A New Home in Sweden

The sixth and final installment in our blog series “Memories from the Life of Walter Frankenstein”

In the black-and-white photo, the family is in a room with patterned curtains and houseplants. All four are smiling or laughing. The image is very lively.

The Frankenstein family in their apartment, Bandhagen (outside of Stockholm), around 1956–1957; Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Leonie and Walter Frankenstein

To start from the beginning again: when I consider the path that Walter Frankenstein and his family took, I’m constantly astonished that they didn’t lose hope and always found new strength to confront the numerous changes in their lives. In 1956, the final big challenge in the lives of the four Frankensteins got underway.

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Not What They Expected

The fifth episode in our blog series “Memories from the Life of Walter Frankenstein”

Black and white photography: Leonie is sitting in the middle and laughs. Michael, who runs his tongue over the right corner of his mouth, is sitting on her lap.On the left is Peter-Uri with bright curls, also smiling broadly.

Leonie Frankenstein with her sons Peter-Uri and Michael, Hadera, 1947; Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Leonie and Walter Frankenstein

Finally reunited after 19 months! —A summer 1947 photo of Leonie, Uri, and Michael Frankenstein makes clear how overjoyed the three were about Walter’s release. All three gaze relieved into the camera. At first, Walter moved into the one-room apartment in a public housing building in Hadera that had been allocated to Leonie and the children following their emigration to Palestine. In the mean time, Leonie had learned Hebrew and found employment at a chocolate shop. Her work had allowed her to support herself and her sons in her husband’s absence.  continue reading


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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