From Białystok to Frankfurt and Amsterdam, from Berlin to Budapest and Bari – the Jewish Museum Frankfurt is the first museum in the world to examine contemporary Jewish history in the post-Shoah period from a pan-European perspective.
The exhibition begins with a glance back in time and emphasizes that Europe was the most important continent for Jews before the Shoah. On the basis of selected cities, individual life stories, and an array of impressive objects, it shows how quickly and actively the survivors of war-torn Europe, a continent now shaped by new borders, took their fate into their own hands and began looking for surviving family members and creating new networks. These survivors either attempted to rebuild destroyed Jewish communities or prepared for a life in exile in non-European countries. They documented the Nazis' crimes and fought the anti-Semitism they confronted when returning to their former homes or settling elsewhere.
Against the backdrop of Europe’s current crisis, the exhibition presents the immediate postwar period as the hour the European idea was born and shows how this idea is reflected in the biographies of the surviving Jews. In addition, it illustrates that in the postwar period, Jewish immigrants contributed to the development of concepts, perspectives, and agreements in international law that are still valid today.
Conference and Catalog
The Jewish Museum Frankfurt, together with the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture - Simon Dubnow, the Fritz Bauer Institute and the Goethe University of Frankfurt organized a conference entitled “Building from Ashes. Jews in Postwar Europe (1945-1950)” between 3-5 December, 2017. More than 15 international researchers presented on topics related to Jewish life in Europe after WWII. The catalogue will feature articles based on some of these presentations. The exhibit will be accompanied by a catalogue available in German and English.
Exhibition, conference and catalog are funded by:
Kulturstiftung des Bundes
Hannelore Krempa Stiftung
Nicolaus und Christiane Weikert
Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft
European Association for Jewish Studies