The registered association Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft e.V., a non-profit association under the patronage of Maestro Daniel Barenboim, has made it its task to bring the history of the "Mendelssohn quarter" to life for the general public. It does so by organizing concerts, exhibitions, panel discussions, lectures and guided tours in the area around the Gendarmenmarkt. This is tied to the most important among the objectives of the association: to study the Mendelssohn family and to tell its story by scientific publications, by collecting documents and exhibits.
It is intended to establish the "Remise" carriage house located at the back of the best preserved Mendelssohn location in Berlin, the Mendelssohn Bank, as a place of commemoration under the name "Mendelssohn-Forum Berlin". Its focus is on "Civic Responsibility - Then and Now". The exhibition "The Mendelssohn Family in Jägerstrasse" documents the lives of the descendants of Moses Mendelssohn and the history of their bank in the nascent banking quarter of Berlin, while also addressing the network of their friends and business partners. One part of the exhibition on the "Religion of the Mendelssohn Family" highlights the different confessional affiliations of the various members of the family and thus, how their faiths separated them, culminating in an ethos of civil religion.
The Friedrichstadt quarter in Berlin is the area in which many aspects of the Mendelssohn family history played out in the 19th and 20th century. This "Mendelssohn Quarter" was also a "quarter of the new times", illustrated, for example, by the new road grid planned at right angles. It was here that Wilhelm Friedemann Bach lived, a neighbor of Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, Michail Glinka and the Swedish composer Franz Berwald. In and around Jägerstrasse, there were luxury stores, artists" studios, philosophers" apartments, the Berlin lottery and the Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft steamship company, the postal service and telegraph office, Berlin?s first electrical power plant, many salons like that kept by Rahel Varnhagen, and the Gendarmenmarkt with the Schauspielhaus theatre and the Huguenot church. The district saw elegant suppers hosted, and the barricades being put up during the 1848 revolution. Before World War I, nightclubs flourished here, and this is the area in which the Berlin art trade has its roots. Under the rule of the National Socialists, the Reich Ministry of Finances moved into office buildings once owned by the liquidated Mendelssohn company, as did the Trustee Office of the SS (Shield Squadron) that had the task of plundering Eastern Europe. The editorial offices of the Berliner Zeitung newspaper were located here after World War II, the Progress film distribution company and DEFA film studios, whose documentaries were subsequently cut by the censorship bureau located in Jägerstrasse. Today, the quarter is home primarily to offices and political representations, the Berlin representative office of the City-State of Hamburg, the embassies of Belgium, Greece and Ireland (in Jägerstrasse 51) as well as the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In the exhibition "Fragen an die deutsche Geschichte" in the German Cathedral at Gendarmenmarkt, questions are asked of German history.
For more information on how the Mendelssohn family is commemorated, see also the report on the Mendelssohn Family Reunion in Berlin in 2007 (in German language) and the information on Mendelssohn locations in Berlin, both of which are available for downloading.