UK Government

Department for Culture, Media And Sport: Margaret Hodge marks Holocaust Memorial Day with grants to The Jewish Museum and The Wiener Library

Press Release   •   Jan 27, 2010 10:22 GMT

Culture Minister Margaret Hodge today announced two grants to The Jewish Museum and The Wiener Library to help meet relocation costs.  Each institution will receive £100,000 from DCMS resources made possible by under-spends identified elsewhere.

The Jewish Museum, set to re-open on 17 March after a major redevelopment project, explores Jewish heritage and identity as part of the wider story of Britain.   

The Wiener Library, formed in 1933, plans to relocate in 2011 to Russell Square in London.  It is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era.  Its collection includes a pair of contemporary children’s games: Adolf Hitler Legespiel (Adolf Hitler puzzle game) where players re-arrange wooden blocks to form a swastika shape, and Juden Raus (Jews Out) where players move around the board rounding up Jews and taking them to a ‘collection point’ with the first to collect six winning the game.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"We are delighted to support the Jewish Museum and the Wiener Library with their unique collection of pictures, stories and objects from Jewish communities.

"This funding will help bring all these important artefacts and dynamic exhibitions to a wider audience, giving visitors an invaluable understanding of Jewish heritage and a powerful reminder of why we must continue to fight prejudice and intolerance in all its forms."

Margaret Hodge said:

“These two institutions play a vital part in ensuring that people are aware of what the Jewish community have given to this country and the world – and that we never forget the terrible wrongs suffered during the Nazi era last century.  A mature and compassionate understanding of the past can teach us so much about the present, while helping us address issues in the future.

“I am especially pleased to be able to announce this in time for Holocaust Memorial Day.”

Rickie Burman, Director of the Jewish Museum said
 
 “This much needed grant recognises the work of the Jewish Museum which will open its doors on 17 March 2010. On this Holocaust Memorial Day we reflect on some of the stories told in the museum of struggle, survival and hope. The new museum is looking forward to welcoming visitors of all ages and backgrounds to experience our  interactive displays, exhibitions and exciting public programmes.”

Ben Barkow, Director of The Wiener Library, said:

“This grant is a fantastic kick start to the £3.5 million Building Fund campaign we are launching.  Our new premises will enable us to continue to protect the truth, house our ever increasing collections and to be a place where people come for debate, enlightenment and exchange of views on subjects in our field of interest through lectures and academic conferences.”

Notes to Editors

The Jewish Museum’s new displays and exhibitions will tell the story of Jewish history, culture and religion.  Displayed across four permanent galleries, the huge variety of objects, films, photography, hands-on exhibits and personal stories on display will paint a rich and nuanced picture of British Jewish life and religion as well as exploring contemporary social issues around immigration and settlement. The story of the Jewish people reflects the experiences of other immigrant groups settling in a new country, seeking to make a new life while retaining their identity and traditions. The museum's lively and busy education department provides programmes focusing on understanding Judaism and Holocaust education.  Contact for media enquiries: Janice Lopatkin – 07714 853538.

The Wiener Library has been in its present home for 50 years.  It is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era.  As an institute of contemporary history, it provides a resource to oppose anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice and intolerance.  Its collection comprises more than one million items including the children’s games described above.  Contact for media enquiries: Emma Kane (Redleaf Communications) - 020 7566 6700 / 07876 338339.

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