Berlin Jewish Museum goes through the tragic history of Jews in Germany and around the world. The large exhibition goes through the old customs, beliefs and traditions of both Jews and non-Jews from the middle-ages to the current day.
The basement of the museum has exceptional spaces for conceptualising the feelings related to the holocaust and the diaspora. Especially the voids built for understanding horror and hopelessness related to the holocaust can be touching or agonising. The exhibition may not be suitable for everybody; not because of gruesome images, but for unwanted emotions.
The museum building is a sight itself, ultra-modern cube with window slits looking like knife cuts.
We visited the Judisches Museum with the intention of spending an hour perusing the exhibits. We ended up staying for about three hours looking at the various exhibits and displays. It's multi-media experience.
It's not a Holocaust Museum; it's a history of the Jewish People in Germany, for the most part. I strongly recommend a visit. It's included in the state sponsored card, and admission is 8 Euro for a regular admission.
The visit has lots of spaces to check out. There is the concrete memorial (see travelogue) and a room of silence and reflection. There are exhibits of sound, sight, and feel (try putting on a peddlar's pack!). It's great for adults and children. Lots of stuff for everyone to experience.
The exhibits are mainly in German, but there are English translations (albeit sparse). In the film about Geman/Jewish history, the English is very sparse. In fact, most of the non-German speakers (of all nationalities) ended up leaving before the end.
Definitely set aside a few hours for this Museum!
I really enjoyed my time at this museum. I put this down to the design and layout of the building, which keeps you interested without giving you too much of an information overload. The museium consists of the usual exhibits which are in glass cabinets, but also has many interactive pieces. I particularily found the "Garden of Exile and Emigration" and the "Fallen Leaves" exhibits very moving.
Very interesting place which tells you all about Jewish history...so I learnt a lot.
Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admittance will be granted until 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, 9 p.m. on Mondays.
Adults: 5 €
Students and Seniors: 2.50 €
The Jewish Museum is the most significant example of contemporary architecture in Berlin. The building is designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind and it resembles a torn Star of David. Its unusual interior design leads the visitors from the one exhibition room to the other following the red arrows on the floor.
The main exhibition recounts the history and life of German Jews. The Holocaust is represented by a windowless concrete tower.
I visited the Jewish Museum, intending to stay only a couple of hours. I left about six hours later, and would probably have stayed longer only I had to meet someone.
The museum traces the history of Jews in Germany, and specifically the Berlin area. Before coming to the obvious, and disturbing events of the middle 20th century, there are fascinating exhibits about German Jews throughout the centuries (check out the giant garlic bulb!) with English and German descriptions.
The reason most people probably visit the Museum is to learn (more) about the Holocaust. There are many exhibits which make for a very interesting and sobering visit.
Perhaps the most thought-provoking part of the entire Museum is the Tower. Entering through a door, you are in a huge triangular shaped space, with smooth concrete walls and no natural light save that provided by a hole high up on one of the walls. I visited in winter and it was freezing inside.
You can hear all the street noises from outside filtering in through the hole, reminding you of normal life outside. the Tower is supposed to represent the isolation and fear of people being taken to the camps by the Nazis, and you are invited to spend some time there reflecting on their plight.
I found it extremely moving (I am not Jewish myself) and saw other people leaving the Tower obviously visibly shaken by what they ahd seen.
There are also good exhibits detailing the role of German Jews in entertainment, business, the arts and so on.
All in all, an absolute "must see" in Berlin.
The Jüdisches Museum is a work of art, an architectural emotion and perhaps the best statement on the Holocaust. The design uses long walkways to symbolize exile, emmigration, history and holocaust along with a brilliantly-designed garden.
Daniel Liebeskind (architect of NY's new Freedom Tower) designed this museum, which is incorporated with an older, ornate building along the Lindenstrasse.
I can see why Libeskind's design was chosen for the WTC site. He really makes you feel with his architecture. It's not what's in the museum that got to me, simply what wasn't in the museum. The first floor is dedicated to the holocaust, and it can be gut wrenching at times. The second floor is more about Jewish culture in general. I highly recomend this site.
I was never more impressed by a sculpture than by 'fallen leaves' in the Jewish Museum. You were supposed to walk on the iron 'faces' and that made a lot of noice since the sculpture is located in a huge concrete tower. But I wouldn't step on the faces; it gave me the goose bumps.
In the museum there are more interesting things to see. It is a really great building, built by Daniel Liebeskind, the architect who is going to build something on ground zero in New York.
In the museum there are really nice multimedia programmes where the history of the jewes comes alive. It's impressive.
Even when you are not really into musea, I strongly recommend you to visit the museum. It is worth the visit.
Oh, very important: remind not to accidently bring a pocketnife or something like that. At the entrance you will be searched for any 'weapons' and you have to walk through a metal detector.
The Garden of Exile wants you to think about the disorientation that exile brings. Forty-nine columns are filled with earth in which willow oak trees grow. Forty-eight contain earth from Berlin and stand for the 1948 formation of the State of Israel. The forty-ninth central column is filled with earth from Jerusalem and stands for Berlin itself. The architect sought to replicate the feeling of being lost, starting in new land, the feelings of the exiled Jews in a foreign land, and that is exactly how you feel when you walk through this garden.-
The centre point of the museum is the Holocaust Tower, a vertical, bare concrete void with a single shaft of light at the top. You can enter a few at a time through a heavy steel gate. Inside, it is damp and cool. You experience what it is to hear street noise, and see light, but otherwise be cut off from the world outside.
Leading to the tower a display of individual stories of Holocaust victims told through pictures, letters, and memorabilia left behind, is one of the museum's most moving exhibits.-
The museum must be seen as two different experiences. One experience, is the architecture of Daniel Libeskind. The zinc-clad structure is designed to create a sense of disorientation, interspersed with feelings of claustrophobia and panic, to convery the horrors of persecution; while the other, the permanent exhibition, is a chronological history of the Jews in Germany.-
The Jewish museum is one of the new attractions of Berlin, thousands of people are visiting every day. Its architecture by Daniel Libeskind is amazing. The building is zigzag shaped, on the outside it has many scars. The scars symbolise the German-Jewish history, the shape is supposed to be a deconstructed star of David.
The museum shows 2000 years of Jewish history. We went here to see an excellent exhibition on the architecture of Libeskind though (actually we went here twice because stupid as we are the exhibition started a day later than we thought. Wait! Actually we didn't think at all ;)
Any discussion of Nazi-ruled Berlin must focus on the terrible fate of Berlin's large and prosperous Jewish population.
The New Synagogue on Oranienburgerstrasse was the only Jewish house of worship to avoid destruction in the Krystallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass). According to legend, a policeman stopped the brownshirts from touching the building, thus protecting it from harm, although Allied bombing did the job during the war. Still restoration was completed in 1995.
The synagogue remains a centerpiece of the Jewish community in Berlin as well as a target for Neo-Nazi vandals. Therefore, police presence in and around the building is tight, and for good reason. I'd hate to see such a beautiful and meaningful building endangered.
The newly opened and strangely shaped zinc building by Jewish architect Libeskind is not only an empty nutshell. It contains 'Two millenia of German Jewish History'. No doubt well organized and wonderfully adapted into the architecture, the museum is surely striking. Also for the fact you get thoroughly scanned at the entrance and pass through airport-like security measures, as if you were boarding a flight to Tel Aviv. Let's hope this is not the FUTURE of German Jewish history.
A visit to the Jewish Musuem is well worth your time. Besides the exhibits, the interior architectural design of the building is also a very interesting highlight of the visit. Prepare to spend about 3-4 hours here.