Introduction

The museum’s permanent exhibition tells the story of Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind at the authentic site. During World War II, the small factory-owner Otto Weidt employed mainly blind and deaf Jews in his workshop for the blind here in the side wing of the building at Rosenthaler Straße 39.

The workshop was the last refuge for many of the persecuted workers and their families. Otto Weidt organized food and false papers for those of them threatened by deportation. In 1942 he bribed the Gestapo and managed to bring his workers back from the assembly camp at Große Hamburger Straße, where they had been taken to await transport to concentration camps.

Weidt hid several people in the back room of the workshop – which has been maintained in its original state – and in other places, and helped one of his employees to escape during the evacuation marches from Christianstadt concentration camp.

Using personal documents such as letters, poems, and photographs, the exhibition paints a moving portrait of lives constantly at threat of persecution and deportation. It also documents the Jewish employees’ courageous attempts to escape their persecutors and the vital help that Otto Weidt provided.

Rear yard of the building at Rosenthaler Straße 39, Berlin, 1940s. Source: MBOW
Rear yard, Rosenthaler Straße 39
Otto Weidt, Berlin, around 1943. Source: MBOW
Otto Weidt