Open today: 10AM - 3PM

Fashion Metropolis Berlin with Uwe Westphal

Date(s) - Sunday, May 16th
4:00 pm CDT - 5:00 pm CDT


dsc0801-version-2Something unique emerged in the heart of Berlin in the nineteenth century: a creative center for fashion and ready-made clothing. The hundreds of clothing companies that were established here manufactured modern clothing and developed new designs that were sold throughout Germany and the world.

This industry reached the height of its success in the 1920s. Freed from their corsets, sophisticated women of the time dressed in the “Berlin chic” sold by Valentin Manheimer, Herrmann Gerson, or the Wertheim department stores. 

After 1933, however, most Jewish clothing industrialists were confronted with hatred and violence. Many of their companies were “Aryanized” while they themselves were robbed, displaced, and murdered. Under new Aryan management, these companies created conservative clothing that represented an entirely different image of women.

Join the author of Fashion Metropolis Berlin, Uwe Westphal, as he brings to life Berlin’s fashionable past describing the rise and destruction of the Jewish fashion industry from 1836 – 1939.

Register to get access to the Zoom session.
This program is free and open to the public.
Please consider donating whatever amount you can to support the Museum’s mission.


Buy Fashion Metropolis Berlin from Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s Online Store, offering curbside pickup and shipping.

Sponsored by Jody & Jeff Steren Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation and Betsy Rosenblum & Richard Buchband. In connection with To Paint Is To Live: The Artwork of Erich Lichtblau-Leskly, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, February 18 –  May 30, 2021.

About Uwe Westphal 
Uwe Westphal is a writer and historian and lives in Berlin and London. He worked at PEN, later in New York as a journalist and Producer for PBS and CBS. In 2017 he published his first novel on the Berlin fashion industry “Ehrenfried & Cohn. Goodbye, Berlin – The Last Fashion Show”.

For his new non-fiction book FASHION – METROPOLIS – BERLIN. THE STORY OF THE RISE AND DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWISH FASHION INDUSTRY,  he has been researching for decades on the subject of fashion history in Berlin and the successful participation of Jews between 1836 – 1939.  His work on this book has led him worldwide to archives and conversations with contemporary witnesses. 

All Events >>