(Re)allocation in Berlin – from safe house to memorial

In the grafitti-covered Großbeerenstraße you can find the Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt Museum, which tells the heroic story of Otto Weidt and the Jews he saved from Nazi persecution. 

The museum was once his brush-making workshop, where he employed blind and hearing-impaired Jews during World War Two, and where he hid some of his employees in 1945. 

Otto was one of the 641 Germans who helped Jews during the Holocaust. His name, and most of the other helpers, are widely unknown by the German and European public. ‘I think if you ask Germans, they only know Schindler, and that’s sad because the others are just as brave and just as special’, Kevin Prenger, author of In The Shadow of Schindler notes. 


Researchers estimate that approximately five thousand Jews in Germany and a thousand Jews in Austria survived the Holocaust in hiding. Otto Weidt was able to save some of his employees, but helping Jews wasn’t as easy for everyone. ‘Many people assume today that most Germans did not want to help Jews, but they were often just not in a position to do so.’ Kevin Prenger explains. A lot of Germans didn’t know Jews personally or didn’t have the means nor connections to get away with the treacherous act. 

Want to know more about this World War Two hero? Listen to the reportage below.


Text: Jolien Dewaele, Antje Eulaers, Sharon Poppe, 

Reportage: Jolien Dewaele, Antje Eulaers, Sharon Poppe, 

Photo: © Jolien Dewaele