New exhibition Jewish Museum Berlin offers a new perspective
Jewish Museum, Berlin, largest in Europe. Image: Dominic Simpson Flickr CC BY SA 2.0
The tour alternates between historical epochs and insights into topics of Jewish life: traditions, elements, ornaments, and everyday practices of the community.
The architecture of the building is still an important featur this exhibition. The exhibitions are Rooms with themes representing Jewish culture and traditions through exhibits using colors and sound installations, as well as works of art to engage all the senses of the visitors. Most of the objects presented come from the museum’s own collection, including valuable paintings such as Max Liebermann’s Biergarten near Wannsee.
The topic of anti-Semitism, runs through many epochs and is dealt with in a separate, cinema-like room, where short films aim to stimulate debate by presenting four contemporary anti-Semitic case studies that historians and sociologists classify from different perspectives.
“We experience a lot of anti-Semitism, in words and in deeds,” explained Hetty Berg, which makes the museum’s task of telling Jewish life from a Jewish perspective all the more relevant.
The relationship between Jews and their non-Jewish environment is the main focus of the show and is covered in five historical chapters: from the beginnings of Jewish life in Ashkenaz, the medieval rabbinical name for Germany, to the emancipation movements in the 19th century, and from the rise of National Socialism to today’s diverse developments.