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Things

Highlights from the Collection of the Jewish Museum Berlin


At the Rafael Roth Learning Center we present special objects from our collection.

Screenshot of a digital puzzle

Visitors can put together a block puzzle of the New Synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse.

The section of our multimedia platform in which we tell the stories of these objects is called simply "Things." In it, we examine their historical context and significance for the present based on a wide range of images, documents, audio passages and films.

With the help of hands-on interactive elements, visitors are provided with insight into the collection process and explore how the objects were made, how they were used, and why they ended up in the museum.

Notebook with handwriting and sketches

This notebook belonged to the young Jewish scout Erich Meyer (b. 1920) from Frankfurt am Main. Viewers can leaf through its pages.

Viewers can admire a silver Torah pointer from the eighteenth century and look over the shoulder of a Torah scribe. They solve arithmetic problems using a medieval counting table, amble through Max Liebermann’s reconstructed garden on Lake Wannsee, and leaf through a notebook belonging to a Jewish scout.

graphic image of a circumcision bench

Animations show how the objects were used. This short film focuses on the role of the circumcision bench in the circumcision ceremony.

The historical objects are set in relation to the present. An old circumcision bench is shown and a surgeon explains how circumcisions are performed in hospitals today. An Iron Cross awarded to a soldier from the First World War sets the stage for a discussion of Jews in the Bundeswehr. After presenting a historical silver Hanukkah lamp, we examine the styles of present-day aluminum and plastic models.

dentist house sign

An office sign and a photograph—these are the only possessions of Dr. Max Magner that are currently in the museum’s collection. The memories of a former patient bring the objects to life.

Interviews with donors, experts and historical witnesses play a particularly important role. The former patient of a Jewish dentist who survived the Nazi era presents his views, as do literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki and European Parliament representative Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

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