Jewish in the GDR

A Historic Urban Walk Around the New Synagogue Berlin

The suburb of Spandau and its surroundings were once a center of Jewish life in Berlin. Today, many Jewish institutions and organizations have once again returned to the area. But what did it look like after the war and during GDR times – between catastrophe and new start, anti-fascist ideology and Judaism as it was lived day-to-day? Come and uncover clues to the past!

Past event


Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum
Oranienburger Str. 28-30, 10117 Berlin

The photograph shows the New Synagogue in Berlin's Oranienburger Straße in its destroyed state during the GDR. Oranienburger Straße is flanked by Trabant-type cars.

Ralf Münch, exterior view of the New Synagogue in Oranienburger Straße in East Berlin, Berlin, 1958 to 1990: Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin in co­operation with the foundation New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum invite you to join this special urban walk around the New Synagogue Berlin. The event is part of the exhibition Another Country. Jewish in the GDR. Where was Jewish life to be found here at all between 1945 and 1990, where did the small East Berlin Jewish community meet? What “Jewish” places dis­appeared from public consciousness and where did special places for political and private thought develop? What role did Jews play in the political and cultural life of the GDR? And to what extent was it possible for them to live out their Jewish identities within a secular, socialist society?

The two-hour urban walk starts at the Centrum Judaicum with an ex­ploration of the building com­plex. Partially re­constructed from 1998 onwards, it once again serves as a place of en­counter, learning and life for an active Jewish community.

Part of the program accompanying the exhibition Another Country. Jewish in the GDR in co­operation with the Foundation New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum

Designed graphic with overlapping photos and red squares, the top photo shows a woman with a child holding her hand, next to her a teenager, in the background the so-called workers' palaces in Stalinallee.

Exhibition Another Country. Jewish in the GDR: Features & Programs

Exhibition Webpage
Another Country. Jewish in the GDR: 8 Sep 2023 to 14 Jan 2024
Another Country. Jewish in the GDR: Catalog accompanying the exhibition, English edition, 2023
Ein anderes Land. Jüdisch in der DDR: Catalog accompanying the exhibition, German edition, 2023
Digital Content
Voices from the GDR: Twelve short film interviews with Jewish perspectives on life and the political system, 2023, in German with English subtitles
Come Fly With Me Over the Brandenburg Gate: A documentary by Esther Zimmering, in German
Singled Out and Viewed Suspiciously: Jews in the GDR: Abridged version of Annette Leo’s contribution to the exhibition catalog, 2023
Jewish in the GDR. A Road Trip with Marion and Lena Brasch: A podcast by Deutsch­land­funk Kultur in co­operation with the Jewish Museum Berlin, six episodes, 2023, in German
Jewish Local History of the GDR: Information about the communities in Dresden, Erfurt, Halle, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Chemnitz and Schwerin on Jewish Places
City Walk Berlin-East: Tour with Jewish Places from the New Synagogue to the kosher butcher’s shop, school participation project 2022/23
Soundtrack of the Exhibition: Playlist on Spotify
See also
East Germany

Where, when, what?

  • When1 Oct 2023 to 14 Feb 2024, by appointment
  • Duration2 hours
  • Where Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum
    Oranienburger Str. 28-30, 10117 Berlin
    See location on map
  • Note The tour starts in the building of the New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum. Please plan enough time for the security checkpoint at the entrance.
    The tour includes a streetcar ride, for which a BVG ticket must be purchased on your own.

    Cost per group 120 € per tour (max. 25 participants), reduced rate 86 €;
    Additional participants € 7 € per person, reduced rate 4.50 €

    Reduced fees are available for school classes and vocational training groups, severely disabled individuals (incl. an accompanying person as needed), unemployed individuals, job seekers receiving basic income (“Grundsicherung”), individuals completing military or civil service requirements, and holders of the Berlinpass.

    Booking requests Foundation New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum:
    Tel. +49 (0)30 88028- 305 (Mon–Fri, 10 am–3 pm)
    or order online

    Number of participants Up to 25

    Note This tour is especially designed for middle and high school classes, university students, adults and international groups.

    Languages The standard tour languages are German and English. Additional languages available upon request.

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