Helmut Newton Museum / Museum for Photography
For photography buffs, the Helmut Newton Museum and the Museum for Photography (Jebensstraße 2) are an important stopover in your visit to Berlin. Works and personal items once belonging to Helmut Newton (who was, of course, an Aussie), known for his sometimes outrageous images (try here and here are currenly on display. The “Pigozzi and the Paparazzi” exhibit is also worth a look.
Note that, as the receptionist kindly explained, the “Museum for Photography” isn’t really an historical collection of materials relating to the whole photographic field as such. If you’re expecting to see a Daguerreotype, you’ll be disappointed.
Beate Uhse Erotic Museum
Unless you have some kind of special interest in sex in an academic sense, say, then the Erotic Museum should be down the bottom of your list of things to see. The €9.80 entry fee is too much for a museum like this one (though you do get a free drink from the inhouse Bar 69). Much like the Sex Museum in Amsterdam, Beate Uhse’s has a little bit of sex in history, in the different cultures, in the popular media, art and so on. However, unlike the Dutch, this German museum is much, much more tame.
The Story of Berlin
A Bavarian girl I met in Vienna recommended The Story of Berlin (Kurfürstendamm 207-208) and, being a sucker for a pretty chick’s advice, off I went on my second day. Well, you can’t always trust these pretty chicks!
This place is boring. The exhibits are unexciting and never quite convey the story they’re trying to tell. A big problem is that it is impossible to do justice to a city’s history spanning some 800 years within a very limited space. And this place is small. Thus one must read lines and lines of annotations per exhibit item which, if you were to read all of them, would mean losing your whole day!
I breezed through the whole exhibition within about 15 minutes. The only saving factor was the 30-minute bunker tour that comes with your entry fee. Every hour a guide will take you downstairs to a still working nuclear bunker located about four metres down in the basement. That one was scary and throught-provoking.