App through the Museum

Our Summer Vacation Program for Modern Scavenger Hunters

David Studniberg and two boys and a girl looking at an iPad

David Studniberg with three scavenger hunters; photo: Doris Spiekermann-Klaas, Verlag Der Tagesspiegel

Even now, scavenger hunters are investigating the hole next to the coin track and taking funny pictures with the iPad. Tom, an eight-year-old tyke with a mop of brown curls on his head, is reading the next instruction out loud: “Now look for the black arrows on the floor and follow them until you get to the Chill Corner. There, you can…” But before Tom can finish the sentence, both of his fellow searchers call out excitedly: “Over there, that’s the corner! Come on!” In a flash, the three of them dash off, past Moses Mendelssohn, towards the “Chill Corner”, where they throw themselves on the comfortable pillows and eagerly read the next quiz question on the tablet.

This and similar scenes can be observed every day now during the holidays at our exhibition. Tom and his friends, you see, belong to a group participating in a new summer vacation program, App through the Museum.  continue reading

“Fascinating, serious, passionate, and controversial”

An Interview with Barbara Rösch about “Recommended Reading on National Socialism and the Holocaust”

Four women sitting at a table with books

Members of the reading circle © Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Christine Marth

A German-language brochure listing “Recommended Reading on National Socialism and the Holocaust” was recently made available for download from our website as a PDF. Over the last few years several museum employees read widely on the topic, shared their opinions and then made this selection. Dr. Barbara Rösch of our Education Department talked to me about what was involved. She is a member of the reading circle and also worked for a time at the Universities of Potsdam and Leipzig as an elementary school teacher trainer. In addition to her work at the Jewish Museum Berlin she is currently writing a book about everyday racism in elementary schools.

Dear Barbara, countless books about National Socialism and the Holocaust are available for children and young people. How did you go about making a selection?

Our work is oriented primarily to the needs of teachers, who regularly ask us to make recommendations and indeed seem almost to think that we must. We therefore bear in mind the so-called “classics” that are read in German classrooms as well as new publications, books written from a non-German perspective, and books that touch upon hitherto neglected themes, such as the hakhshara movement.  continue reading

“When civilization goes wrong, there is blood:” A brief exchange with Peter Greenaway

The exhibition “Obedience: An Art Installation in 15 Rooms by Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway” is about to open. It reflects on the biblical story of Abraham, a forefather willing to sacrifice his son in compliance at God’s command.The installation is still being set up when the catalog arrives, hot off the press. It comprises an art book designed by Peter Greenaway as well as a compilation of essays. The artist and filmmaker took a break from the hectic pre-opening preparations to talk with Mirjam Wenzel about the meaning of the biblical story, and the notion of text, image and blood.

Mirjam Wenzel: The biblical story in the Book of Genesis 22 holds an awkward place in Jewish memory and has given rise over the centuries to many theological debates and artistic interpretations. We had been considering doing an exhibition about this story and its reception for a very long time. What did you think when we approached you with the idea of creating this exhibition? How do you perceive this biblical story?  

Peter Greenaway: I think that when making an exhibition it is as important to attend to form and language as to content. The content is always maneuverable, adjustable, and ever subjective. This story consists of very many meanings,  continue reading