Jews 45/90 From Here and There – Survivors from Eastern Europe

November 30th, 2011 through June 17th, 2012, Munich,

Jewish Museum Munich

Jews 45/90 (photo credit: Jewish Museum Munich)

Jews 45/90 (photo credit: Jewish Museum Munich)

The exhibition series Jews 45 / 90 highlights personal stories that began in Eastern Europe and found their continuation in Munich and the surrounding area. The first exhibition in the series is dedicated to the history of Displaced Persons (DPs) in the immediate post-war period. Up until the end of the ´40s, Germany – of all places – became a temporary home to tens of thousands of Jews who had survived the Shoah and to refugees from Eastern Europe. In this, the most comprehensive exhibtion to be held to date on the everyday life, history and culture of Jewish Displaced Persons, the focus has been placed especially on the idividual fates and the different living environments of DPs, whose stories of flight and migration have long been overshadowed by the Shoah.

 

Divided into nine different themed displays, the lives of DPs are described from their liberation until their emigration to Israel or other countries. It is not a straightforward story that is told. Depending on the occupation policies of the Allied Forces, the relief organizations, and international political developments, Jewish refugees did not know how long and under what conditions they had to carry on living in DP camps. Visitors therefore make their way through a maze – with a view of the next displays always barred. Many of the exhibitis may seem at first glance to be everyday objects of little value. Their signisficance unfolds through the stories and memories that the lenders associate with them.

 

On the second exhibtion level visitors are led into the Föhrenwald DP camp, now the Waldram district of Wolfratshausen, that existed from 1945-1957, longer than all other DP camps in Germany. Insights into the various aspects of camp life and the stories of individual families open up between the silhouettes of the characterstic Föhrenwald estate houses.

 

The richly illustrated exhibition catalogue From Here and There Survivors from Eastern Europe provides further information on the DP era and on the exhibited objects. In the essay section, the children of former Displaced Persons such as the authors Lily Brett and Savyon Liebrecht, reflect their own family histories inspired by the objects in the exhibition

 

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