The Jewish Museum

Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in BerlinNo matter how many Jewish museums or holocaust memorials you have been to, the Jewish Museum in Berlin will astound you.

This museum is remarkable for managing to reduce unimaginable horror to a very human scale. In part it does this through the building itself. The design, by Daniel Libeskind, is intended to create the feeling of a community that has had parts of it ripped out. It does this well using voids and unfilled spaces. The memorial to those Jews who lost their lives or freedom is a personal one, concentrating on the stories of individuals and families as well as their German neigbhours or employees, some of whom kept valuables for them as they waited and hoped they would return.

This section is small and easily managed. If you wish to explore the full history of Judaism then go upstairs and you will find you need several hours to work through the extensive exhibition. Also look out for the regular events that take place there. These include an annual Hanuka market, to accompany Berlin’s many Christmas marktets, as well as other events that are timed to holidays.

The book shop has a nice selection of titles including several on Jewish history in Berlin and Jews in Germany more broadly. It is well worth a visit.

Finding the Jewish Museum Berlin

The easiest way to get to the Jewish museum on public transport is to take the U-6 U-bahn to Kochstrasse or the U-1 to Hallesches Tor and to then come out and follow the signs for the Jewish Museum (in German you will look for signs reading “Jüdisches Museum Berlin”. You can download a PDF  map showing how to get to the museum with visitors’ information here.


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