The museum
Photo: AFP

Jewish museum opens in Munich

The cube-shaped Munich museum's permanent exhibition will focus on aspects of Jewish life past and present

Just blocks from where Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ordered the destruction of Munich's main synagogue on Kristallnacht, the city has opened an $18 million museum dedicated to its Jewish community's heritage and future.


The cube-shaped Jewish Museum Munich is part of the new complex in the central Jakobsplatz square that also houses a new synagogue and community center.


Photo: AP


It's a sign of the revitalization of Munich's community, now 9,200 members, the second-largest in Germany after Berlin's.


The museum fulfills an initiative first envisioned in 1928 and revived by Hans Lamm, the longtime head of the city's Jewish community, which was decimated by the Holocaust. The museum opened to the public Friday.


A venue for open discussion

The synagogue opened last November, on the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass when the Nazis attacked Jewish homes and businesses. International Jewish representatives attended and 1,500 police sealed off the route of a procession of Torah scrolls.


The building is the second purpose-built Jewish museum in Europe, after one designed by architect Daniel Libeskind and opened in Berlin in 2001.


"The building should appeal to Jews and non-Jews alike and be a venue for open discussion about Jewish history, art and culture," Munich's mayor Christian Ude said in a statement.


The cube-shaped Munich museum's permanent exhibition will focus on aspects of Jewish life past and present, with a focus on religious rites and festivals of the Jewish year. Objects currently on display include Renaissance manuscripts, a Jewish wedding ring from 1500, and a 550-year-old prayer book for Sukkoth.


Two other gallery floors dedicated to temporary exhibitions currently hold major private and public collections of Judaica from Munich, such as that of Alfred Pringsheim, the mathematician and father-in-law of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Thomas Mann.


Pringsheim's collection includes Renaissance-era ceramics and silver items that are on view together for the first time in Munich in more than 70 years. Pringsheim fled to Switzerland, where he died in 1941.


Since the German government relaxed immigration laws for Jews following reunification in 1990, thousands have come, mostly from the former Soviet Union. According to the World Jewish Congress, Germany now has the world's fastest-growing Jewish community, estimated at more than 100,000.


פרסום ראשון: 03.25.07, 17:03
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Jewish museum opens in Munich"
This will delete your current comment