Exhibition “Memorbuch” - Between Memory and Remembrance in German-Jewish Tradition (open through April 15)

Exhibition “Memorbuch” - Between Memory and Remembrance in German-Jewish Tradition (open through April 15)

Exhibition “Memorbuch” - Between Memory and Remembrance in German-Jewish Tradition (open through April 15), © German Consulate General New York

20.02.2024 - Article

“Memorbuch'': Between Memory and Remembrance in German-Jewish Tradition highlights the Jewish-German practices of naming individuals and communities. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Ido Lahav Noy and shows an installation by Kalman Gavriel Delmoor, an Israeli Jewish Scribe.

The seventy-nine names incorporated into this installation were meticulously handcrafted by Kalman Gavriel Delmoor, an Ashkenazi Jewish Scribe with expertise in text-writing and design. Each of the names is dedicated to a single Holocaust victim, symbolizing one year of the seventy-nine years that have passed since the conclusion of World War II in 1945. One by one, their names were written, and side by side, they were installed. The comprehensive installation can be viewed as a kind of “Memorbuch” belonging to New Yorkers who contributed names of Holocaust victims, encompassing family members, friends, and loved ones.

When looking into Jewish tradition we find that text in general and naming in particular is a common practice used to commemorate individuals, families as well as community. In Germany we find that naming can also be used to perpetuate personal, communal and national trauma. The Ashkenazy tradition of creating a Memorbuch, literally Book of Remembrance, was formed as a literary genre among German Jews beginning with the 1096 persecution of the Jews during the first Crusade - such manuscripts listed communities that perished as well as deceased members of the Jewish community. After the Holocaust, the practice took a new turn with forming Yizkor books, literally Memorial-Books, commemorating a Jewish community that perished during the Holocaust. Such books are especially important for victims who have no grave. Mentioning their name can be seen as their tombstone and Yizkor books can be regarded as their graveyard. The World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem, literally: A Memorial and a Name, that was established in Jerusalem in 1953, is derived and driven from the same practice - naming the victims, not only for remembering, but also as a means of narrating history and creating a national ethos.

Visiting the exhibition is possible with a RSVP 24 hours before the time of your visit via email to: culture@newy.diplo.de

Please bring a government issued ID for security reasons.

Date and Time: Open through April 15th 2024, visiting is possible on weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Location: German House, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

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