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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Fritz Stern

2 February, 1926 – 18 May, 2016

Fritz Stern

Fritz Stern

Fritz Stern, born in 1926 in Breslau, passed away on 18 May 2016 in the United States.

The Jewish Museum Berlin mourns the loss of one of its winners of the Prize for Understanding and Tolerance and a member of the Advisory Board for the permanent exhibition.

Jewish Museum Berlin
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In Memory of Rafael Roth

Photo of Rafael Roth

Rafael Roth, 2003 © Jewish Museum Berlin, photograph: Bildschön

In late 1998, long before the Jewish Museum Berlin opened its doors, the Berlin entrepreneur Rafael Roth offered to support the museum financially. He was committed to W. Michael Blumenthal’s vision of a center dedicated to research on and education in the history of Jewish life in Germany.

Roth was enthusiastic about the idea of a modern media center that would enable visitors to explore Jewish history in an interactive format. His generous donation funded the architecture, the concept and the technical development of this center, located on the subterranean level of the Daniel Libeskind building. When the “Rafael Roth Learning Center“ was inaugurated together with the permanent exhibition on 9 September 2001, it fulfilled its initial purpose, namely to be “the most up-to-date, most impressive and most important center of its kind.” Twelve years later, the media-lounge and study rooms still attract a great number of museum visitors.

Rafael Roth died on 21 September. The Jewish Museum Berlin is highly indebted to him and remembers him in great fondness.

 Mirjam Wenzel and Henriette Kolb, Media