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“Necessary visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jewish Museum

Jewish Museum
Lindenstrasse 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
49 0 30 25993-300
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Top Rated
$15*
and up
Jewish Life in Berlin Half Day Walking Tour
Ranked #42 of 403 Attractions in Berlin
Type: History Museums, Specialty Museums, Museums
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Owner description: This new museum, housed in a remarkable building designed to intimidate visitors, features dynamic exhibits on Jewish culture in Germany, particularly during the reign of the Third Reich.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Necessary visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Fascinating building, great exhibits about the history of German jewry - culminating, of course, in the Nazi period. Great guided tours.

Visited February 2013
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Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Interesting and educational but somewhat unbalanced”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

First of all - the design of the buildings by Liebeskind is a different and interesting experience, although as some have commented before, parts of it also seems like an empty waste of space (but then again, it says in the museum that he has worked a lot with "voids", which is quite true).

We visited the museum to get a better understanding of jewish history in Europe though history, and the museum partly succeeded in giving us that. There was nothing much about ancient religious history, and also the horrors of the nazi regime and the holocaust naturally played their part in the exhibition, but those parts were not "overdone" and did not overshadow the rest of the museum, as we had feared they might.

Among the most interesting parts was the section that was bound together by the diaries, written in Yiddish, of Glikl bas Judah Leib (1646-1724), a jewish women who had 14 children and filled the role expected of her by traditional jewish customs, but who also became a succesfull trader in her own right following the deaths of her 1st and 2nd husbands.

A single point of complaint would be, that the exhibition focuses perhaps a bit too much on the external factors that have affected Jews through the years (i.e. persecution, special rules, exclusion from "good" society", etc.), and less on the actual lifes and culture of German jews, with the notable exception being the part about Glikl bas Judah Leib.

Overall a very interesting and educational experience.

Visited February 2013
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Helsinki, Finland
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

This museum's architecture is beautiful but the museum itself is a bit boring. It's a big collection of cups and all kinds of belongings of random people I had never heard of. The holocaust part is interesting but it's a very small part of this museum, I was hoping for more about the holocaust. Maybe if you are jew yourself you will find this museum more interesting.

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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Architectural masterpiece which gives an amazing account of all things Jewish”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

A fantastic experience, in a quite spectacular setting. Allow at least half a day to soak up the richness which this place has to offer. To start, you are confronted by the three Axes, which remember the holocaust in a quite striking way. The atmosphere is incredible - peaceful, poignant, appropriate - it's hard to do justice in words to the spaces created by master architect Libeskind.

Then climb upstairs out of the darkness and experience a massive range of exhibits covering all sorts including stories of the origins of Judaism, history of the Jewish people's movements over the centuries, their food, customs etc and then a more detailed expo of the events of the early 1900s leading to the atrocities of WWII.

We didn't take a guide nor an audio tour - it was fine without them but we certainly would consider going back and doing these another time - there's so much to see we would definitely get even more out of a repeat visit.

Definitely one of two 'must dos' on any trip, no matter how long to Berlin (climbing the Reichstag dome is the other!)

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Tweed Heads
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Best architecture of any museum ever.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Having just spent 3 weeks studying at Yad Vashem (the holocaust museum in Jerusalem) I feel I am qualified to make the following statement.

The Berlin Jewish Museum is without a doubt the museum that utilizes architecture the best. Daniel Libeskind's design is thought provoking, profound and touches your soul. The use of space, light and silence in the Holocaust section is amazing.

The non-Holocaust section of the museum deals with the history of Jewish life, particularly focusing on Berlin, up until the present day. There is a wealth of hands-on activities aimed at young visitors, but they are engaging for adults as well. One of the highlights is the audio-visual room full of computers with an interactive discovery into what Judaism is and what it means to be Jewish.

If you are in Berlin and you don't go to this museum then you are doing yourself a disservice. I guarantee that you will be impressed.

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