Someone Wrote About Daniel Libeskind And Forgot To Fact-Check


Today’s a strange day. Everything we thought we could trust — the Times, the Gutter — has fallen by the wayside of factual accuracy and started outright mistake-making. So we thought we’d turn to a nice write-up of Daniel Libeskind, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle, for solace. At least we tried.

The story starts off pretty standard. Libeskind is old! Hasn’t done that many buildings! Is starting to! Has funny glasses that make him look smart! Oh yeah, except it refers to his design for the Jewish Department in the Berlin Museum.

Which is what–our osmosis-ed knowledge hints at and a quick archival search confirms–it used to be called until Danny threw a total fit at the use of the word Abteilung (Department) because of it’s more, well, Nazi overtones. From a Metropolis story from a long time ago:

“When I got the competition materials, the project was called ‘the extension of the Berlin Museum with the Jewish Department.’ But the German word for department, abteilung, has terrible connotations. It was a word the Nazis used to deal with Jewish affairs. Of course everything has an abteilung–it’s a bureaucratic term–but the word was always associated with the Holocaust: Eichmann ran an abteilung.”

Yeah, um, which is why it’s now called the Jewish Museum Berlin.

But we overlooked, and read on, and learned all about Libeskind’s oh-so-crazy early life and how he was an accordion prodigy and moved to New York and studied at Cooper and turned down jobs and then went to Milan and founded Architecture Intermedium.

Except that it was Architecture Intermundium.

People. Please. It’s not that hard.