Trials of a Truth Seeker

The exhibition “The Whole Truth … everything you always wanted to know about Jews” opens next week. The curatorial team steps back to admire the showcases and compliment one another on a job well done.

Not quite. Let me guide you through my morning.

8:45    Arrive at office and stack my drawers with the healthy snacks I have purchased: bananas, apples and organic crispy wafers.

Doll in box with styrofoam

Unpacking the “Smash-Me Bernie” Madoff figurine, manufacturer: Modelworks © photo: Michal Friedlander, Jewish Museum Berlin

8:50    Walk over to the galleries to view the showcases, which need to be placed in their final positions this morning.

9:00    Galleries eerily empty. Project manager cheerfully mentions that there is snow on the Autobahn from Dresden to Berlin. A few showcases have made it through, but their legs are on the Autobahn. Will call when legs arrive.

9:10    Back to office. Time to authorize the final release of the exhibition texts for production. Make good progress. A colleague pops her head in and glances at the samples in my hand. She points her Smartphone at the texts that are printed on a color background. “Just as I suspected,” she announces, “the English texts cannot be seen by a color-bind visitor.” “How do you know?”  continue reading

A Second Look

Occasionally there’s an item in our collection that only reveals itself at second glance: for instance, this photograph of a group of men, taken in Lissa in the Prussian province of Posen, in 1913.

A group of friends in suits, drinking wine.

Walter Frost (1893 – 1968) with friends
Lissa, Posen, 1913, photography
© Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Edith Marcus née Frost

You have to look very closely to recognize what’s lying on the table. In the left foreground, next to the various traces of an alcohol-infused social gathering, is an issue of the magazine Ost und West (East and West), and further to the right is a donation can for the Jewish National Fund with a Star of David on it. These objects allow us to connect the barely 9 x 14 cm little picture with the Zionist movement.
 continue reading