A building for German-Jewish history
Museum Film by THOMAS GRUBE
GER, 28 min., PAL, stereo
The untreated zinc facade, crossed by lines of titanium, gives outsiders no inkling of the building’s inner layout. While designing the building, Daniel Libeskind plotted the homes of famous Jewish Berliners on a map then linked them to the homes of other local celebrities. As he himself put it, this gave him a ‘rather irrational’ set of lines as a guide to positioning the building’s windows.
“Officially it is called ‘Jewish Museum’ but I have called it ‘Between the Lines’ since to me it is made up of two lines of thought, of organization and relationships.”
DANIEL LIBESKIND, architect
The first line zigzags and the second transfixes the whole building. Their points of intersection leave vertical voids, perforating the building from the ground floor up to the roof. According to Libeskind, both lines may be thought of as extending to cross the whole city.
A system of corridors consisting of three axes symbolizes three realities in the history of German Jewry. All three underground axes intersect one another, showing the interconnections typifying Jewish life in Germany.
The first and longest axis is that of continuity. A second, the axis of emigration, leads out into the light, into the garden of exile and emigration. This garden ‘stands for an attempt to disorient the visitor completely, for a shipwreck of history’ (Daniel Libeskind). The third axis, the axis of holocaust, becomes narrower and darker and leads to a dead-end in the form of the holocaust tower, a void whose bleakness and silence recall the millions of Jews murdered.
The museum’s voids stand perceptibly for the gap left by the annihilation of Jewish life in Europe.
The film is shown in the Jewish Museum Berlin, in the Sir John Sloan’s Museum in London and in the Schönberg Centre in Vienna.
A film by THOMAS GRUBE
Camera: RENÉ DAME, Montage: MARTIN HOFFMANN, Film Music: KARIM SEBASTIAN ELIAS, producers: ANDREA THILO, THOMAS GRUBE, UWE DIERKS
A BOOMTOWN MEDIA production
in co-production with JÜDISCHES MUSEUM BERLIN
World sales by
BOOMTOWN MEDIA INTERNATIONAL