Jewish Museum Berlin Honors Forgotten Jewish Peacemaker

Jewish Journal (blog), March 19, 2019

The Jewish Museum Berlin has been bogged down in controversy in recent months for alleged anti-Israel activity.

Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to Chancellor Merkel, about the “Welcome to Jerusalem” exhibition (which I also critiqued), claiming it politicizes Jerusalem with a pro-Palestinian bias. The Museum and its director,  Prof. Dr. Peter Schäfer, is now under fire for holding a meeting with the Iranian Embassy’s Cultural Council in Berlin.

But a small exhibition on display at the entrance of the sister campus across the street from the Museum gives the viewer the best of what the Jewish Museum can offer, a tribute to a relatively unknown German Jew who quietly shaped post-World War I Germany.

Born in Hamburg in 1871 to a Reform Jewish family with rabbinic roots, Carl Melchior was a banker and judge who was part of the negotiating team sent to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 at the end of World War 1 to save the German people from the brink of starvation and to rebuild Germany.

The exhibition, entitled “The Jewish Fighter for a European Peace,” is on display through the end of April. Unfortunately, the exhibition and catalogue appear only in German, but English may be added should it travel in the future. The exhibition was curated by Christoph Kreutzmüller and Dorothea Hauser, from the Warburg Archive Foundation, Hamburg.

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