felt cute, deleted, undeleted2022-08-01 zebulon
My 1-star Google review of the Jewish Museum in Berlin: Incredible architecture and thoughtful portrayal of events leading up to the Holocaust as well as post-Holocaust aftermath. However, there is almost no attention given to the most violent and abhorrent moments of Jewish persecution in Europe. To me, this was the biggest disappointment out of many. The first floor is architecturally impeccable though the artifacts displayed are confusing, as they include a hodgepodge of items from after the war. I initially thought that perhaps I started at the wrong part of the museum. The Garden of Exile and Memory Void are not wheelchair accessible. Even KitKatClub is more inclusive to the physically disabled. On the second floor there is an exhibit with six pairs of headphones that play audio of Holocaust survivors’ stories, but the audio is exclusively in German and therefore impossible for non-German speakers to understand. A German tour group stood in front of a display case for ten minutes blocking everyone else’s view; when I politely asked the tour guide to make room for others he rudely responded “no.” It’s also worth mentioning that I was visibly but quietly crying at the time. This museum caters to Germans more than visitors from other countries. Furthermore, you are essentially forced to download an app to get insight into most of the exhibits but the app is buggy, difficult to navigate, and distracting from the overall experience. I imagine that older, less technically savvy folks are not able to fully engage with the contents of the museum. You can also hear everybody’s phone blasting the exhibit descriptions. Why not just offer headphones and physical audio guides? I witnessed adults and children alike giggling throughout the museum and mocking the Jewish music. There needs to be guidance on appropriate museum behavior. Make sure to supplement your time in Berlin with a visit to the Topography of Terror, the Holocaust Memorial, or Sachsenhausen Camp. The Jewish Museum is certainly worth a visit but please adjust your expectations accordingly.