Bring Your Swim Trunks

A new tour is on offer at the Jewish museum for people with dementia

Photo of the dance scene described in the text, in the background a canvas with beach photo

Dancing to hit songs from 1951. People with dementia still remember old songs; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jule Roehr

Colleagues and friends reacted with shock and surprise, but also great interest when I told them about my project: as a research trainee in the education department, I was given the task of developing programming for Jewish Museum visitors with dementia.

I was very excited once the project concept had been finalized and we were ready to test it. We invited a group from an eldercare center.  continue reading


Jewish Places goes live today!

Starting now, you can fill this new website with content and life

Map with four historical photos cropped into circles

Landing page for the website Jewish Places

Jewish Places posts information about the local history of Jewish life in Germany on an interactive map, and invites users to contribute their own content. This sort of participation explores and permits a new kind of collecting, preserving, and sharing of knowledge about Jewish life.  continue reading


Born in 1918, two minutes from his parents’ perfumery on Kurfürstendamm

Fritz Scherk and the history of a family business in Berlin

Black-and-white photography of a laughing toddler sitting on a chair next to a birthday table.

Fritz Scherk on his second birthday, Berlin, May 26, 1920; Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Irene Alice Scherk, photo: Jens Ziehe

A beaming toddler sits naked on a lavishly laid birthday table, apparently having the time of his life. A photo like this could easily have been taken today, I thought, when I saw it in the diary that Ludwig and Alice Scherk kept for their son Fritz. In fact, the happy child would have turned 100 today. Being born in 1918 didn’t exactly promise a peaceful life, especially not for a member of a German-Jewish family. Actually the family’s second child had been planned for 1916, three years after the birth of their first son, but the outbreak of war got in the way. But on May 26, 1918, the time had come: Fritz was born next to his mother’s Bechstein piano—by candlelight because of the war, and just two minutes away from his parents’ business, the Scherk Perfumery on Kurfürstendamm.  continue reading

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