Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism
The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism is opened to the public since 1 May 2015 (for alternative opening hours see "Visitior Information"). Until the end of July entrance will be free. An official ceremony for high-ranking international guests was been held on 30 April. The Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter, Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer and Federal Minister of State for Culture and the Media Professor Monika Grütters were given speeches to mark the occasion. Dr. h. c. Charlotte Knobloch, President of Munich’s Jewish Community, and Romani Rose, Chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, also addressed the gathering. Following the speeches, Professor Dr.-Ing. Winfried Nerdinger, Founding Director of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, introduced the concept for the Centre as a place of learning and remembrance devoted to addressing the city’s Nazi past and the origins, manifestations and consequences of the Nazi dictatorship.
The New Building: Timetable and Costs
The new centre of learning and remembrance has been built on the Brienner Strasse site once occupied by the NSDAP headquarters. The construction costs, amounting to 28.2 million euros, have been shared equally by the City of Munich, the State of Bavaria and the German Federal Government. The building was designed by the Berlin architects Bettina Georg, Tobias Scheel and Simon Wetzel.
An Exhibition of Contemporary Relevance
Preparatory work on the project to build the Documentation Centre began at Munich’s Department of Culture in 2006. Having been appointed Founding Director in 2012, Professor Dr.-Ing. Winfried Nerdinger has been in charge of developing and realising the exhibition script over the past two years.
“The crucial questions posed by the exhibition are: ‘Why Munich?’ and ‘What does this have to do with us today?’ We can only take an active stand against exclusion, racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination if we develop an awareness of the past”, Director of the Department of Culture Dr. Hans Georg Küppers explains. “The exhibition and information resources conceived and put together under Professor Nerdinger’s direction cover many different aspects and address a broad public of all generations and varying origins.”
A Lively Information, Education and Discussion Centre
The permanent exhibition in German and English extending over several floors will form the centrepiece of the new Documentation Centre. But there will also be a series of special exhibitions. In addition, one entire floor will be given over to a Learning Centre where visitors can study Nazi history in greater depth. Here individuals or groups will be able to examine in more detail any of the topics covered by the exhibition at media consoles and research stations. This area of the Documentation Centre also includes a library and adjoins the seminar area designed for educational work with school classes and other groups. A large, multi-purpose hall accommodating 200 persons will be equipped with all the technology required for lectures, talks with contemporary witnesses, films, conferences and evening events of various kinds. Free media guides in several foreign languages will also be provided for the permanent exhibition. A Smartphone app will allow visitors to trace the places associated with Munich’s Nazi past outside the Documentation Centre.
Professor Dr.-Ing. Winfried Nerdinger describes the Documentation Centre as an open and lively place: “Our varied programme offers a huge amount of content and is designed to provide visitors with comprehensive information and raise their awareness, thus encouraging them to reflect and engage in discussion. Individuals can only engage in critical reflection if they are equipped with the knowledge to do so. This enables them to develop a level of understanding that influences their own behaviour. In this respect the Documentation Centre aims to become a place where people arrive at their own convictions about the achievements of democracy. After all, history teaches us that democracy must be lived and defended on a daily basis.”
Ab 1. Mai 2015 ist das NS-Dokumentationszentrum München geöffnet – bis Ende Juli bei freiem Eintritt. Öffnungszeiten: Dienstag - Sonntag 10 Uhr bis 19 Uhr. Vorab findet am 30. April ein Festakt für hochrangige internationale Gäste statt. Oberbürgermeister Dieter Reiter, Ministerpräsident Horst Seehofer und die Staatsministerin des Bundes für Kultur und Medien Prof. Monika Grütters werden zu diesem Anlass sprechen.
Mit Stiftungsmitteln des Kulturbaufonds wird ein wichtiger Schritt zu einem würdigen Erinnern und Gedenken an die Opfer der Zwangsarbeit in München möglich. Eine weitgehend original erhaltene Baracke des ehemaligen Zwangsarbeiterlagers in Neuaubing wird als Denkmal baulich gesichert und ist inhaltlicher Ausgangspunkt für einen Erinnerungsort auf dem Gelände an der Ehrenbürgstraße.
Der nördliche Sockel der beiden ehemaligen NS-„Ehrentempel” am Königsplatz wurde Anfang Dezember von seinem Grünbewuchs befreit. Durch den Rückschnitt ist die Ruine erstmals seit Jahrzehnten wieder als bauliches Relikt der NS-Zeit wahrnehmbar.