There’s a Fair Upstairs,

or Why Toy Dogs Aren’t Allowed in the Museum

A small dog in a bag

Photo by Gertraud Zimmermann from an article on

Some time ago an entire extended family from Berlin wanted to visit the Jewish Museum Berlin, with grandma and the whole kit and caboodle—including their toy dog Choux-Choux. Heading in towards the permanent exhibition, every member of the family passed through the ticket check smoothly … except the father. This well-built gentleman was carrying a little bag under his arm—with a tiny dog peaking out of it.

The museum’s hosts amiably informed the patriarch that the dog was permitted in the lobby and museum garden, but not in the exhibitions. They did not, however, encounter much forbearance and a heated discussion ensued. The argument went, “This is a toy dog. He’s allowed everywhere!” The surprised hosts, who had up till that moment never heard the term ‘toy dog,’ followed up on the unresolved question: why in fact couldn’t Choux-Choux come into the museum?  continue reading

Towards an Online Platform for Jewish History and Culture

The mid-term online strategy of the Jewish Museum Berlin

photo of a workshop at we are museums 2014

At a wearemuseum’s workshop in Warschau 2014 CC-BY-SA wearemuseums

At the moment, the conference “we are museums” is taking place in the rooms of our Academy. I have been working for days on my keynote lecture in which I take stock of recent developments at our museum. It is almost two years to the day since my colleagues and I first sat down together to discuss the web presence then in place and the cornerstones of its renewal. For while our online activities had been steadily expanding and diversifying, external assessment and target group evaluation revealed that visitors were finding it increasingly difficult to navigate our website. So it was evidently high time to  continue reading

Praise, Every Day:

From the In-Box of the Blog Editorial

Luckily, this blog receives anti-Semitic comments only rarely. When the case arises, we, the moderators, ask ourselves – as we do with all comments – whether we should publish them and make them visible for others, or not? Should we post this type of aggressive nonsense for the sake of transparency and documentation, and reveal the statements a Jewish museum has to deal with? Should we perhaps even reply to them and invalidate the commentator’s ‘arguments,’ if he or she has any? Or would we be offering anti-Semites an unwarranted platform? So far, we have opted against publishing the type of comment which reproduces age-old theories of world conspiracy. Such delusions are far too widely proliferated already, and we neither want to spread them further nor compel our readers to take them seriously on the Jewish Museum’s blog.

An individual in front of a computer spreading comments

Blog editor at work

Much more often, the blog’s inbox contains a chorus of praise: “Thanks for the wise analysis,” one reader tells us, or, an even more enthusiastic writer: “Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will come back again.”

Some are positively ecstatic:  continue reading