Jewish Museum Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin is the largest Jewish museum in Europe and a central point for remembering, discussing, researching and integrating Jewish-German life. It documents over 2,000 years of German-Jewish history, and has welcomed more than seven million visitors since it opened in 2001. The spectacular postmodern buildings by American architect Daniel Libeskind have also contributed to the museum's success. Its mission is to enlighten visitors about anti-Semitism and intolerance.

Under Director W. Michael Blumenthal, the Museum, which already documents one of history’s grossest violations of human dignity, is once again expanding its activities. The newly established Academy will conduct academic research into Jewish-German life, hold discussion forums and offer further training courses. The Jewish Museum has also produced many publications that examine the topic of anti-Semitism. These include the series “Testimonies” as well as the comprehensive “Resources for Schools”, which contain documents from the museum archives to be used in the classroom.

The online project entitled “1933: The beginning of the end of German Jewry” was launched recently to mark the 80th anniversary of the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German Chancellor. Every week in 2013, the Jewish Museum Berlin will be presenting historical documents from its archives at www.jmberlin.de/1933. These documents bear witness to the effects of anti-Semitic measures and offer a glimpse into the everyday lives of German Jews under the Nazi regime.

The Museum’s Director, Professor W. Michael Blumenthal, has played a key role in shaping the Museum into the institution it is today. Born near Berlin in Oranienburg, he and his family fled to Shanghai in 1939, later immigrating to the US. There he had successful careers in both business and politics, first as an advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in the State Department, then as Secretary of the Treasury under President Carter. In the 1990s, he turned his attention to the history of German Jews and published a book about his ancestors. As Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, he has received many awards for his commitment to researching German-Jewish history.

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