_
Museum on Site (main site) Kids, Students, Teachers Online Showcases Blogerim (blog)

Press Information, 18 March 2013

Jewish Museum Berlin Exhibition and Event Preview for April to June 2013


With the arrival of spring, the Jewish Museum Berlin will launch new special exhibitions and a diverse film, musical, and cultural program. 30 questions lead visitors through the exhibition "The Whole Truth ... everything you always wanted to know about Jews." These include questions that visitors have asked the Jewish Museum Berlin, and questions that adults and school students ask about Judaism. Each question is "answered" with an installation that places objects, quotes, and texts together in a shared context.
Starting in May, the Jewish Museum Berlin will dedicate a comprehensive show to the artist and political caricaturist from Prague, Bedrich Fritta, entitled "Bedrich Fritta. Drawings from the Theresienstadt Ghetto." The artistic means Fritta employed to interpret his situation in the Theresienstadt ghetto are shown in 170 ink drawings, sketches and bound sketch books.
April will see the musical highlight "intonations. The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival at the Jewish Museum Berlin" in its second year. Led by Elena Bashkirova, promising young talents will perform alongside internationally renowned soloists and musicians from orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras in the Glass Courtyard at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Special Exhibition
"The Whole Truth … everything you always wanted to know about Jews"

22 March to 1 September
"The Whole Truth … everything you always wanted to know about Jews"
A Rabbi is asked why Jews always answer a question with another question. "Why not?" he replies. The question is turned around and used as a prompt for the questioner to reflect. At the same time, the refusal to answer the question suggests that there is no single "right" Response, but rather a variety of answers. 30 questions lead visitors through the exhibition. Each question is "answered" with an installation that places objects, quotes, and texts together in a common context. Nearly 180 objects from religious and everyday life and contemporary art provide insights into Jewish thought, Jewish identity debates, and the relationship to the non-Jewish environment. For the question "Are there still Jews in Germany?", a Jewish guest will sit in a showcase at selected times and be available to respond to visitors’ questions and comments.
A peek behind the scenes of the special exhibition can be had on the Jewish Museum Berlin blog: www.jmberlin.de/blog

Where: Old Building, first level
Admission with the museum ticket: 7 euros, reduced rate 3.50 euros

Program accompanying the special exhibition

30 May:
How Does a Jew Make it into Heaven? – one question, three answers
Moderated by Cilly Kugelmann
Three rabbis of different denominations – orthodox, liberal, conservative – answer usual and unusual questions about Judaism.

Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: 5 euros, reduced rate 3 euros
Bookings: +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

Monday Movies

15 April:        
The Road to Mecca – The Journey of Muhammad Asad
Directed by Georg Misch, Austria 2008, 92 min
The Jew Leopold Weiss embarks upon a journey to the Mideast in the early 1920s. He converts to Islam and changes his name to Muhammad Asad. Asad was one of the 20th century’s most important Muslims as advisor to the Saudi Arabian royal court, translator of the Qur’an, cofounder of Pakistan, and ultimately a UN Ambassador.
This Monday Movie event will be held in the Great Hall.

29 April:    
Hats of Jerusalem
Directed by Nati Adler, Israel 2006, 52 min, original version with English subtitles
Behind every type of hat in Jerusalem there is a story that Nati Adler explores in this quirky, yet informative documentary.

13 May:
David
Directed by Joel Fendelman, USA 2010, 80 min, English original version
David is an 11-year-old boy from Brooklyn. Following a misunderstanding, he is thought to be Jewish and called David. He makes friends with Jewish boys of his age and finds himself involved in a conflict – he is the son of an imam.

27 May:
Hava Nagila
Directed by Roberta Grossman, USA 2012, 73 min, original version with English subtitles
Everyone knows the Hebrew song – from the school choir, the version by Harry Belafonte, or as party music. The film explores the power of a song in terms of its popular and cultural identity.

10 June
Jew by Choice
Directed by David Bernet / Robert Ralston, Germany 2007, 54 min
Up to 100 German Christians and atheists register annually with Jewish communities in Germany and Israel and request permission to convert. The film shows how these people make their wish reality and how their friends and relatives react.    

The "Monday Movie" events are held at 7:30 pm in the Auditorium, Old Building
Admission free
Admission with seat ticket only (available at the cash desk)
Bookings: +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

Art Installation: "Roundhouse Reverb. A Film Installation of the Kafka Fragments Op. 24 by György Kurtág"
15 March to 26 April

A Film Installation of the Kafka Fragments, Op. 24 by György Kurtág
The Kafka Fragments, Op. 24, by the Hungarian composer György Kurtág from 1987, is among contemporary chamber music’s most significant works. The cycle for soprano and violin is based on sentence fragments and aphorisms from Franz Kafka. The installation invites visitors to enter the circular form inspired by roundhouse architecture and to listen and move to the hour-long composition of the Kafka Fragments. The music is accompanied by video clips – starting from the central motif, the "journey" and the "path" into the Kafka Fragments, the soprano Caroline Melzer and the violoinist Nurit Stark followed Franz Kafka’s inner world and György Kurtág’s musical inspiration from Berlin and through Poland towards Russia over a period of several months. The 40 music clips show the musicians playing the often very brief fragments at different locations including in trains, roundhouses and subways. During the course of this journey, the musicians sometimes become figures from Kafka’s world or heroines of post-Soviet everyday life. The film installation explores the absurd potential of Kafka’s text fragments and makes use of roundhouse architecture as a turntable through time.
Concept/Realization: Isabel Robson and Susanne Vincenz
A production by "Roundhouse Reverb GbR" in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin, deSingel International Arts Campus Antwerp, and "Deutschlandradio Kultur." Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund (Hauptstadtkulturfonds).

Where: Libeskind Building, ground floor, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Admission with the museum ticket: 7 euros, reduced rate 3.50 euros

Program accompanying the art installation "Roundhouse Reverb"

10 April:
The Kafka Fragments, Op. 24 by György Kurtág
Concert with Caroline Melzer and Nurit Stark in the film installation
The Kafka Fragments, Op. 24 for soprano and violin from 1987 are among the most important works of contemporary chamber music. György Kurtág used quotations, aphorisms, and sentence fragments by Franz Kafka which feature the motif of journey or path. This performance of the Kafka Fragments will capture a new approach to this unique and highly complex work. György Kurtág’s composition for soprano and violin is performed as a concert, but increasingly also as a staged performance. The tension between these two types of performance is characterized in the score and is picked up on in "Roundhouse Reverb." Here the musical interpretation of the German singer Caroline Melzer and Israeli violinist Nurit Stark is extended to a cinematic level.

Where: Libeskind Building, ground floor, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Time: 8 pm
Admission: 5 euros, reduced rate 2.50 euros
Bookings: +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

Special Exhibition: "Bedrich Fritta. Drawings from the Theresienstadt Ghetto"

17 May to 25 August
Bedrich Fritta. Drawings from the Theresienstadt Ghetto
The exhibition features works by the Czech-Jewish artist and cartoonist Bedrich Fritta that were produced at the Theresienstadt ghetto between 1942 and 1944. Deported to Theresienstadt on 4 December 1941, Fritta was appointed head of a Jewish-governed drawing studio of the Jewish self-administration. Up to 20 imprisoned artists worked there on behalf of the SS. They had to draw building plans, illustrated diagrams, and statistics that would support the official image of the smooth functionning of the ghetto. But in secret, Fritta captured the reality of daily life. In the autumn 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz where he died of illness on 5 November. Most of his unofficial drawings were preserved in hiding, and are now in the possession of his son, the artist Thomas Fritta-Haas. This collection of large-format ink drawings and small sketches is shown for the first time in its entirety.

Where: Libeskind Building, ground floor, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Admission with the museum ticket: 7 euros, reduced rate 3.50 euros

Program accompanying the Special Exhibition "Bedrich Fritta. Drawings from the Theresienstadt Ghetto"

Tour with the Curators
6 June:
Art or Document?
The tour provides insights into the phenomenon of artistic creation at the Theresienstadt ghetto and into the art of Bedrich Fritta.
Fritta led the drawing studio where imprisoned artists had to work on behalf of the SS. They used this official task as a cover for their "illegal" work. Based on selected examples, the curators will discuss the artistic and aesthetic strategies used to represent everyday ghetto life in Fritta’s unofficial drawings.

Where: Libeskind Building, ground floor, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Admission: 7 euros, reduced rate 5 euros
Bookings on tel. +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

Monday Movies

3 June
Kurt Gerron – Prisoner of Paradise
Directed by Malcolm Clarke / Stuart Sender, GB/Canada/USA/Germany, 2002, 70 min, English original version with German subtitles
This Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of the Jewish singer, director, and film star from the Weimar Republic, Kurt Gerron. After his deportation in 1944 to the Theresienstadt ghetto, Gerron founded the cabaret "Karussell."
The film combines re-enactments of interviews with contemporary witnesses with excerpts from an SS propaganda film filmed in the ghetto which Gerron had to direct just a few months before he was murdered in Auschwitz.

17 June:
Das ist kein Märchen, das ist die Wahrheit
(This is no fairytale, it is the truth)
Directed by Angelika Kettelhack, Germany 1988, 45 min
This documentary portrays Thomas Fritta-Haas, who spent the early years of his childhood in the Theresienstadt ghetto. On his third birthday, his father Bedrich Fritta gave Thomas a children’s book drawn in the ghetto. These images allow a subtle introduction to the life of Thomas Fritta-Haas, his exploration of his own family history and his Jewish identity.

The "Monday Movie" events are held at 7:30 pm in the Auditorium, Old Building
Admission free

Admission with seat ticket only (available at the cash desk)
Bookings: +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

Cultural Program
"intonations" at the Jewish Museum Berlin for the Second Time

"intonations – the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival" will be held in April at the Jewish Museum Berlin for the second time. Founded by Elena Bashkirova in Jerusalem 15 years ago, the festival continues in the museum’s Glass Courtyard. For six days, music fans can experience classic to contemporary chamber music on the highest level. International soloists, top musicians from orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, and a selection of promising young talents follow the call of festival leader, Elena Bashkirova. Alongside well-known names such as Daniel Barenboim, Gidon Kremer, Roman Trekel, and Isabelle van Keulen, a number of musicians will perform who are so far only known by a small group of experts but who belong to the world elite. Besides masters such as Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Ludwig van Beethoven, the focus of this year’s program will be on outstanding composers whose works have been unjustly forgotten as a result of persecution, expulsion, and camp imprisonment. They include Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Hans Krása, Viktor Ullmann, and Erwin Schulhoff, who were murdered by the Nazis and whose œuvres have only been rediscovered in the last 20 years.

Where: Glass Courtyard, ground level
Festival running time: 20 to 25 April 2013
Admission: 24 euros and 20 euros plus advance booking fee, reduced rate 16 euros (reduced rates only available at the door)
Ticket reservation: by tel. on +49 1805 57 00 70 (0.14 euros/min from a German landline; max. 0.42 euros/min. from a German mobile phone); online at www.eventim.de; at all known booking offices and at the Jewish Museum Berlin cash desk

For the current program, see: www.jmberlin.de/intonations (in German)

Program accompanying "intonations – The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival"

21 April:
International Master Class for piano with Professor Dmitri Bashkirov and students of the Hanns Eisler Music Academy, Berlin
Time: midday
Admission free
   
23 April:
Critics’ Quartet: "Piano Quintet by Alfred Schnittke"
Introductory talk and Discussion with Dr. Eleonore Büning, Ludolf Baucke,
Sabine Fallenstein and Dr. Helge Grünewald
Admission free with concert ticket

Cultural Program Marking the 80th Anniversary of the Book Burnings

7 May:
Bambi and the Theory of Relativity. Books on the Nazi Pyre
Opening of the Showcase Exhibition

"Bambi" by Felix Salten, Albert Einstein’s "Theory of Relativity" are among the books by over 350 authors burned on the Nazi pyre. As part of the Berlin theme year "Destroyed Diversity," the library of the Jewish Museum Berlin will be showcasing the recent donation from George Warburg (Connecticut, USA). His collection contained over 400 valuable books, mainly first editions, that were published in the Weimar Republic and later listed as "harmful and undesirable literature."
Where: Libeskind Building, ground floor, Rafael Roth Learning Center
Time: 11 am
Admission free

10 May:
Zvi Kolitz: Jossel Rakover Turns to God
Staged Monologue

Zvi Kolitz’ moving monologue from the Warsaw Ghetto is "a beautiful and true text, as true as only fiction can be." (Emmanuel Levinas)
"Der Tojt kenn mehr nit warten" – "Death can wait no longer." To German ears, the Yiddish sounds both familiar and foreign at the same time. The "moving human and religious document" (Thomas Mann) from Buenos Aires in the year 1946, comes from a person who knows the abyss.
A performance by Arie Zinger in the original Yiddish version
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Admission: 15 euros, reduced rate 10 euros

Bookings: +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

Cultural Summer Program 2013

Opening

26 May:
Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird
Daniel Kahn is avant-gardist and traditionalist, poet and romantic, restless driver and pioneer of a society whose future we must search for in the past. The new program features polyglot revivals of Yiddish folksongs as well as the great songs and Lieder of the last centuries, from Heine / Schumann through Leonard Cohen to Franz Josef Degenhardt, as well as their own songs such as the Berlin Ostalgie ballad "Good Old Bad Old Days."
"Spirited entertainment full of social skills with subversive force. Sway for the revolution." (Journal Frankfurt) Daniel Kahn: accordion, guitar, piano, organ and ukulele / Jake Shulman-Ment: violin / Hampus Melin: drums / Michael Tuttle: bass
Where: Glass Courtyard, ground floor
Time: 7 pm
Admission: 15 euros, reduced rate 10 euros

Jazz in the Garden

16 June:
Tingvall Trio
Strong melodies, infectious grooves, and authenticity have quickly made the Tingvall Trio one of the most popular jazz acts on the current scene, already the winners of three ECHO Jazz Awards. The music of the trio from Sweden, Germany, and Cuba instantly evokes images, be they foggy Scandinavian landscapes, roaring sea surges or studies of human character.
Where: Museum Garden
Time: 11 am to 1 pm
Admission free

23 June:
A Long, Long Trail a Winding
Kalle Kalima / Greg Cohen / Max Andrzejewski           
A ride through the themes of old US series draws us into the world of truck-stop bars of the 60s. The three musicians work on songs by Jewish songwriters of country, music, blues, and jazz music for the Jewish Museum Berlin. Kalle Kalima, the energetic Finnish guitarist, Greg Cohen, who has worked as a bass player with John Zorn and Tom Waits, and the restless young and experimental jazz drummer Max Andrzejewski give everything they have.
Where: Museum Garden
Time: 11 am to 1 pm
Admission free

Further Cultural Events from May to June

8 May:
Circumcision: Identity Politics and / or Health Issue?
Talk by Sander L. Gilman in English
The current debate over boys’ circumcision in the USA and Europe returns time and again to the question of whether this intervention has a positive or negative impact on health. The history of these claims and their implications are not as straightforward as both sides would like to make it. Tracing this discussion back throws light on the ideological motives behind this debate.
In cooperation with the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Time: 7 pm
Admission: 5 euros, reduced rate 3 euros
Bookings: +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

23 May:
The UNRWA and the Instrumentalization of Humanitarian Aid
The UNRWA tends to the needs of the estimated 4.8 million Palestinian refugees. According to a study by former employee James Lindsay, however, millions go in aid to people who do not need these services. So who does the UNRWA consider to be in need of assistance and who is defined as a refugee? And how can the UNRWA prevent terrorists benefitting from its services? Michael Spaney and Jörg Rensmann explore at which point the authority becomes a political actor – and thus a part of the problem.
In cooperation with the Jewish Community College of the Jewish Community Berlin
Where: Old building, ground floor, Auditorium
Time: 7 pm
Admission: 5 euros, reduced rate 3 euros
Bookings: +49 (0)30 880 28 265

29 May:
Diana Pinto: Planet Israel. Archaic or Postmodern?
Book Presentation in English
In her new book "Israel Has Moved," Diana Pinto searches for new coordinates for Israel. The country has changed in many ways – relations with old allies in Europe and the United States and the historical reference to the Shoah are no longer the central axes of its identity.
The country sees its future more in the booming high-tech industry with a focus on China than in a re-entrenchment in an old, even archaic past seen as ethnically exclusive. Diana Pinto talks to Susan Neiman, director of the Einstein Forum.
In cooperation with the Einstein Forum and Suhrkamp Publishers
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: 7 euros, reduced rate 5 euros
Bookings on tel. +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

9 June:
Maimonides Colloquium: "Hear the truth, whoever speaks it"
The colloquium is dedicated to the largely unknown but continuing influence of Moses Maimonides’ work in Christian-Arab, Muslim, and Latin thought. In short lectures and a panel discussion, the doctrine of the Trinity as inspired by Maimonides in Coptic literature and Maimonides’ influence on Muslim-Arab philosophy and the Latin Middle Ages are explored.
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Time: 2 pm
Admission free

12 June:
A Century of Israeli Art
Book Presentation in English
Yigal Zalmona – until recently chief curator of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem – provides an overview of Israel’s art of the last 100 years. He describes the major art movements against the backdrop of social and political developments. Beginning in 1906 with the founding of the Bezalel School of Art, which gave itself the goal of creating a Jewish national art, Zalmona shows how contemporary events are tightly linked to trends in the Israeli art world. Zalmona concludes with a look at the present situation and the status of photography and video art in Israel today.
In cooperation with Lund Humphries London
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: 5 euros, reduced rate 3 euros
Bookings on tel. +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or reservierung[at]jmberlin.de

28 June:
The Reinvention of the Museum
On the Transition of a Historical Institution
The museum, originally created as an institution of the modern nation-state, is undergoing a dramatic transition today. With public funds scarce and the dependence on private sponsors growing, the museum is intended to be a place of education, civic engagement, and commerce-oriented event culture. Staff and curators must create exhibitions that have public appeal and at the same time take care of the collection and the return of cultural assets. Martin Roth, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, will talk about tackling this herculean task.
In cooperation with the Irmgard Coninx Stiftung
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission free

Online Project

31 January to 31 December
"1933. The Beginning of the End of German Jewry"
"Destroyed Diversity" is the title of the 2013 Berlin-wide theme year. At the website www.jmberlin.de/1933/en/, the Jewish Museum Berlin presents a selection of historical records from the year 1933 in an online showcase. These records demonstrate how a policy of discrimination and persecution impacted individuals and how they in turn responded. The online project follows a calendar structure – each week, documents and photographs will be uploaded that correspond to the same date 80 years ago. Gradually, a picture emerges of the harassment, exclusion, and deprivation of rights that shaped the everyday lives of German Jews. At the same time, the diversity of Jewish life in Germany before 1933 becomes clear. The original documents stem mainly from private donations and bequests kept by the museum archive and the Leo Baeck Institute. Transcriptions and multimedia features enable these to be accessed by individuals. The online presentation places the sources in their biographical and historical context and sheds light on the fates of individuals and families.
The objects are also published in the Jewish Museum Berlin online collection at http://objekte.jmberlin.de

Photos and further information

Katharina Schmidt-Narischkin
Telefon: +49(0)30 259 93 419
k.schmidt-narischkin[at]jmberlin.de

Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin
www.jmberlin.de
www.facebook.com/jmberlin

Press photos of the exhibitions and events can be downloaded from our website on
www.jmberlin.de/fotodownload.

Stay in touch