From a Berlin Farce to a Success Story

On the Origins of the Jewish Museum Berlin, 1971–2001 (in German)

Since its opening in September 2001, the Jewish Museum Berlin has established itself as one of the best-known museums in Germany. In the preceding years, however, there was fierce controversy over its construction. Why was the former Superior Court of Justice going to be annexed to the Libeskind Building? How could the Jewish department of a museum for city history be transformed into a national museum for the history and culture of Jews in Germany?

This political origin story is precisely what Daniel Bussenius suspensefully and insightfully retraces in From a Berlin Farce to a Success Story. The historian gives us a glimpse of the history of West Berlin through the 1970s and 1980s and the first decade of reunified Berlin following the fall of the Wall. The story is both about the German-Jewish relationship and about Berlin's development from the fall of the Wall and Reunification to the German Bundestag's decision to make the German capital the seat of government and parliament once more. The book also looks back at the debate over the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.


  • Von der Hauptstadtposse zur Erfolgsgeschichte. Die Entstehung des Jüdischen Museums Berlin 1971-2001
    [From a Berlin Farce to a Success Story. On the Origins of the Jewish Museum Berlin, 1971–2001]
    (Schriften des Jüdischen Museums Berlin, Band 1)
    216 pages with 16 illustrations
    Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
    Göttingen 2014
    ISBN: 978-3-525-30071-8
    In German only
  • Author Daniel Bussenius
  • Design textformart
  • Price 39.99 €
    32.99 € (PDF, ISBN 978-2-647-30071-9)
    32.99 € (epub, ISBN 978-3-647-99657-8)
    99.99 € (Campus license, ISBN 978-3-666-30071-4)

You can order this publication from a bookstore, or from the museum by contacting

Bavaroi Onlineshop

With the support of the Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin

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