As a hub connecting East and West, Berlin was a place of refuge and a way station for tens of thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe starting in the late nineteenth century, and particularly after the First World War. Most of them were fleeing westwards, away from the war, revolution and pogroms of the former Russian Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy.
With its multilingualism and complex internal networks, the community of Eastern European immigrants brought about a heyday of Jewish culture in Berlin. Many of the poor Jewish immigrants lived in the Scheunenviertel area near Alexanderplatz, others in middle-class Charlottenburg, a district of the city referred to as "Charlottengrad" on account of the high proportion of Russians who lived there.
This cultural-historical exhibition focuses on the diverse worlds of Eastern European Jews in Berlin of the Weimar Republic, and presents a wealth of unknown materials: literary and autobiographic texts can be heard in their original languages (Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew and German), largely unknown photographs of the Scheunenviertel are subject to critical analysis and newly interpreted. A cycle of pogrom images by Issachar Ber Ryback is on display in Berlin for the first time since 1924. His avant-garde watercolours join in dialogue with Leonid Pasternak's paintings and Naum Gabo's sculptures.
The exhibition was developed in cooperation with the research project "Charlottengrad and Scheunenviertel: Jewish Immigrants from Eastern Europe in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s" at the Eastern Europe Institute of the Free University of Berlin.
At the end of the exhibition visitors are invited to explore urban space for traces of the largely forgotten places that reflect the immigration of Eastern European Jews to Berlin.
Duration of the exhibition
from 23 March to 15 July 2012
The museum is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm, Mondays from 10 am to 10 pm
Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Old Building, first level Admissions
4 euros, educed rate 2 euros
or CombiTicket (permanent exhibition and special exhibition): 7 euros,
reduced rate 3,50 euros
The exhibition was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
After the exhibition is over
Berlin Transit. Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in the 1920s
In case you missed the exhibition, the button "Traces of the
Past" on this website will keep you informed about some of the exhibition
Photographs by Michael Kerstgens from 1992 to the Present
Duration of the exhibition
from 20 April to 26 August 2012
Jewish Museum Berlin
Eric F. Ross Gallery, Libeskind Building, ground level
The photographs by Michael Kerstgens extend the historical view of the theme of migration right up to the present and trace the question of how Jewish life in Germany has changed with the immigration of Russian-speaking Jews through the 20th century.
Please feel free to read about topics pertaining to our exhibition "Russians Jews Germans", - which is no longer on display - on the exhibition website.