Ronny Loewy,

10 April, 1946 – 9 August, 2012

Ronny Loewy with the director Louis Malle and Daniel Cohn-Bendit

Ronny Loewy (in the middle) with the director Louis Malle (r.) and Daniel Cohn-Bendit (l.) at the German premiere of “Au revoir les enfants,” 1987, courtesy of Gisela Geier-Loewy

On August 9 of last year, film historian Ronny Loewy died. He was a remarkable person and a friend of this museum, who supported and inspired our work from the beginning: it was Ronny who selected many of the film excerpts that appear in our permanent exhibition or appeared in the special exhibition “Home and Exile”. He also published, among other things, Tereska Torrès’s film diary Unerschrocken: Auf dem Weg nach Palästina (Unafraid: On the Way to Palestine) about the illegal emigration of Displaced Persons to Palestine in 1947 and 48. Ronny was a colleague and friend, with whom we not only worked but also shared many experiences and much laughter, who constantly opened our eyes to the new and unusual, the forgotten and overlooked, little details from films, and above all to the people behind these moving pictures.

We therefore wish to dedicate space on this blog today to remembering him and his life, one year after his death:  continue reading


In Court and on Television:

A New Space for the Auschwitz Trial in the Permanent Exhibition

Last October I wrote  a blog post about Memorandum, a Canadian documentary film about the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt (1963 – 1965). An excerpt of this film has been part of our permanent exhibition for a number of years already. We observed that the film clip elicited a much more intense response from visitors to the legal proceedings of Nazi criminals in Frankfurt than did other forms of media, such as photographs or audio clips. For this reason, documentary film material has been made the central focus of the newly designed area of our permanent exhibition.

Monitors in the exhibition

“My husband was very accurate, indeed, but [...] I can’t imagine all this,” said the wife of Auschwitz perpetrator Wilhelm Boger to NDR journalists
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Alexander Zuckrow

Just a few days ago we re-opened this space with the title “On trial: Auschwitz/Majdanek.” In order to convey how the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt shaped and changed public attitudes towards the past in Germany, we now show a variety of excerpts from contemporary television coverage. In the international coverage of the trial, groundbreaking questions were raised about the way the National Socialist era was officially and publicly dealt with.  continue reading


New Forms of Protest

Last summer, the Korean musician PSY sang out in protest against consumerism in Gangnam, a posh district in Seoul. His video shows him dancing, as if on a horse, in front of wealthy-looking men and scantily-clad women. For reasons only posterity may help us to understand, Gangnam Style became Youtube’s most frequently watched video clip. A series of parodies were produced by groups as far distant from Gangnam – geographically and ideologically – as NASA and Greenpeace.

Gangnam-style protest reached the art world with particular fervour. Chinese activist Ai Weiwei released a Gangnam Style video in protest of censorship in his country. Reacting to this video, Jewish-Indian artist Anish Kapoor – whose works are on display starting 18 May 2013 at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin – animated art museums in England and the USA to shoot a video in support of Ai Weiwei. Shortly thereafter, the Philadelphia Art Museum posted a video with its staff members dancing to the Gangnam tune, though their object of contention is not immediately apparent:
 continue reading