(Foto: IM Thayer)
One of the most detailed and interesting museums off the beaten path in Berlin is the Jewish Museum. Built in 2001 by famed Polish-Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind, the Jewish Museum Berlin has been home to many different exhibitions since it’s opening. These varying exhibitions have covered topics such as Jewish art, cultural relations, and different aspects of Jewish history. The museum itself encourages exploration and understanding of Jewish history and identity throughout Germany and in Berlin.
Permanent Exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin
The permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin is a unique examination of two thousand years of Jewish history in it’s relation to German historical development. It begins by tracing Jewish history from it’s German beginnings in the central cities of Mainz and Wurms, following innovative cultural and historical developments through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition includes interactive materials such as listening booths, Hebrew writing instructions, and multiple choice quizzes.
Historical Elements at the Jewish Museum Berlin
Not only religious elements of Judaism are examined at the Jewish Museum Berlin, but cultural ones as well. Historical figures of Jewish descent are displayed as well. People such as Levi Strauss, Lovis Corinth, and Heinrich Heine are related in their historical contexts to the meaning and history of Judaism. The permanent exhibition deals with the first and second World Wars as well, detailing their history with much care, understanding, and a plea for tolerance in the future.
Current Temporary Exhibitions at the Jewish Museum Berlin
From 3 July to 16 November 2014, there is an exhibition entitled “The First World War in Jewish Memory” at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the First World War, this exhibition examines how the various Jews living in Germany at the time dealt with the first World War. Items on display include personal documents such as military registration cards, sketches made during the war by German-Jewish soldiers, and various diaries and letters from the time period.
From 10 July to 11 January 2014, an exhibition entitled Bios[Torah] is on display. Presented by the artist group rootlab, this exhibition explores the way that Torahs are made in the modern age. Traditionally Torahs are to be hand written with the utmost care by someone highly trained in Hebraic script. This exhibition gives that responsibility to a machine, but not in the way that one would expect—a robot arm was built to mimic the actions of a human arm, making this reproduction of the Torah authentic and usable in Jewish ceremonies.
Where to find the Jewish Museum Berlin
Located in Kreuzberg between U-Bahn stops Hallesches Tor and Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Museum Berlin is an important stop on any visit to Germany’s capital. It is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-8pm, and on Monday from 10am-10pm. For more information please visit www.jmberlin.de.