Event program for 2012
On June 22nd, 1762, the Berlin silk merchant, Enlightenment philosopher, and pioneer of Jewish emancipation Moses Mendelssohn married Fromet Gugenheim, a merchant’s daughter from Hamburg. The saga of the haute bourgeois dynasty of Jewish origins that Moses founded was presented and explored in a program of events from January until December 2012. Focusing on topics like the political aspects of Jewish emancipation and civic responsibility, it was intended as a counterpoint to the Frederick the Great Jubilee being celebrated in the same year. The various events were held at sites associated with the family’s history in Berlin as well as at other locations in Potsdam, Hamburg, Leipzig, Wengen (in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland), and New York City. The events until the end of October were covered in a photo report (9,2 MB) with accompanying text.
Exhibitions in 2012
Additionally, a series of exhibitions was mounted, particularly in Berlin, to supplement the program. These included the permanent exhibitions Die Mendelssohns in der Jägerstrasse (The Mendelssohns at Jägerstrasse) at the Mendelssohn Remise and “Dokumente, Gemälde, Objekte aus der Geschichte der Nachkommen Moses Mendelssohns" (Documents, paintings and objects from the history of Moses Mendelssohn’s descendants) at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin as well as temporary exhibitions, e.g. at the Villa Oppenheim.
From June until August, the Holy Ghost Chapel in Berlin Mitte served as the venue for the exhibition Hochzeit! Über Liebes- and Trennungsgeschichten aus 250 Jahren Familie Mendelssohn (It’s a wedding! Loves and estrangements in the Mendelssohn family across 250 years). A . catalogue brochure provided information on the exhibition topics and objects, photo documentation while a captured the look and flair of the exhibition space.
International congress held in Berlin from June 20th – 22nd, 2012
The international conference was jointly organized by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, the Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft, the Scientific Council in Germany of the Leo Baeck Institute, the Hamburg Institute for the History of Germany Jews, and the Centrum Judaicum foundation for a new synagogue. Its purpose was to highlight the illustrious history of the Mendelssohn family and its continuing relevance.
Reunion of the descendants of Moses Mendelssohn in Berlin from June 22nd – 24th, 2012
From June 22nd to 24th, 2012, over 200 descendants of Moses Mendelssohn gathered in Berlin for a family reunion on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the patriarch’s marriage to Fromet Gugenheim. An earlier reunion had already taken place in 2007, when roughly 250 descendants of Moses Mendelssohn congregated in the city at the invitation of the Berlin Senate to celebrate the restoration of the Mendelssohn graves located in the Jewish Cemetery on Schönhauser Allee.