Past Exhibitions

Expelled! Berlin, 28 October 1938.
The history of the “Polenaktion”
8 July – 28 February 2019

As part of the “Polenaktion”, the National Socialists arrested approximately 17,000 Jews on 28 and 29 October 1938 and had them deported to neighboring Poland because they were Polish citizens. In Berlin, more than 1,500 Jewish residents were arrested in their flats or on the street and transported to the German-Polish border.

Most of them were forced to march across the border to the town of Zbąszyń (Bentschen). Mote than 8,000 expelled Jews arrived in this town on 28 and 29 October. They lived in improvised emergency housing in Zbąszyń for up to ten months. Some where permitted to return to the Reich; others were able to immigrate to other countries or to travel to relatives living elsewhere in Poland. After the German invasion of Poland, however, they too fell into the clutches of the occupiers. Many were murdered in the ghettos and camps.


EMOP-European Month of Photography
Ein Bild aus Zbąszyń, November 1938
An Image that saved Life
11.10.2018 – 31.12.2018

An Installation for the exhibition „Expelled! Berlin, 28 October 1038“.
The History of the „Polish Action,“ Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum.

Lying on a cot within a detention camp, a girl of German-residing Jewish Polish nationals,
who, on October 28 th, 1938, were deported by German authorities to Zbacyzn,
a Polish border town where they became stranded.

Over fourty years later. In 1983, New York Bronx-resident Netti Kranz discovers this image-and thus herself, as eleven-year-old girl Netti Stub- in Roman Vishinac `s book „A Vanished World“ (1984).

(Deutsch) 8. bis 28. November 2018
Von Innen nach Außen
Die Novemberpogrome 1938 in Diplomatenberichten aus Deutschland

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

(Deutsch) 13. September 2017 – 26. Oktober 2017
Migration und jüdische Gemeinschaft

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

(Deutsch) 04. Mai 2017 – 25. Februar 2018
Berlin 1937 – Im Schatten von morgen
Märkisches Museum

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

6th September 2016 – 15th April 2018
Mittenmang & Tolerant –
150th Anniversary of the New Synagogue

Curated by Diana Schulle and Hermann Simon


An Asset to the City

In 1856, the Great Synagogue on Heidereutergasse was expanded by the architect Eduard Knoblauch to meet the needs of Berlin’s rapidly growing Jewish community.

It was soon determined, however, that there were still not enough seats, and Knoblauch was awarded a new commission: to build a ‘New Synagogue’ on nearby Oranienburger Strasse. This building was to reflect the ‘new status, size, importance, and wealth of the Jewish community of Berlin’.


7th October 2016- 16th July 2017
“Berlin lives on!”
the Photojournalist Eva Kemlein (1909-2004)

Curated by Chana Schütz and Anna Fischer
accompanying publication

 ©Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

Eva Kemlein, Berlin, Sommer 1945, Foto Eva Kemlein © Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

©Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

Schwarzmarkt, Berlin, Sommer 1945 Foto Eva Kemlein © Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin

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.


8. Juli bis 4. September 2016

Curated by Alexander Ochs

All monotheistic religions have prayers of supplication as part of their traditions. God is beseeched by worshippers in physical need, but also by worshippers whose minds are gripped by fear. How many people can sing lamentations of their unending suffering through forced migration and expulsion? The Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Koran all concern themselves with the remembrance of their past with the aim of ensuring that the cultural memory of the people is not lost.


The Rescue: José Castellanos, Rescuer of thousands of Jews

Director Alvaro and Boris Castellanos
The Rescue, Canada 2016, English with German subtitles
Runtime: 23 minutes


THE RESCUE is a short film about José Arturo Castellanos, a diplomat from El Salvador in Central America. Although Castellanos used his diplomatic status to save thousands of Jews during the Shoah, he is almost unknown today.

THE RESCUE is not a standard documentary, but a very personal story by two grandsons of José Castellanos who set out to save their grandfather’s name from oblivion. In THE RESCUE, filmmakers Alvaro and Boris Castellanos show the challenges their grandfather had to overcome to organise his large-scale rescue operation. They not only talk to those saved from the Shoah by José Castellanos, but also their descendants now living scattered around the world.


2. October 2015 to 29. May 2016
abgedreht! Stage Designs-Living Spaces
Chaim Heinz Fenchel 1906-1988

2. October 2015 to 29. May 2016abgedreht! Stage Designs-Living SpacesChaim Heinz Fenchel 1906-1988

Curated by Chana Schütz
accompanying publication

Heinz Fenchel in Tel Aviv, Foto privat

Heinz Fenchel in Tel Aviv, Foto privat

In February 1937, the Berliner Heinz Fenchel disembarked at Haifa after crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Italy. Stashed in the trunk of his Fiat were countless drawings and photographs from the early days of German and internationals feature films–sketches of scenery and stage designs for love stories and action movies, crime dramas such as the first German film adaptations of Edgar Wallace, and fast-paced big-city comedies, many set in the world of cabaret.


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