Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jewish Museum - Berlin

After lunch in the city (in the middle of an Oktoberfest festival!), we went to the Jewish Museum. The lunch, the festival, and the beautiful museum were all appreciated after the heavy morning that we had at the Hohenschonhausen Memorial.

I really liked the design of this museum. Each piece of the architecture was done with meaning and purpose. The museum now consists of two buildings. Information about the design can be read on the museum's Wikipedia page.

The museum's beautiful lounge/atrium:

The museum's outdoor garden is wonderful. The garden is called the Garden of Exile. A number of tall cement pillars are in rows, or a grid... and the only plants/trees are growing out of the top of these 49-foot tall pillars. The ground between the pillars is uneven... our tour guide led our group in a great discussion about the feelings that this garden gives a person (unbalanced, cold, alone, and dizzy were some of the words that the students said)... then the guide linked these feelings to how many people probably felt as they left their home country with little money and no knowledge of the English language... to arrive in the United States and attempt to build a new life.

The Garden of Exile:

One of the students and another teacher/chaperone had been to this museum before and both talked about the Holocaust Tower... a heavy door opens to an enclosed area, triangle-shaped, and looking up - there is one light in a corner of the triangle and the night sky... BUT... we were actually there during the daytime - the light is a small slit in the ceiling, making visitors feel as if they are in darkness within this empty tower...

The Holocaust Tower:

One of my favorite spots in the museum currently has an installation by Israeli artist, Menashe Kadishman...

The Memory Void space held the 'Shalekhet' (Fallen Leaves) installation... over 10,000 faces made of sheet steel cover the floor. Visitors can walk on the faces and the noises / music created is fascinating. The installation is dedicated to all of the innocent victims of war and violence.


  1. Thanks for sharing your photos! I am really looking forward to experiencing this place for myself this coming summer.

    The Fallen Leaves feature is both creepy and beautiful. I hope it will still be there when I visit.

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/

    1. Thanks for your comment Amanda! I think the installation by Kadishman should still be there... from what I can tell, it is on loan but seems to be listed as a new 'permanent' installation. Enjoy your visit... what a wonderful museum!