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23 March to 15 July 2012 Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in the 1920s

The Kempler Family’s Krakauer Café and Kosher Pastry Shop

Woman with two children in front of shop entrance
David Kempler’s shop, 1925. The writing on the facade reads “Krakauer Café and Pastry Shop, Breakfast, Dinner." Liebe Kempler is standing in front with her children Fanny and Miri; baby Hillel is in the carriage. © Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Hillel Kempler

Statement by the scholar Anne-Christin Saß

»Cut off from their native countries and merely tolerated in Berlin, many immigrants used the ›freedom offered by their lives as immigrants‹ to reorient themselves and develop forward-looking solutions to the social, political, and cultural problems of emerging postwar Europe.

Present-day Almstadtstrasse, once Grenadierstrasse, in the district of Mitte, which until recently led a lackluster existence on the edge of the Hackescher Markt. Today it is largely empty and there are few reminders that it once served as the main thoroughfare for the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in Berlin. For me, it most vividly illustrates the violent end of this chapter of immigration history in Germany.«

Anne-Christin Saß is a member of the project »Charlottengrad und Scheunenviertel« at the Free University of Berlin

Black-and-white photo of the family of seven
David (1888–1954) and Liebe Kempler (1888–1974) with their five children in 1926: Hillel, Isi, Fanny, Miri, and Gusty (left to right),
© Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Hillel Kempler
Girl and boy with a teddy bear on a small bench
Miri (b. 1923) and Hillel Kempler (b. 1925), 1928 © Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Hillel Kempler
Boy in a sailor's suit with a school bag in front of a chalkboard reading “My first day of school 193...”
Hillel Kempler (b. 1925) on his first day of school in 1932 © Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Hillel Kempler
Form with grades and evaluations entered by hand
Final report card issued to Fanny Kempler (b. 1914) in 1931 by the Girls’ School of the Jewish Community, located at 29–30 Kaiserstrasse © Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Hillel Kempler