7th October 2016 – 30th April 2017
“Berlin lives on!”
the Photojournalist Eva Kemlein (1909-2004)
She was the chronicler of Berlin’s post-war and theatre life. Eva Kemlein who, as a Jew, had survived the Nazi period in hiding in Berlin worked for the Berliner Zeitung newspaper as a photojournalist. The paper’s first edition in 1945 was headlined “Berlin lives on!”. Her pictures of survivors in the destroyed city of Berlin have shaped the collective memory of the post-war period. In 1950, she photographed the Berlin Stadtschloss (Berlin city palace) before, during, and after its demolition.
For almost 60 years, from summer 1945 until shortly before her death in August 2004, Eva Kemlein captured theatre life in Berlin, especially the productions shown at the Deutsches Theater. Her portraits are unrivalled, and include those of Ernst Busch and Heiner Müller, as well as those of Helene Weigel as “Mother Courage” in Bertolt Brecht’s Berlin Ensemble.
Eva Kemlein was a traveller between worlds. She lived in West Berlin yet photographed predominantly the stages of East Berlin. The exhibition at the Centrum Judaicum is held in co-operation with the Stiftung Stadtmuseum (Berlin City Museum), where Kemlein’s artistic estate now resides. It thus and shows an extraordinary life, between East and West.