Jews have been widely recognised as victims in Germany’s culture of commemoration ever since the Holocaust. This apodictic attribute stands in apparent contrast to the old and still persistent anti-Semitic stereotype of the “vengeful Jew” who was accused of poisoning wells in the Middle Ages, committing ritualistic murders, and most recently, pulling the strings behind the coronavirus pandemic, as conspiracy theorists have suggested. The golem could possibly be the best-known mythical figure in cultural history, imbued with superhuman powers to exact Jewish revenge. For the self-identity of young Jews today, the rarely related history of Jewish self-empowerment, the resistance against and revenge taken on representatives of National Socialism, members of the Gestapo, the SA and SS or soldiers of the Wehrmacht have been a mere side note in the public’s collective memory. The international exhibition at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt presents a cultural-historic panorama ranging from Jewish fantasies of revenge to historical acts of revenge by Jews. Based on historical documents, photos, works of fine art, contemporary commissioned pieces, ceremonial objects, text-based and pictorial Biblical accounts of revenge, and film and video works, the exhibition aims to portray the cultural history of Jewish revenge in its shared context of fantasies, clichés and historical events. An academic conference entitled “(Ir)reconcilability – Critical Cultures of Remembrance of the Third Generation” is part of an extensive accompanying programme which includes a writers-in-residence programme and an online platform. The organisers also plan to produce a bilingual exhibition catalogue.
Artistic director: Max Czollek
Artists: Victoria Hanna, Daniel Laufer u. a.
15 March, 2022 to 17 July, 2022: Exhibition: Revenge
Jüdisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt
60311 Frankfurt am Main
www.juedischesmuseum.de (external link, opens in a new window)