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Press Information, 29 January 2013

The Jewish Museum Berlin Launches the Online Project "1933. The Beginning of the End of German Jewry" on 30 January

On 30 January 1933, Rosa Süss from Mannheim wrote to her newly wedded daughter Liselotte and son-in-law: "So today Hitler is Chancellor - that will be pleasant company - but they put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us, and we shall wait and see what happens!" This letter marks the beginning of the online project "1933. The Beginning of the End of German Jewry." It can be viewed at www.jmberlin.de/1933/en beginning on 30 January. Alongside the letter, visitors will also receive insights into the Süss family's lives and fates marked by anxiety and hope. With this, the Jewish Museum Berlin launches the theme year "Destroyed Diversity." Each week until the end of December, selected historical records from the year 1933 will be published on this website. The over 110 documents will each relate to that particular day 80 years ago. An image of daily life from the perspective of German Jews in the year 1933 will gradually emerge.

"During the course of 1933, more than 300 decrees, regulations, and laws interfered with the lives of all German Jews. The selected documents are direct evidence of the discrimination and persecution politics of this time. They throw light on selected biographies and illustrate the rich diversity of Jewish life present in Germany before 1933," explains Aubrey Pomerance, head of the archive at the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Leo Baeck Institute.

The project presents very varied sources - official and personal letters, postcards, certificates, identification cards, applications, reports, diary entries, notes, and photos. Nearly all of these stem from private donations and bequests kept by the museum's archive and the Leo Baeck Institute. Transcriptions and multimedia features enable these to be accessed by individuals.

The online presentation sets the sources in their biographical and historical contexts and illuminates the fates of individuals and families. Only then do the existence-threatening consequences of a sober letter from the authorities become clear, can the expression of solidarity for a Jewish sports club chairman be interpreted, or the photo be appreciated of the first school day of a boy who was forced to leave Germany just a few years later.

Photos and further information

Katharina Schmidt-Narischkin
Telefon: +49(0)30 259 93 419

Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin

Press photos can be found at www.jmberlin.de/fotodownload > "Various". Further press photos will be added during the course of the year.

The objects will also be published successively in the Jewish Museum Berlin online collections: http://objekte.jmberlin.de

Upcoming Events Accompanying the Online Project "1933. The Beginning of the End of German Jewry"
5 February:
The Beginning of the End
A Cabaret Evening on the Year 1933 with the New Budapest Orpheum Society

Inspired by the Budapest Orpheum Society in fin de siècle Vienna, the new Budapesters from Chicago celebrate the diversity of Jewish cabaret. The program selected by the Jewish Museum Berlin is a journey back in time to the German-Jewish history of the 1930s and the music that accompanied it - poignant, controversial, tragic. The cabaret evening reflects the fate of musicians and critics of the time and acts of destruction and survival. The show will be hosted primarily in German and most songs will be German, with some songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English.

The New Budapest Orpheum Society, an Ensemble-in-Residence of the University of Chicago/USA, in cooperation with the MusikSalon Berlin of the Ethnological Museum, National Museums in Berlin

Location: Great Hall at 7.30 pm
Admission: 9 euros, reduced rate 7 euros
Bookings: tel. +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

16 March:
Long Night of Museums: Destroyed Diversity

A half-hour tour through the permanent exhibition entitled "Destroyed Diversity" shows how the self image of many Jews as German citizens of Jewish faith was suddenly destroyed in the year 1933. The tour concludes with the April Boycott of 1 April 1933. Following this, photographs and documents from the online exhibition "1933. The Beginning of the End of German Jewry" will be presented on a large screen. This enables the viewer to understand the story from the perspective of Jewish contemporaries of that time.

Location: Permanent exhibition, every half hour from 6 to 10 pm
Admission with the Long Night Ticket

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