The museum’s permanent exhibition tells the story of Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind at the historical site. During World War II, the small factory-owner Otto Weidt employed mainly blind, visually impaired, and hearing-impaired Jews in his workshop for the blind here in the side wing of the building at Rosenthaler Straße 39. These workers had been placed in the workshop as forced labor.

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. Presumably in January 1943, 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 a surviving windowless room at the workshop and arranged other illegal accommodation. He also attempted to help one of his former employees to escape from a 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 support provided by Otto Weidt and his circle of helpers.

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