A Golem is Going Around Berlin

The golem, a character from Jewish mythology, is currently present in an interesting exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin. But not only there.

Photograph of men dancing with dancing female robots

Yves Gellie, Human Version 2.08, Dancing Robot, Tohoku University, Japan; photo: Yves Gellie, galerie du jour agnès b

Guest article by Roberto Giardina, www.ildeutschitalia.com

In the foyer of the Museum for Communication, three robots – reminiscent of chess figures – are roaming around. They talk to the people walking up to them, stop and take a different route if you block their way, or accompany you when you walk next to them. Adults are just as fascinated as children. A visit to Berlin museums is fun, and doesn’t necessarily require you to speak German.

After playing on the ground floor at the Museum for Communication, you can visit the special exhibition on the Golden Section and have your forgotten school knowledge entertainingly refreshed (the exhibition Göttlich Golden Genial (godly golden genius) runs until 26 February, more on the Museum for Communication website (in German)).

Robots are fun to play with, but they have been the stuff of nightmares since time immemorial – will they take our jobs away from us soon?  continue reading


Bread and Golems

Six golem figures on a shelf

Souvenir shop in Prague, 2016; photo: Katharina Schmidt-Narischkin

They’re ubiquitous in Prague souvenir shops: clunky, mechanical golem figurines that owe their popularity to the 1951 film The Emperor and the Golem. The Czechoslovakian comedy classic, called Císařův pekař a pekařův císař in the original, was conceived by Martin Frič and Jiří Krejčík as a comedy of errors with political undertones. An irascible Emperor Rudolph II and his corrupt court are searching alternately for an elixir of youth and a recipe to turn lead into gold. But above all they want to find the legendary golem. This is the missing piece in the emperor’s cabinet of wonders and curiosities. On the search for the golem a brilliant switch takes place between Rudolf and his imperial baker, Matej. It’s an exchange from which both can profit in their different ways:  continue reading


Halftime for (the) GOLEM — What Do Our Visitors Have to Say?

A white room with drawings on the walls and a mirror in the center

View of a room of the exhibition GOLEM; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Yves Sucksdorff

Laura (23), Romania, architecture student

What is your impression of the exhibition?

The exhibition is fascinating and creepy at the same time. It makes you believe that the creatures displayed are real. Therefore, the atmosphere is very intense.

Which object or room has impressed you the most?

The room with the mirrors impressed me a lot. First, we were just playing around, which was fun. I could see myself and my friend in the mirror at the same time. But when I think of it now, it could be a metaphor for “looking beyond yourself.”

Do you know a sort of “Golem” from today?

As children, we have toys, dolls, and sometimes imaginary friends. We can talk to them and make them do what we want them to do.

Edgar (49), Germany, computer science

What was your impression of the exhibition?  continue reading