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Going-away Present

Unusual Objects from Our Core Exhibition Tell Stories of Jewish Life

In late 1936 Ernst and Margot Rosenthal left Germany and immigrated to the United States in hopes that they could live a life free of discrimination and persecution.

Opened album with pictures of the Chicago skyline, a skyscraper and a painted head with feather decoration, and handwritten text

Bruno Heidenheim, Album to bid farewell to Margot (1913–2010) and Ernst Rosenthal (1898–1971), Chemnitz, 1936; Jewish Museum Berlin, accession 2017/285/0, gift of Karin and Steve Rosenthal, photo: Roman März

In order to ease their departure, friends of theirs, the Heidenheim family, gave them “Small Tips for Great People”, an affectionately handmade album that was a collage of self-composed sayings and poems and pictures cut out of the newspaper. The charming going-away present was to prepare the Rosenthals for their host country.

Our Stories: “Farewell, farewell, think of us oft, we'll send you our well-wishing thoughts. Happiness awaits across the sea, but saying goodbye to you isn't easy.” Aubrey Pomerance, head of our archive and curator of the new core exhibition, talks about this testimony to a close friendship and two diverging life paths. Further information on this object can be found in our online collections (in German).

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Core Exhibition: 13 Objects – 13 Stories (13)

13 Objects – 13 Stories

A Torah shield, a sculpture, a cushion: 13 unusual objects tell 13 stories of Jewish life. One of the tours of the JMB app leads right through the exhibition to eye-catchers of all kinds, some small, some big. What would a museum be without its many objects, each rich in meaning? You can get a sneak peek of the objects here on our website.

Female statue with traces of rust, missing the head

L’amitié au coeur (Friendship of the Heart)

by Étienne-Maurice Falconet (1716–1791), Paris, 1765, marble

Various crumpled documents with Hebrew letters, a shoe and a bag

Finds from the Memmels­dorf Genizah

Memmelsdorf (find site), ca. 1725–1830, paper, ink, fabric, leather, porcelain

Silver Torah shield with gilded columns and lions holding law tablets

Torah Shield

donated by Isaak Jakob Gans (1723–1798), Hamburg, 1760–1765, silver

Sculpture of a library made of lead with inserted glass fragments

Shevirat ha-Kelim (Breaking of the Vessels)

Anselm Kiefer, 1990–2019, lead, iron, glass, copper wire, charcoal, Aquatec

Oil painting with a family scene

Manheimer Family Portrait

by Julius Moser (1805–1879), Berlin, 1850, oil on canvas

Puppet with a crown and moving parts, which are connected with rivets

Puppet Show

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Käte Baer-Freyer (1885–1988), Berlin, ca. 1924, plywood, metals

White pillow with blue script

Decorated Cushion

“ISRAELI, JEW, and now SEVERELY DISABLED ...,” Daniel Josefsohn (1961–2016), Berlin, 2014/15, textile

Glass showcase full of tableware, cutlery and other silver objects

Silver Formerly Owned by Jews

Provenance: up to 1939 unknown Jewish owners, 1939 Hamburg Tax Authority

Opened album with pictures of the Chicago skyline, a skyscraper, a painting, and handwritten text

Going-away Present

Bruno Heidenheim, Album to bid farewell to Margot (1913–2010) and Ernst (1898–1971) Rosenthal, Chemnitz, 1936

Silver washbasin with flowers and ornaments, in the middle a Hebrew inscription

Hand Washbasin

Manufacturer: S. & D. Loewenthal, Frankfurt am Main, 1895/96, silver

Membership card with a heart-formed photo

No Longer in the Country

Unclaimed membership cards for the Jewish community Frankfurt am Main, 1949

Abstract painting in blue, black and yellow tones

Composition

by Otto Freundlich (1878–1943), 1938, tempera on cardboard

Yellow star with the word Jude (Jew) on it

Yellow Star

of the Lehmann family, Berlin, 1941–1945