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.
“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
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
May 10th marked the climax of spring 1933’s “Action against the Un-German Spirit” (Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist), an uprising of German students against professors who were political dissidents or Jewish, as well as ‘subversive writing’ (zersetzendes Schrifttum). We all know the images of the carefully prepared book burning in Berlin. Micha Ullmann’s memorial on today’s Bebelplatz responds to the notorious call to flames with a hauntingly quiet and empty library.
The Jewish Museum Berlin is now exhibiting some of the books which were taken off their shelves and thrown onto the pyre. The items on display are from George Warburg’s collection.
Viewing the bindings, the layouts, and the printing of these works is a pleasure in itself. We were all the more touched by George Warburg’s motivation for building his collection: in this video interview, he explains not only which works are his favorites, but he also describes his collection as an attempt, retroactively, to save the books which were burned, banned, and eliminated by National Socialists.
His “memorial to the idiocy of Nazi censorship” returns the volumes to daylight which are remembered in Ullmann’s subterranean library.
Mirjam Wenzel, Media