Obituary for Coco Schumann

14 May 1924–28 January 2018

Coco Schumann at the multimedia Rafael Roth Learning Center in 2002; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jo Diener

The Jewish Museum Berlin grieves the loss of Coco Schumann. The guitarist and jazz musician passed away last Sunday at the age of ninety-three years old. Coco Schumann frequently performed as part of the Cultural Summer program, and his relationship with the Jewish Museum Berlin reaches back to its founding. For a long time, Coco Schumann’s life story could be retraced in the Rafael Roth Learning Center. It exposed museum visitors to a childhood cut short by National Socialist oppression—and a musical talent that granted young Schumann moments of self-assertion in the Berlin jazz clubs ostracized by the Nazis. This talent would also save his life in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.

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“In the quarry, children freeze in the rusty air”

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we recommend listening to Ruth Klüger’s speech – for the first time or once again. On 27 January 2016, the author talked in the German Bundestag about her experiences as a 13 year-old forced laborer in the women’s camp Christianstadt (Krzystkowice).

Introduction of Bundestag President Norbert Lammert and speech by Ruth Klüger (from 20:10) on 27 January 2016.

This year’s Ceremony of Remembrance in the German Bundestag will take place on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 at 1 pm. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch will give the commemorative speech. The ceremony will be broadcast live from 1 pm on the website of the Bundestag. You will find the English version at (

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Hanukkah meets Christmas: Chrismukkah

Christmas and Hanukkah have quite a lot in common: Candles are lit at both festivals to brighten up the dark season; both festivals fall on the 25th day of a month – Christmas on 25 December and Hanukkah on 25 Kislew, the ninth month of the Jewish calendar; and both are still traditional, family celebrations which have become festivals of consumerism.

The staff of the Jewish Museum Berlin didn’t want to choose between latkes and gingerbread and celebrated the “greatest superholiday known to mankind”:

Character Seth Cohen on the television series The O.C.


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