“Informative, unexpected, rich in variety”

Our visitors on Cherchez la femme

For over three months, the exhibition Cherchez la femme has allowed visitors to explore the topic of women’s head coverings in three of the world’s major religions. Among other things, the exhibition demonstrates that the borders of (religious) clothing rules are constantly being redrawn and reinterpreted.

Since we’re very interested in the opinions of our visitors, we asked around about what people thought at the exhibition:

Christian (39), Ludwigsburg, pastor, teaches German and history

Which object did you like the best?

Gallery of different examples for headscarves

Different kinds of head coverings; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Yves Sucksdorff

The gallery with the different kinds of head coverings. I was impressed by the attention to detail. For example, I didn’t know how many differences

there were between headscarves, between Turkish and Arab styles.

What significance does your own hair have to you?

It’s important to me that I look good. I go to the barber regularly.

Would you say that you follow any clothing rules?  continue reading


A People- and Animal-Friendly Summer at the Museum

Friendly Smiles Start at the Coat Check

Red rubber bouncy animals that resemble horses on a gray shelf behind empty wheeled containers

Friendly coat-check dwellers; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Johannes Rinke

Our colleague Johannes Rinke in Visitor Services just sent us this funny snapshot taken in the Jewish Museum Berlin group coat check. When we asked, filled with curiosity, what the friendly creatures were doing there, we learned that these rubber animals are available for children to play with during the Cultural Summer events in the garden.

“For many years, here at the museum we only had one sorry example of this species, and it had to fritter away most of the year alone in the dark basement, until it could be enthusiastically grabbed at by hundreds of children’s hands at the Cultural Summer events,” explained Carolin Kiel in our Events department.  continue reading


A Look at Jewish Life in Shanghai through Chinese Eyes

Ghetto Life and Beautiful Shoes

The author of this blog post looking at high-heeled shoes which are described in the text below

Wei Zhang looking at shoes “made in China”, which are part of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s collection; permanent loan by Marion Schubert, née Salomon; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Christoph Kreutzmüller

As a student studying the Holocaust at the University of Haifa, I was honored to do a short-term internship at the Jewish Museum Berlin with the team working on the new permanent exhibition. Before it began, I came across a small passage in the book Jewish Responses to Persecution: 1938–1940 (ed. by Jürgen Matthäus, Alexandra Garbarini, Plymouth: AltaMira Press, 2010) written in late 1938, directly after the November pogroms, that illustrated the desperation of German Jews (especially those in Berlin):

“There is one Jewish café open in Berlin. Anyone who wants to see what likely suicides look like should enter this café. The conversation of people sitting there revolves round two topics: how to obtain a passage to Shanghai or how to commit suicide.”

A question came to my mind: Could I find something related to Shanghai, the city where about 20,000 Ashkenazi Jews found refuge, here? As I started my research in the museum’s collection, I was excited to find an abundance of such information. Now I would like to share these stories with you.  continue reading