The history of Germany's Jews from the Middle Ages through today is chronicled here, from prominent historical figures to the evolution of laws regarding Jews' participation in civil society. A few of the exhibits document the Holocaust itself, but this museum celebrates Jewish life and history far more than it focuses on the atrocities committed during WWII. An attraction in itself is the highly conceptual building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, where various physical "voids" in the oddly constructed and intensely personal modern wing of the building represent the idea that some things can and should never be exhibited when it comes to the Holocaust. Libeskind also directed the construction of the recently opened "Akademie" of the museum just across the street, which offers a library and temporary exhibitions, as well as space for workshops and lectures. Reserve at least three hours for the museum and devote more time to the second floor if you're already familiar with basic aspects of Judaica, which are the focus of the third floor.
Jun 12, 2008
It's true. The security is tight, but with all due respect, it's for a good reason. It definitely shouldn't deter anyone from visiting the museum. I thought it was thoughtful, moving, informative, and much larger than expected. It was a highlight of my trip.