Not What We Expected: The Jewish Museum Berlin in Practice

Document Type



An extensive existing literature studies Daniel Libeskind's deconstructivist design for the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB). This article focuses instead on the museum's exhibits from 2001 to today, their evolution in response to visitor criticisms, and their discursive setting, all of which exhibit museum and marketing professionals' attempts to deal with, and to an extent to overcome, the theory-driven and Holocaust-laden architectural programme. The JMB, in practice, while including the Holocaust as one component of visitors' experiences, instead emphasizes Jews and things Jewish as a positive component of a postnational version of the German national narrative.


© Museum and Society 2008, University of Museum Studies.

APA Citation

Chametzky, P. (2008). Not What We Expected: The Jewish Museum Berlin in Practice. Museum and Society, 6(3), 216–245.