Germany, the Jews and Israel: An Evolving Exhibition.
A number of significant milestones relating to German history are currently being commemorated around the world including 100 years since the outbreak of World War I; 75 years since the outbreak of World War II and 70 years since its conclusion; 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall; and 50 years since the beginning of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.
The period between 1914 and 1989 saw Germany in its vicissitudes. World War I ended in massive defeat and hyperinflation, though it also precipitated the rise of the first true democracy in German history and the "Golden Age" of the 1920s, shortly followed by the Nazis' rise to power, the Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht, and the Holocaust. The defeat of the Nazis, in turn, led to the partition of Germany and its ultimate reunification at the end of the Cold War. The reparations agreements between Israel and Germany and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries are both significant historical events in and of themselves.
Twentieth-century German and Jewish histories are closely intertwined in a complex relationship. Jews historically played an active role as part of the German nation. They were active in politics and economics, played a seminal role in culture, and were victims of the darkest chapters in German history. It is not at all surprising that in existing historiography, there is a strong interest in the "German-Jewish symbiosis" and its failure. Today, years later, the general population in Israel has taken a renewed interest in German history and culture. Israeli tourism to Germany, and mainly to Berlin, is a well-known phenomenon, but it is also only one expression of this renewed interest, and of a re-examination of this complex history at the dawn of the 21st century.
In 1886, a young man named Albert Ballin (1857-1918) of Jewish origins joined the company. Ballin had inherited from his father an emigration agency that operated in Hamburg. The agency helped European emigrants obtain tickets for sailing from the various European ports to America.
Fritz Groll was a German officer sent to Ottoman Palestine at the height of World War I in order to assist Ottoman forces. Along the way, he photographed the country’s landscapes, cities and sites, from the ground and the air
Hermann Struck volunteered to serve his German homeland during WWI. He returned from the front with 400 sketches and prints which offered a glimpse of the atrocities of war, of its hostages, and of the lives of Eastern Europe’s Jews
Prices rose to absurd sums: at the end of the period of hyper-inflation, in the fall of 1923, a loaf of bread cost many billions and to send a single postcard from Munich to Prague required stamps worth 36 billion marks
When architect Walter Gropius established in 1919 the Bauhaus art school in the city of Weimar, Germany, he had, it can be assumed, grand plans, but no way of predicting that the tradition born with the establishment of this school would change the face of the world of architecture and in the design of many useful products.
In the late 1850s, this group, under the leadership of Christoph Hoffman, began exploring the possibility of living according to their spiritual-religious ideal not merely inside Germany, but in close proximity to the location of the Jewish Temple: in Jerusalem