Jewish Perspectives on the Crises of an Idea

Opening Jewish Museum Munich, November 22, 2022, Photo: Daniel Schvarcz


What was the “Project Europe“ and what has become of it? And what will become of it? Has the European Union drifted apart even further in times of alarming global challenges instead of moving closer together? Are national interests increasingly pitted against European solutions?

Against the background of these questions, we look at Jewish individuals who in the face of Europe’s devastations and the attempted annihilation of the European Jews in the 20th century transcended national and cultural borders, demanded anew the universal application of human rights, and vigorously pursued a European dream. Based on their commitment to a united and peaceful Europe, the exhibition examines at the same time the renewed threats.

For this look at European utopias and disenchantments, the exhibition starts off by recalling the powerlessness and by looking back on the history of violence of the 20th century, on wars, genocides, and civil wars in Europe and under the banner of European colonialism.

The European project has seen itself also as a comprehensive peace project not only in view of the almost inconceivable amount of sacrifices the boundless violence of Europe’s “civilized” societies had exacted. Nowadays, the EU increasingly emerges as a defensive alliance, limited to security- and economic interests. Is Europe therefore, doomed to fail?
Our list of the dead of European violence in the 20th century count 125,300,000 people. It is not complete. By the end of the exhibition “The Last Europeans” they will have disappeared from the display.