Stolen Heart: Exhibit on Expropriation in Heart of Berlin coming to LBI

An aerial photograph of Berlin in 1925 highlighting Jewish-owned properties.

An aerial photograph of Berlin in 1925 highlighting Jewish-owned properties.

Opens March 23, 2016

Opening reception: March 29, 2016, 6PM

The Leo Baeck Institute will mount an exhibit entitled Stolen Heart based on the exhibition Stolen Mitte: The “Aryanization” of Jewish Property in Berlin’s Historic City Center, 1933 – 1945 which was originally installed at the Stadtmuseum in Berlin in September 2013.

Stolen Heart illustrates the “Aryanization,” or the forced transfer of Jewish property into non-Jewish hands, which has yet to be properly recognized and fully documented. Berlin’s central district “Mitte” serves as an example of how the Nazis appropriated Jewish property throughout Germany and German-occupied areas during World War II.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, LBI’s project team will be able to translate the German exhibition for an American audience and mount it in New York. The stories of five specific families will illustrate how stores and factories were forcibly taken from the Jews and used by the Nazis for other purposes, including the production of the yellow stars that Jews were required to wear and as storage for “degenerate art.”

LBI will also add a significant and exciting new element to the exhibition. A three-dimensional projection of a map of Berlin will show the city’s development during the Weimar Republic, the pre- and post-World War II periods, the period of division by the Berlin Wall, and today. Over 200 originally Jewish-owned properties will remain highlighted to show the role they played in the city’s development after they were stolen.

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