Complex, interwoven, and emotional

Experts discuss political adult education on the Middle East conflict

Various brochures lie on a table, with titles such as "Where does hatred of Jews come from?"

Many educational providers offer materials for confronting anti-Semitism pedagogically; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Nadja Rentzsch

“Emotional” and “complex” are words often used to describe the Middle East conflict and approaches to it. How should it be handled in the everyday practice of education and continuing education? This is one of the questions in my research project “Didactics of the Middle East Conflict,” which I am conducting as a W. M. Blumenthal Fellow (more about the project on the museum website).

At a university or an institute, generally there is a research colloquium full of people working on similar themes, or who at least come from the same discipline. In such colloquia, one can present new work, discuss initial findings, get feedback about dealing with difficulties, and discover stimulating new ideas. At a museum, people engage with a great variety of topics, but not with empirical research on the didactics of the Middle East conflict. And so on September 8th, I invited external experts on educational work relating to the Middle East conflict, anti-Semitism, and racism to come to the museum. We discussed teaching and learning on this subject with members of the Education Department and the museum’s Academy Programs.  continue reading


“And next Sunday, no one will be thinking of the election anymore”

The 1930 German Federal Election

Black-and-white photograph of a man wearing a suit and glasses reading a newspaper while sitting at a table

Heinz Arzt reading the newspaper, 1920; Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Hilde Pearton, née Bialostotzky

Recently I was leafing through the inventory listing of a family collection that has been in our archives for many years. I wanted to rework the index in order to bring it up to our current standards. The collection included documents, photographs, and objects from the Arzt and Bialostotzky families. In the twenty-three page inventory, a letter was listed for the Berlin liqueur manufacturer Heinz Arzt (1866–1931) in the category “correspondence,” but neither a sender nor recipient was listed, to say nothing of its contents. The extremely brief description went: “Letter: hand-written, 14 Sept. 1930.”

So I went into the archives and pulled the document numbered 2001/219/28 from box 451 to complete the listing. Suddenly, I was holding a fascinating piece of history in my hands: the so-called letter turned out to be a brief report on the Reichstag election eighty-seven years ago.  continue reading


Exhibition Tip: Shalom. 3 Photographers Look at Germany

Readers of our blog may be interested to learn that from 5 May to 3 September, the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei is hosting the exhibition Shalom. 3 Photographers Look at Germany. Holger Biermann | Rafael Herlich | Benyamin Reich. Here is a snippet from the exhibition announcement:

A kosher food store in Berlin, a rabbi’s family with a new-born, police officers standing guard at a Frankfurt synagogue – scenes from everyday Jewish life in Germany. These photographs by Holger Biermann, Rafael Herlich and Benyamin Reich from 2000 to 2015 document Jewish life and culture from different perspectives – not only showing children in a Talmud School or practicing Jews celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, but also anti- Semitic graffiti daubed on a synagogue.

The exhibition encourages visitors to engage with the question: How far is Jewish life taken for granted as a normal part of German society 70 years after the Shoah?

Opening times: Tues-Sun 10 am–6 pm, Thurs 10 am–8 pm
Free admission

More information, on supplementary offerings for example, can be found on the website of the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei (in German).