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Visitors to the House of Memory: Identity and Political Education at the Jewish Museum Berlin

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Volume 9

Museums and Collections

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Visitors to the House of Memory

Identity and Political Education at the Jewish Museum Berlin

Victoria Bishop Kendzia

174 pages, 8 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-639-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2017)

ISBN  978-1-78920-844-3 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Not Yet Published (December 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78533-640-9 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The book is highly insightful in discerning the politics of representation, especially in the case of memory and spaces that embody memory… What makes this book ethnographically compelling is that the audience reception and reaction is also voiced and interrogated.” • MEAH

“…he book provides an inspiring approach at a time when generational and societal changes call for the emendation of well-established patterns of memory and remembrance.” • German Studies Review

Visitors to the House of Memory lucidly explores the intersection of museum experience, ethnic exclusion, and education. Its proposal for different models of inclusion in and through history education is very much needed in Germany and Europe today.” • Irit Dekel

“This is a very good ethnography of a central Berlin cultural institution. It deals with important questions of German national identity, guilt and responsibility, intergenerational transmission of memory, and museum pedagogy.” • Jackie Feldman, Ben Gurion University of the Negev


As one of the most visited museums in Germany’s capital city, the Jewish Museum Berlin is a key site for understanding not only German-Jewish history, but also German identity in an era of unprecedented ethnic and religious diversity. Visitors to the House of Memory is an intimate exploration of how young Berliners experience the Museum. How do modern students relate to the museum’s evocative architecture, its cultural-political context, and its narrative of Jewish history? By accompanying a range of high school history students before, during, and after their visits to the museum, this book offers an illuminating exploration of political education, affect, remembrance, and belonging.

Victoria Bishop Kendzia is a teaching fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin. Her publications include “‘Jewish’ Ethnic Options in Germany between Attribution and Choice: Auto-Ethnographical Reflections at the Jewish Museum Berlin” in the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures. She completed her doctorate at Humboldt’s Institute of European Ethnology

Subject: Museum Studies Jewish Studies Educational Studies Memory Studies
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. Focus of the Research and Methodological Approach: The Research Question
Chapter 2. Memory, Political Education and the Positioning of the JMB: From Memory to Remembrance to Past Presencing
Chapter 3. Betroffenheit: The Museum Visit as an Embodied Memorial Experience
Chapter 4. The Visit as a Predominantly “Touristic” Activity
Chapter 5. Between Engagement, Playful Appropriation, and Exclusion
Chapter 6. Concluding Reflections: From the Museum as a Field Site to a More Inclusive Culture of Memory



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