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A New Presence in Berlin

Carol Kahn Strauss, International Director
Fri, Nov 1, 2013

LBI New York has had a branch of its archives in the Jewish Museum Berlin since the museum opened in 2001. What LBI lacked until July of this year was an administrative office in Berlin, with its own address and a young historian, Dr. Miriam Bistrovic, to run it.

The office on Glinkastraße is the first step toward a more prominent role for the Leo Baeck Institute in making Germans more aware of the long and illustrious heritage we shared until 1933. German Jews were patriotic, productive citizens of their communities. They fought as German soldiers in WWI, won Nobel Prizes as German chemists and physicists, and wrote poetry and novels as German writers. Through lectures, exhibits, and other events, LBI will attempt to bring a more balanced perspective to 20th century history. The worst catastrophe of modern times permeates every aspect of our awareness, but it need not negate what came before.

Thanks to the generosity of the Office of the German Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, LBI’s new space on Glinkastraße in Berlin is funded for three years. From this base, LBI will be able to plan programs, exhibits, and events throughout the country and attract new supporters from a broad range of public, private, and corporate spheres.

LBI intends to partner with organizations already in Germany, including institutions of the once-again flourishing Jewish community, in order to expand the horizon of the Jewish aspect of German history. It is an exciting moment and a natural step toward ensuring greater dissemination of an extraordinary and always relevant legacy.