European Association for Jewish Culture 

 

 

European Association for Jewish Culture 

Jewish Culture, Architecture, Art and Memorials in Today’s Berlin

 

A European Association for Jewish Culture (London) seminar in association with the Wiener Library

A presentation by Anglo-German artist Ronnie Golz

 

 

The son of a German father and a Czech mother, London-born Ronnie Golz considers himself a self-made Jewish artist who, even though not religious, is very involved in every other way in the Jewish community of Berlin where he lives today. Ronnie Golz, who has lived in Berlin for the last 38 years, is an elected member of the Cultural Committee of the Berlin Jewish Community. He belongs to a group of Jewish artists Meshulash (Triangle) whose forthcoming exhibition ‘God’s Choice’ at the Centrum Judaicum, Neue Synagogue in Berlin was commissioned by the European Association for Jewish Culture.  Ronnie Golz has created four Holocaust-related memorials in Berlin over the last 10 years.

 

In his engaging presentation, Ronnie first spoke about the structure, background and problems of contemporary German Jewry. Most of the Jews living in Germany today were not of the old German stock, he explained, but were immigrants mainly from the former Soviet Union and to a lesser extent from Western Europe. Whereas German Jewry traditionally had a history of both Reform and Orthodox movements, the community today is mostly Orthodox with only a small Reform congregation. At the same time, involvement in organized communal life has significantly decreased. Today in Berlin, a majority of the people who profess themselves to be Jewish are not religiously affiliated and do not think it important to become community members.

 

In the second part of his talk Ronnie Golz presented the audience with an overview of Holocaust memorials and various forms of Jewish cultural activity in Berlin. He showed his own bus shelter memorials that pay homage to heroes who saved lives, or set reminders of perpetrators. The Holoacaust memorials are scattered all over the town and include train stations, bus shelters and historic buildings. Talking about the background to the creation of the Federal Memorial in Potsdamer Platz, he described his own design and its symbolism, and spoke highly of the artistic merits and popularity of the present memorial.

 

                                                           

 

Meshulash, a group of German Jewish artists, with

Ronnie Golz in the bowler hat

 

 

                  One of the Berlin bus stop memorials

 

 

 

 

               The new Israeli Embassy in Berlin, with its six blocks symbolizing the six million