Mariengrund". After she had to cope with the deaths of her grandson David, and her daughter Romy, she died here on July 30th, 1996 at age 87. In the cemetery in Schönau am Königssee she found her final resting place.
BackgroundEven as a child and teenager Hans Klegraefe had heard from his parents again and again that Romy and Magda Schneider often visited their cinema. They could also vividly recall and liked to talk about Romy's visit to the cinema in Berchtesgaden, together with her former boyfriend Alan Delon.
When Hans Klegraefe finished his professional training in sales in 1978, he started working in his parents’ cinema. Romy and Magda Schneider were still a topic of interest back then. In the mid-80’s Hans Klegraefe and his wife Martina took over the business. Romy-Schneider-films were still on at this time, although they were not that successful in Germany. There were many visitors, especially holiday guests, who wondered whether it was true that Romy and Magda Schneider really came from Schönau. Many thought it was strange that at this place there was nothing to remember and honour these two actresses.
After Romy Schneider's death, the public’s interest in the actresses past grew. In the early 90’s the Klegraefes, together with Magda Schneider and Horst Fehlhaber, intended to organize a film retrospective of Romy and Magda Schneider at the cinema in Berchtesgaden. When they were having a coffee together in house Mariengrund, Magda Schneider and Horst Fehlhaber insured that they would be very happy if such an event took place in Berchtesgaden. However, for health reasons, Magda Schneider could not attend. The Klegraefes also spoke to Mrs. Schneider about the surprising fact that in Berchtesgaden there was nothing to remember Romy and herself by. Magda Schneider said that on the one hand she also found it quite unfortunate, but on the other hand she was relieved because otherwise even more fans might gather in Mariengrund.
In 2007 the Klegraefes submitted an application to the council of Schönau am Königssee to errect a monument in honour of the probably most famous personality in this area, Romy Schneider. The application was unanimously accepted. At the suggestion of the Klegraefes, the council agreed to a silhouette made of steel, which rests on a marble pillar, made by the famous artist Angerer the Younger. In 2009 the monument was inaugurated. It is located at the old schoolhouse, which is now the seat of the local municipal administration.
In order to convey Romy and Magda Schneider’s connection to the region of Berchtesgaden, Martina and Hans Klegraefe planned a special exhibition in 2010. Realizing this, however, was relatively difficult. Big thanks go to the collector Gisela Schubert, who then, in 2012, actively supported Martina and Hans Klegraefe by providing a large part of her Romy-Schneider collection.
Consequently the first exhibition from private collections of Romy and Magda Schneider, located in the centre of Berchtesgaden, next to the convention centre, could officially be opened in May 2012.
The exhibition was met with great interest both by the media and visitors – within the first year 10,000 visitors had passed its door.
Not least for this reason, the exhibition in Berchtesgaden was extended for two years, until October 2014. Also, our Facebook page is now one of the world's largest Romy Schneider fan sites on the internet. Fans from more than 10 nations are connected here.
After it became known that the premises at the Kongresshaus would no longer be available from 2015, Martina and Hans Klegraefe began looking for a new location. They were lucky that the municipality Schönau am Königssee’s new mayor, Hannes Rasp, had learned of their concerns. For the exhibition he was able to allocate a ground level, barrier-free premises in the historic "old railway station", located on the main entrance to Lake Königssee. After renovation work and some cosmetic repairs the complete exhibition was moved to Königssee in November 2014.
The Klegraefes are looking forward to reopening their exhibition at the new place in May 2015. Now the exhibition’s title – “A world star returns home” precisely justifies its meaning.
Many contacts have been established through the exhibition), including Sister Bernadette from boarding school Goldenstein. First, there were almost no samples from Romy's time at school in Elsbethen, near Salzburg – but Sister Bernadette enriched the collection with unforseen treasures. Amongst these were Romy's original costumes that she had worn in countless theater productions at school.
Also some of Romy's drawings had survived the years, and were made available for the exhibition – these exponents indicate how artistically gifted Romy was even as a child. In addition, through the connection with boarding school Goldenstein, also contacts to Romy's friends from school and pen pals had been developed.
Special ExhibitionSince we have gathered quite a considerable collection over the last few years, from 2015 we offer the possibility to perform small special exhibitions outside our catchment area during the winter months. In March and April 2015 a part of our exhibition will be on display in the Schlossmuseum (Palace Museum) Münnerstadt. KulTourisMus in the castle, Deutschherrenstraße 18, 97702 Münnerstadt.
Interested parties are welcome to contact us!.
All information and contents of our old website, you will find by clicking on "History" in the info bar.
RequestSince we are constantly updating and expanding our exhibition, we are always looking for collectibles and exhibits that are connected to Romy & Magda Schneider. Each person that supports us, will be mentioned in the exhibition on a plaque of honour by name, but can also, if desired, remain anonymous.