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A journey through two millennia of German Jewish history


The opening room of the permanent exhibition with a pomegranate tree

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin, "World of Ashkenaz" exhibition segment with pomegranate tree
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin, "World of Ashkenaz" exhibition segment with trading racks
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin, "Glikl" exhibition segment

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin, "Glikl" exhibition segment
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe

Museum visitors in the permanent exhibition

The "Matters of Faith" section of the permanent exhibition
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Sönke Tollkühn

Interior view of the permanent exhibition with visitors

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "City, Countryside, Court"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Visitors in the "Moses Mendelssohn and the Enlightenment" exhibition section

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "Moses Mendelssohn and the Enlightenment"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "Tradition and Change"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Interior view of the permanent exhibition, view of the windows in the Libeskind Building

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "Tradition and Change"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Paintings on a wall in the permanent exhibition

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "Family Life"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe

Interior view of the permanent exhibition with visitors, display cases, and wall of paintings

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "Family Life"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Interior view of the permanent exhibition with wooden synagogue model

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "Modern Judaism"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Visitors on the Children’s Island in the Libeskind Building

Children's Island in the Libeskind Building
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Sönke Tollkühn

Objects in the permanent exhibition (photos and text)

Interior view of the Jewish Museum Berlin’s permanent exhibition, segment "National Socialism"
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

View of the permanent exhibition

In the section of the permanent exhibition "So einfach war das" (Simple as that)
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

An art vending machine on a wall

Art vending machine in the permanent exhibition
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Stephan Klonk

Art installation entitled "Shalekhet" (Fallen Leaves) by Menashe Kadishman

Installation "Shalekhet" (fallen leaves), Menashe Kadishman, 1997-2001, gift of Dieter and Si Rosenkranz
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe

Libeskind Building, the axis of exile and the axis of holocaust

Libeskind Building, the Axis of Exile and the Axis of Holocaust
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Libeskind Building, the Axis of Exile and the Axis of Holocaust
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

A journey through two millennia of German Jewish history: In pictures and texts, through art and everyday objects, media terminals and interactive elements, the historical permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin tells of Jewish culture in Germany and of the difficult relationship between Jews and non-Jews. The exhibition is chronological, focusing on specific themes throughout the centuries. On a stroll through the exhibition, our visitors will learn about Jewish religious traditions and discover the life stories of Jewish men and women. Since Jews helped shape various areas of culture and history, they will also encounter many prominent episodes of German history, though this time perhaps through a different lens.

A whole exhibition section is devoted to Glikl bas Juda Leib (1646 – 1724), also known as Gluckel of Hamelin, trader, entrepreneur and mother of 12. In a computer game, our visitors pack Glikl’s suitcase for an upcoming business trip and learn about Jewish professional life in the early modern age.

In the exhibition section "Tradition and Change," we present historical objects alongside contemporary ones, objects used on Shabbat or at celebrations such as circumcisions or weddings. They demonstrate regional influences on Jewish religion and religious trends of various eras.

Many Jewish families, particularly those living in cities, came to wealth in the 19th century and enjoyed a prestigious lifestyle. The Jewish religion lost significance. Quite a number of families celebrated both Christmas and Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of the lights. A Christmas tree alongside a valuable Hanukkah menorah bear witness to this new development commonly refered to as "Chrismukkah."

"What does emancipation mean?" We ask our visitors to write down their answers to this question and hang them in our "Emancipation Tree." Personal letters, documents, and souvenirs – primarily donations to the Museum – tell of the Nazi era, of persecution, resistance, and emigration. The final segment of the permanent exhibition is devoted to Jewish life today and to the memories of German Jews and their childhoods and youths spent in Germany after 1945.

Visitors view Arnold Dreyblatt’s installation

Art installation entitled "Unsaid" by Arnold Dreyblatt in the permanent exhibition
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Bruns

Our permanent exhibition is less permanent than the name might suggest, as it is updated regularly. New additions are integrated into the exhibition, media terminal materials are extended and reworked, and theme areas undergo complete reconception and redesign. The suggestions and criticisms from our visitors flow into the planning for these alterations. With fresh exhibits and installations in our exhibition, we hope to remain a lively and engaging museum.

Learn in some Highlights more about our permanent exhibition and visit our Art Installations!

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