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Überwucherte Grabsteine auf dem Jüdischer Friedhof in der Schönhauser Allee
Jüdischer Friedhof in der Schönhauser Allee © wikimedia, Foto: Manfred Brueckels (CCBY SA3-0)


A Jewish family history in Berlin

The Mendelssohn-Remise is a memorial in Berlin-Mitte to the Jewish Mendelssohn family. In the former Bank and Mendelssohn family residence, you learn about their enormous importance in the culture, business and science of the city. An exhibition presents the moving story of the family in the period leading up to National Socialism. Media stations in the foyer play musical works by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, keeping alive the tradition of the Mendelssohn family's involvement in cultural life. Under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, concerts, readings and discussions are regularly held.

In the footsteps of the Mendelssohns

For five generations, the Jewish Mendelssohn family influence social, economic and cultural life in Germany. From 1815 onwards, their bank in Berlin is an important part of Prussian finance, and possibly the most significant private bank of Berlin. In 1938, the Nazis liquidate the company. The building undergoes massive conversions during the war, housing the DEFA (a GDR film studio) for a short time. In 1998, the Mendelssohn heirs finally reacquire the building. Since 2004, the reconstructed Mendelssohn-Remise has housed the permanent exhibition „Die Mendelssohns in der Jägerstraße“ which is opened during the 18 Days of Jewish Culture that year. Today, concerts, lectures, readings and discussions celebrate this influential family. Almost every week events are held here, like for instance a revival of the 19th-century tradition of Sunday music. As you enter the permanent exhibit, you see the busts and marble pillars that once decorated the former banking hall. In the arched niches, you can read the turbulent history of the bank up to its liquidation under the Nazi regime. In addition to reports by the Mendelssohn family, meet friends and acquaintances such as the famous Alexander von Humboldt and sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch. Historic paintings recall the art patronage of the Mendelssohns: family portraits and familiar art history motifs. In addition to the main collection in the entrance hall, there is a small media station. Here you can hear reports by the Mendelssohn's descendants and compositions by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, his elder sister Fanny Hensel and Arnold Mendelssohn. There is also a digital family tree encompassing seven generations. Take guided tours through the "Mendelssohn Quartier" and family attractions around the Gendarmenmarkt.

What awaits you in the Mendelssohn-Remise

  • Permanent exhibition on the history of the Mendelssohns in Jägerstraße.
  • The patronage of the Mendelssohn's: Portrait of the bankers and other works of art such as „Auszug der Kinder Israels aus Ägypten“ by Johann Heiss.
  • Media stations with interviews with descendants and musical works by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Fanny Hensel and Arnold Mendelssohn.
  • Foundation ring of Moses Mendelssohn and Madonna shrine of Luise Hensel.
  • Architecture of the former bank building.

Walk to Gendarmenmarkt: French and German Cathedrals

The domes of the Französischer Dom and the Neue Kirche rise impressively at Gendarmenmarkt. The Mendelssohn-Remise is only about 150 metres from the two reconstructed tower buildings. A permanent exhibition in the Neue Kirche focuses on the development of parliamentary democracy in Germany. In the ground floor museum of the Französischer Dom, discover the history of the Huguenots in France, Berlin and Brandenburg. Its numerous historic exhibits include the Edict of Potsdam issued in the 17th century, granting protection for religious refugees.

Our tips for your visit

Take the U-Bahn lines U2 and U6 to the station Hausvogteiplatz. It is only 300 metres from the Mendelssohn-Remise. Or take the bus 100, 200 or TXL to the Staatsoper stop. The exhibition is free of charge. By prior arrangement, the Mendelssohn Society organises tours for private groups and school classes.