11 March 2009

Getting There

Apart from the excellent exhibition at the City Museum now supplemented by aspects of the permanent and temporary exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, Munich's Nazi past is generally kept out of sight. Given the city's centrality for the Nazis this is a surprising state of affairs - or perhaps not.

Elsewhere in Bavaria (and throughout Germany) the Nazi era is presented and explored in some excellent museums, memorials and archives. Berchtesgaden, were Hitler had his mountain retreat, has the Dokumentation Obersalzberg. Nuremberg has its Dokumentationszentrum at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The concentration camps at Dachau, Flossenbürg and Hersbrucke have all been preserved as memorials.

In 2001 Munich council decided to establish the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism to be located on the site of the Brown House which served as the headquarters of the Nazi Party in the city.

Last weekend the mayor, Christian Ude, announced the winners of an architectural competition for the new structure. Work is scheduled to start in 2011.

While it will be some time before the new building is open for business the website of the the Documentation Centre has some very useful resources including a detailed booklet and map which can be used for a self-guided tour. Mp3 files of the text are also available for download for those who prefer to listen. Both are available in English.

For those with some German there is are also three volumes of Memorials, Commemorative Sites and Places of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism in Munich 1933–1945 available as pdf files.

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