The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism is a new attraction designed for learning about and remembering Germany's Nazi past.
STRIKING DESIGN: The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of
National Socialism. Picture: Jens Weber
This new museum’s stark design gets the wheels of your mind cranking even before you step inside. The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism (in German: NS-Dokumentationszentrum München) is a stark white cube, its windows strung out in pale strips so it resembles some kind of modernistic prison.
The museum was opened in 2015 as a place to learn about the crimes of the Nazi era and how Hitler’s party rose to power. It’s built on the site of the Brown House, which was the Nazi’s Munich headquarters.
There are three main themes in the permanent exhibition, split over three floors. ‘Why Munich?’ looks at how the Bavarian capital become the Nazi’s base. ‘Exclusion and Persecution’ focuses on the way the Nazis used the Jews and other minority groups as scapegoats for Germany’s woes. ‘What has this got to with me?’ considers the ongoing legacy of the Nazis, the Second World War and the Holocaust.
NAZI HEADQUATERS: The museum was built on the site of the Brown House, the
Nazis' main base in Munich.
If you want to come to grips with how the modern, progressive and liberal state of Germany could have once hosted one of history's most oppressive regimes, this is the place to come. The displays show how institutional Nazi power became, controlling every aspect of society from parliament and trade groups down to family planning and children’s sporting clubs. It’s a lot to take in, and you can easily spend three or four hours here just walking around and soaking everything in.
You can see the displays about the massive rallies the Nazis had at the Konigsplatz and then look out the window and see where it all happened,which is especially poignant. Some visitors have criticised the lack of ‘first-hand’ material at the museum, and they have a point, as most of the info is presented on information boards or videos. But this isn't designed as a place to come and look at Nazi relics, but somewhere to learn about and come to terms with one of the darkest chapters in modern history.
The museum also hosts special exhibitions which go into greater depth about a particular aspect of the Nazis and the Second World War.
The special exhibition for this year is "Warsaw Rising 1944" which offers a fascinating glimpse into the unsuccessful attempt to wrest back control of the Polish capital from its Nazi occupiers during the war.
DISCOVER: The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism is
designed as place for people to come to grips with Munich's Nazi past. Picture: Orla Connolly
LEARN: Visitors to the museum look at an information board about the Nazi legacy.
Picture: Orla Connolly
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Location: Brienner Str. 34, 80333 München, Germany
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm
Cost: Adults €5, concession €2.50. There are free audio guides in English, German, French, Hebrew, Italian, Russian and Spanish, and you can also download an app, see the website for more details.
• Learn about Sophie Scholl and the anti-Nazi White Rose movement at Sophie Scholl and the White Rose.
•Read about the Munich Agreement which paved the way to the Second World War here.
• Find out more about Munich's heritage at Munich Backstory.
• Jump from Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism to Destination Munich Home.