Knut pictures

Jewish Berlin

Berlin once had a large and vibrant Jewish community numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and Jews could be found at all levels of society - from the eastern European poor in the Scheunenviertel through to department store magnates and bankers. However, the city's Jewish population was virtually wiped out by the Nazis, with only a few hundred remaining - mosty as underground fugitives - by the end of the Second World War.

Following the war, few Jews returned to Berlin, and the population in both halves remained very low - numbering in the hundreds - during the period of the Cold War. Following German reunification however, the community has been expanding, partly fueled by migration from the former Soviet Union. Interest in Jewish culture has revived, and many projects are actively documenting the city's Jewish heritage.