„Anti-Semitism? Anti-Zionism? Criticism of Israel?”
Theodor Adorno once said that “Anti- Semitism is rumors regarding Jews.“ Rumors are best confronted via education. The exhibition „Anti- Semitism? Anti- Zionism? Criticism of Israel?” is willing to make a contribution regarding this topic. It exposes current stereotypes and forms of anti- semitism that have manifested themselves within various social groups and which still exist to this day. It also focuses on how they are becoming increasingly more virulent.
Although Jews are not discriminated anymore because of their “race” or religion, nevertheless, the current forms of anti- semitism focus more on conspiracy theories. Concepts such as “influencing the financial world, the economy, the media and politics” in order to “control the world” are wide spread. This presentation challenges these assumptions and stereotypes and tries to clarify the various manifestations of anti-semitism.
Furthermore, anti-semitism differentiates itself from anti-zionism and criticism regarding Israel. Although anti-zionism is a form of self contained „hostility“ with regards to Israel’s politics, it can nevertheless be disguised as a form of anti-semitism. Criticism of Israel’s politics is a legitimate form of political discussion, however, it too can be used as a means of stigmatizing “the Jews” and expressing anti- Jewish sentiments. This exhibition will attempt to define these various differences.
"Fire! Fire! Anti Semitic Terror during November 1938"
The exhibition caption “Fire!” is the chorus from a song by Mordechai Gebirtig. The song was written in March 1936, as a reaction to the Pogrom carried out in the Polish city of Przytyk. Following the German occupation of Poland, the song became a symbol of self assertion for the Jews living in the ghettoes.
The central themes of the presentation are photographs depicting the violence carried out against the Jewish population in Germany. These acts of violence reached their zenith during the “Reichskristallnacht” which took place from the 9th to the 10th of November 1938. Eight large sized pictures convey the extent of the violence that was carried out against the Jews, their Synagogues and their shops and homes. On the backside of the pictures the historical background is explained and put into context via additional photos. Audio stations present early testimonials of the experiences witnessed by German Jews during the November days of 1938.
The exhibition also documents the prehistory of the Pogroms, the reaction of the non Jewish population and how this contributed to the process of social ostracism that reached its murderous completion with “The Final Solution.”
5th of September to 14th of October
"The Suspicious Saxophon - Degenerate Music in the NS-State"
An exhibition by the musicologist Dr. Albrecht Dümling
One year after the exhibition “Degenerate Art” took place in Munich, the Reich’s Propaganda Music Festival “Degenerate Music” was held in Düsseldorf during May 1938. It focused on the themes of “degeneration” and “Racial mixture”, claiming that this corruption has also taken place within the realm of music. It showed a negative stance towards what was considered modern music, with heavy emphasis on the genres of Jazz and compositions made by Jewish musicians and artists. Jazz was considered the embodiment of “Jewish-Negro Infiltration” which is why the exhibition poster depicts a black saxophone player with a David Star.
In 1988 the Berlin musicologist Dr Albert Dümling would reconstruct the exhibition, which would be revised 20 years later in cooperation with the Düsseldorf design agency “Drasdo”. Many up to then unknown sources would be integrated in the now revised exhibition.
In accordance with the 1938 exhibition, more illustrations regarding “Jewish Theater with Jazz Rhythm” will be shown which explains the exhibition title, “The Suspicious Saxophone”. Audio guides as well as monitors with excerpts from NS news reels give the guests an audio-visual experience.
"What used to be the Law… - Soldiers and Civilians on trial in the Court of the Wehrmacht"
An exhibition by the Memorial Trust for the Murdered Jews of Europe
About 30.000 people in Germany and the occupied territories were sentenced to death via the Wehrmacht Court. The accusations would range from desertion, treason and mutiny. Over 20.000 were executed. The court decisions imposed by the German Military Court were first nullified by the Bundestag between 1998 and 2009.
The exhibition “What used to be the Law…” provides for the first time a comprehensive view of the arbitrary verdicts made by the Wehrmacht Court. Terms such as "maintaining discipline”, “social parasites” or “biologically inferior” were used to ‘justify’ death sentences.
The presentation sketches the lives of 16 ‘convicts’ and shows five portraits of Judges who imposed these court decisions. The exhibition also reveals how some of these Judges were allowed to continue practicing their professions after the war whereas those wrongly accused would have to wait till the end of the 90’s in order to be rehabilitated again.
The exhibition in the documentation center exposes the unjust nature of these legal practices. At the same time, it also shows that a few brave judges made use of loop holes in the law in order to enforce a milder sentence.
2nd of April to 31st of May
"Harvested: Who will Feed the World?"
An exhibition by the INKOTA Network, regarding hunger, globalization and agriculture.
„By 2015, we want to reduce the number of starving people by 50%!” This slogan was used by the International Community during the 1996 World Food summit in Rome. Ten years later, and this promise seems to have been pushed further and further into the distance. Up to 1.3 billion people are still starving worldwide, and everyday up to 30.000 people die as a result of hunger and malnutrition. How can one really fight hunger? And how does one feed the world?
On a path of discovery the visitors discover why it is that people suffer from malnutrition and how worldwide hunger can be fought. Are genetic technologies and modern machinery a recipe against hunger? Why does Bio Fuel lead to hunger and how did the “Chicken of Death” make it from Europe to Africa? Are small farmers able to feed the world?