The Jewish Museum Berlin ( Judisches Museum Berlin), in Berlin, Germany, covers two millennia of German Jewish history. It consists of two buildings. One is the old Kollegienhaus, a former courthouse, built in the 18th century. The other, a new addition specifically built for the museum, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. This was one of the first buildings in Berlin designed after German reunification. The museum opened to the public in 2001.
The original Jewish Museum in Berlin was founded on Oranienburger Straï¬‚e in 1933. The Nazi regime closed it in 1938, and it wasn?t until 1975 that an "Association for a Jewish Museum" formed to resurrect the old museum. After an exhibition on Jewish history opened there in 1978, the Berlin Museum, which chronicled the city?s history, established a Jewish Department. Soon thereafter, discussions for constructing a new museum dedicated to Jewish history in Berlin began.
In 1989, the Berlin government announced an anonymous competition for the new museum's design. A year later, Daniel Libeskind's design was chosen for the commission for what was then planned as a "Jewish Department"for the Berlin Museum. While other entrants proposed cool, neutral spaces, Libeskind offered a radical, zigzag design, which earned the nickname "Blitz."
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