Elisabeth Rohde

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Elisabeth Rohde (born October 23, 1915 in Dresden ; † July 2, 2013 in Berlin ) was a German classical archaeologist .

Elisabeth Rohde was the daughter of the officer and since 1918 art dealer Kurt Rohde (1882–1950). After graduating from high school in 1935, she began training at a commercial school, but after a short time worked as a secretary in her father's art shop. Since 1940 she has been studying Classical Archeology, Ancient History and Art History at Berlin University and received her doctorate in March 1945 from Gerhart Rodenwaldt with the dissertation Theseus representations in Greek vase painting from the beginnings to the fourth century .

In March 1945 she started as a research assistant in the antiquities collection of the Berlin museums in the Pergamon Museum , a collection to which she would remain loyal throughout her entire academic career. She initially worked here for Carl Blümel . As an unskilled worker and since the summer of 1945 as a research assistant, she was involved in packing the museum's objects for transport to the Soviet Union. In 1953 she was appointed curator. In 1955 she rearranged the Hellenistic Architecture Hall in the Pergamon Museum; She closed the gap in the hall created by moving the statues to Moscow by moving the Hephaistion mosaic at this point. In 1958 she was involved in the reconstruction of the Pergamon Altar after the Soviet Union had returned a large part of the looted art to the GDR. With Blümel, she redesigned the presentation of the altar in parts according to the latest scientific findings.

After Blümel retired in 1961, Rohde became the temporary director of the collection in 1962. This was made more difficult by the construction of the wall . Rohde lived in Berlin-Charlottenburg in the western part of the city. Since she knew that she would not have a similar career in West Germany at the time, she stayed at the Antikensammlung and now commuted between West and East Berlin every day. In 1971 Rohde finally became a full director . She never allowed herself to be politically captured by the GDR, her own research remained free of GDR language and the collection of antiquities was also able to protect her from indoctrination. She also maintained contact with her specialist colleagues in the western part of the city. When she retired in 1982, she received a special permanent visa for the GDR. Her successor was Max Kunze . Rohde dealt with the Pergamon Altar , its historical and art-historical significance, worked on the Frisians and edited the collection of Greek vases in the Berlin Collection of Antiquities and the Gotha Castle Museum . She edited three volumes of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum . Rohde was a full member of the German Archaeological Institute .

Fonts (selection)

  • Pergamon. Castle hill and altar. Henschel, Berlin 1961.
  • Greek and Roman art in the State Museum in Berlin. Henschel, Berlin 1968.
  • The Altar of Pergamon. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1973.


  • Johannes Irmscher : The directors of the antique collection of the State Museums in Berlin. In: Research and Reports 27, 1989, pp. 267-270, on Rohde p. 269.
  • Ursula Kästner : Walking between East and West. Obituary for the former director of the Antikensammlung Elisabeth Rohde (1915–2013) . In: Jahrbuch Preussischer Kulturbesitz 49, 2013, pp. 364–375.

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