Nazi flags

Munich – Hatchery of National Socialism

City Tours

estimated reading time: 13 Minutes

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Thoughts for the day … 

Thanatourism or Black tourism in itself is not a bad thing!

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Starting point:Your hotel – Munich based 
Endpoint:Your hotel – Munich based 
Route length:80 km (incl. Dachau Concentration Camp) 
Ground: mostly tarred road and gravel pathways
Total Duration:4 hours (approx. 7 hours with options)
Contact:Frank Marx | +49 151 524 77738
Accessible Toilet:various Munich based,
Concentration Camp Dachau

Thoughts for introduction:

The title of “capital” had already been awarded to Berlin, but Adolf Hitler declared Munich the “capital of the German motion“. He knew why. In Munich, the decisive course was set for the rise of National Socialism.

Hitler’s rise to power is inconceivable without Munich. A not unjustified question – in purely statistical terms, Adolf Hitler was an Austrian for 42 years, but he lived in Munich for half of that time. He was registered as a citizen for a total of 32 years – but as a German citizen only for the last 12 years of his life.

Hitler’s Black Rhetoric – a part of the system 

Rhetoric is power. Hitler was a nobody before he discovered his rhetorical talent. Fundamental to Hitler’s theory of rhetoric was the belief that, in terms of leadership, the spoken word was superior to the written. His principal means of doing so were as follows:

(Quelle: Michelle Binswanger, Tagesanzeiger Schweiz) 

Economy situation

The economy of the Weimar Republic (Weimar Republic is the period of German history from 1918 to 1933) after World War 1, despite some strengths, was mainly characterized by:

Enabling Act (1933) – Removing the „Distress of the People and the „Reich“ (after Reichstag fire) 

With all of this, the regime ultimately aimed to make the economy fit for war. It created a war-capable regulation of the economy already under peacetime conditions, so it did not have to convert it in accordance with wartime economic law only at the outbreak of war. 

Hofbräuhaus

Beer mug “vault” of the regularly guests

On the evening of February 24, 1920, 100 years ago, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) was launched in the imposing ballroom of the Hofbräuhaus.

Hitler and his comrades-in-arms published their 25-point party program, in which they demanded, among other things, the “abrogation of the Versailles Peace Treaty” and the “revocation of German citizenship from Jews.

2,000 enthusiastic supporters are said to have cheered the future “Führer” in a beery atmosphere. The ballroom as it looked back then no longer exists today. During the Second World War, 70 percent of the Hofbräuhaus was destroyed.

Today, there is room for 700 people in the neat ballroom on the upper floor, which has been reconstructed almost exactly as it was. Political situation in Munich between the two world wars was extraordinarily tense. This constellation provided the breeding ground for the extreme right-wing movement, of which Adolf Hitler became the leader.

Feldherrnhalle

Recruits in front of the Feldherrnhalle – photograph by Heinrich Hoffmann. (Bavarian State Library, image archive hoff-11871)

Together with Erich Ludendorff and his Sturmabteilung SA, Adolf Hitler occupied the Bürgerbräukeller, where the state government was meeting, on November 8, 1923, and declared the Reich government deposed.

The following morning, Hitler and Ludendorff marched with thousands of supporters to the Feldherrnhalle to demonstrate the seizure of power. But the „Beer Hall Putsch“ was stopped by the police with brutal force – 20 people were shot dead.

So, the “Hitler Putsch” failed three years after the founding of the NSDAP in November 1923, Hitler was punished very leniently by the Munich People’s Court for high treason with only five years’ imprisonment in a fortress.

Königsplatz – „like the Balaton“

Königsplatz Nov 9, 1935 – Source: BavarianStateLibrary/ImageArchives

The central square of Munich’s Maxvorstadt is characterized by the harmony of three classicist buildings: Leo von Klenze (1784-1864) built the Glyptothek and Propylaea, Georg Friedrich Ziebland (1800-1873) built the Collection of Antiquities.

After the “seizure of power” in 1933, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) had the square redesigned by his architect Paul Ludwig Troost (1878-1934) to become the center of the NSDAP and the consecration site of National Socialism.

The Königsplatz was also covered with 22,000 granite slabs (side length 1 meter each) (nicknamed “Plattensee”). The Königsplatz, originally dedicated to the arts, henceforth served as a stage for the pseudo-religious cult and its staging.

Book burning on the Königsplatz – The spirit in flames … 

In Munich there were two book burnings during the ‘Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist’. Already on May 6, 1933, the first fire burned books on the initiative of the Hitler Youth.

Four days later, on May 10, 1933, the action of the student body took place, beginning with a rally in the atrium of the university. Afterwards, the students marched in a long procession with several music groups to Königsplatz. Their path was lined with onlookers and lights in the windows.

On Königsplatz, around 70,000 people then witnessed the book burning, which opened with the song “Burschen heraus” (“Boys out”).

Square of the Victims of National Socialism 

Square of the Victims of National Socialism
Source: Heidelberger Zement.de 

During the war, the former monument to Friedrich Schiller on the same site was destroyed by bombs. Today, the square itself and the memorial erected here in 1985 are dedicated to the victims of National Socialism.

In a symbolic dungeon, an eternal flame burns as a sign of freedom. So it symbolizes not least the hope that exists even in the darkest times.

Diagonally opposite was the Wittelsbacher Palais, which was destroyed in the Second World War.

During the Third Reich, the Gestapo had its headquarters in this palace and also operated a torture prison there; other representative institutions of the NSDAP were located nearby.

„Führer-Building“

“Führer building” in tectonic architecture

In the fall of 1933, construction of the Führerbau began – without a building permit. At that time, the city of Munich still dared to demand that the unauthorized construction work be stopped. The Führer Building was erected together with the Administration Building and Temples of Honor according to plans by architect Paul Ludwig.

The building was mainly used for representation. Hitler’s office (center balcony) and the workrooms of his deputies were located here. In the picture you can still see the holes for mounting the imperial eagle above Hitler’s room.

On November 30, 1938, the Munich Agreement was concluded and signed by the heads of government Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini in the Führerbau in Munich. The agreement stipulated that Czechoslovakia had to cede the Sudetenland to the German Reich and vacate it within ten days.

House of German Art

Haus der Kunst von hinten
House of Art backside

Munich was to play the role of art metropolis in the “Third Reich. On July 18, 1937, the “House of German Art” was opened with great pomp – a temple of Nazi cultural policy.

What did not fit into their concept was put on display the next day under the defamatory title “Degenerate Art. German art” was not of lasting value, but the house survived the war unscathed.

Even in Hitler’s day, they called the arcade “Weißwurst-Boulevard“. There was also talk of the “Palazzo Kitschi” (nicknack) or the “Athens freight station. Overwhelming architecture designed to make visitors feel small.

„City for a Thousand Years“ – Luftgaukommando Süd

Luftgaukommando_Fenstergitter mit Hakenkreuz
Window grille Luftgaukommando

The idea and execution were the beginning of a total transformation of Prinzregentenstrasse into the most important west-east axis of the future “City for a Thousand Years”, which was planned from Von-der-Tann-Strasse, which had been extended to become a thoroughfare, to the freeway junction at Vogelweideplatz.

A parking lot for at least a thousand vehicles had to make way for the Prince Regent Monument and the Hubertus Fountain. (The Hubertus Fountain is now located at the eastern end of the Nymphenburg Canal in Neuhausen, at the so-called Kessel)

The deployment of the “Condor Legion” in Spain was controlled from here. Contracts for the construction of military airfields and aircraft factories were awarded here. And it is also said that the high-altitude and hypothermia experiments with Dachau concentration camp prisoners in airmen’s uniforms were controlled from here.

Night of the Amazons – important propaganda (at the time in Nymphenburg Palace)

The spectacle was initiated by Christian Weber – hunter by passion, passionate horse breeder and one of the most brutal Nazi functionaries in the “capital of the motion”

A friend of Hitler’s, he was first a member of the SA, then of the SS, and made it from ordinary member to councilor and president of the Munich City Council. He devised the “Festsommer 1936.”

The event was to be better, more important, more beautiful than the pompous Royal Race Week in Ascot, England. In fact, the 15,000 paying visitors were finally treated to a real spectacle on the evening of July 27, 1936. “Over a hundred almost naked girls took part, 700 horses, 2000 actors and extras, including many SS guards, dressed in romantic costumes of the 17th century.

At the end of each night, there was a detailed fireworks display, for which many Munich residents who had not managed to get hold of expensive tickets for the actual event flocked to Nymphenburg Palace. The cost of the festival summer and Amazon nights was gigantic.

For all events together, the costs amounted to the equivalent of six million euros.

But money did not matter when the Nazi leadership saw an opportunity to distract the people from its machinations. The Amazon Nights were intended as a performance show of a “New Germany”. They were an opportunity to stage nudity and female attraction under the pretext of ancient mythology.

Resistance in National Socialism 

There were only a few people who opposed the Nazi regime. These few, however, came from all social classes. Some acted as individuals, some as members of a group. The actions ranged from critical statements, protest and active political resistance.

Johann Georg Elser

Johann Georg Elser, a carpenter, was opposed to National Socialist policies. In the fall of 1938, when war in Europe could only be prevented by the Munich Agreement, he decided to carry out an explosive attack in order to eliminate the Nazi leadership in this way.

On November 8, 1939, at 9:20 p.m., the bomb detonated. The explosion brought down the entire ceiling of the hall, killing seven people and injuring 60. If the man who was the target of the attack had not already left the hall at that time, world history would have been different.

„Die weiße Rose“

White Rose Memorial

Today, the “White Rose” is probably the best-known resistance group of the Third Reich. The core of the group were the siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell and Professor Kurt Huber.

Between 1942 and 1943, the group distributed six leaflets calling for resistance to the Nazi regime. The six paid for their courage and determination to resist the Nazi dictatorship with their lives.

Duration:approx. 4 hours

Option:

Dachau Concentration Camp – Important Part of the System

Gate to the concentration camp Dachau

On the order of the head of the Political Police in Bavaria and Police President of Munich, Heinrich Himmler, a concentration camp, original abbreviation “KL” for male prisoners, was established near Dachau on March 22, 1933. The site chosen by the SS for this purpose was that of a powder and ammunition factory, and already on the same day the first prisoners arrived at the KZ.

Opponents of the Nazi regime, communists, committed Christians, Jews, Sinti and Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals – for all those who were not to their liking, the Nazis knew immediately after coming to power where to put them: in a concentration camp

The concentration camps represented the central instrument of rule of the National Socialist regime. Immediately after the National Socialists came to power, open terror against the political opposition began. The legal basis for this was the “Reichstag Fire Decree” of February 28, 1933, with which political opponents of the regime could be “preventively arrested” and detained for the “protection of the people and the state.”

In March and April 1933 alone, around 35,000 people were taken into “protective custody” by the police, Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS) and were thus at the mercy of arbitrary state action without any legal assistance.

The concentration camps represented the central In May 1965, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial opened with its first documentary exhibition.

Duration:Add approx. 3 hours incl. dedicated guide 

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