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WWII Museums in Munich?

Greetings again,

My trip this year will allow me a couple days in Munich. I dont see much in terms of WWII Museums and such in the Munich city/area. I wont be renting a car so i need to use public transportation/taxi or just hoof it.

many thanks,

Happy trails.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi,

If you travel here by train I would suggest that you go to the information centre at the Munich central station. They have very nice guides for that.

Posted by
6543 posts

If you're interested, try to see the very large Deutches Museum. It is the world's largest science and technology museum and is well worth seeing. It covers many, many subjects.

We usually try to also catch the negative side of WWII when in the area--Dachau. It's a must see for anyone. The Germans have not exactly paraded their part in WWII in front of the world.

Posted by
655 posts

Hi Ray,

I think you'd really enjoy one of the Munich Walks tours called "Hitler's Munich". Our guide was an American who now lives in Munich named Levi and he was excellent! The tours run daily and last about 2.5 - 3 hours. Just show up at 10:15 under the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz and pay the 15 euro (a little less if you have Rick Steve's Germany book). http://www.munichwalktours.de/en/hitler%E2%80%99s-munich-third-reich-tour/

Posted by
12040 posts

Dachau is probably the closest thing you may find to a "WWII Museum" in Munich. Obviously, the German government doesn't celebrate the country's role in the war, and they have to keep any memorials very low key to avoid having them become pilgrimage sites for the rather small far right movement.

Posted by
6543 posts

Thank you Tom for saying it so eloquently. So much of the war has been kept low key in Germany.

We have family that lived in Dresden and got out on the very last American ship to leave Germany before WWII. They sailed into NY Harbor on Thanksgiving Day, 1939. Before they left Dresden, the Gestapo were actively chasing them. Our grandfather hid under his mother's bed with a giant schnauzer when the Gestapo came there, and it was a miracle he wasn't discovered. Great grandmother was euphanized by the family physician, as she was too old to travel. Two cousins made it to the U.S. and one to South Africa. Many are left in the world that were affected by those times.

Posted by
102 posts

You may not be able to see it depending on when your trip is, but the Munich Nazi Documentation Center will be opening later this year in the Museum quarter near Königsplatz.

Posted by
865 posts

"We have family that lived in Dresden and got out on the very last American ship to leave Germany before WWII. They sailed into NY Harbor on Thanksgiving Day, 1939. Before they left Dresden, the Gestapo were actively chasing them."
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In case you were disappointed by the lack of memorials in Dresden: the era of the Third Reich in Dresden is overshadowed by the destruction of the city at the end of WW2. And, unlike Berlin or Munich, Dresden wasn't important in the Nazi era, that's why you can't find much there. I only know of the Stolpersteins (list of stumbling blocks in Dresden) and Sonnenstein castle in nearby Pirna.
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"The Germans have not exactly paraded their part in WWII in front of the world.
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How many other nations built a memorial to their biggest crime beside the symbol of the country (the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is next to the Brandenburg Gate)? Which other nation built a memorial to a killed minority beside the parliament (Sinti and Roma)? Or built a museum for a killed minority (Jewish Museum)? Or preserved so many monuments of their own guilt (concentration camps)? Have a look at this list of WW2 memorials and museums in Germany (sadly in German only): click me.
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PS: if you want to understand how much progress Germany made in the last 30 or 40 years I recommend a visit to Prague to search for German traces, the ethnic group which for a long time formed the majority in the city. Or ask yourself why everyone knows Lidice, but no one Postoloprty.

Posted by
2081 posts

Thank you to all that have replied.

I almost dumped Munich this trip since i remember that Octoberfest was around the time i was planned on being there and i havent made any lodging reservations as of this time. So im swapping starting/stopping points and will avoid the Octoberfest this time around especially with no advance room reservations.

I will be doing/see most of the things in the city of Munich that everyone has listed. I dont have Dachau on my list this time around but hopefully will be able to see it next year or so.

I will need to check into the Munich walking tours and see whats up with them.

The Deutsches Museum sound impressive and that is also on my list since i sort of drawn to those places. I loved the NEMO in Amsterdam and the one in Edinburgh.

happy trails

Posted by
6543 posts

I'm not complaining about anything, and don't expect any changes in how Germany handled history. I just accept the country as it is. I've never been to Dresden, however I'll be there in 3 weeks. My sister's been there three times, and she loved it. The old home was thankfully not destroyed in the bombing.

Our mother just turned 90 years old, and she's doing great. In recent years, she's been back to Germany yearly as she and a number of her childhood friends were reacquainted via the internet. This group of Dresden Jews re-established themselves after WWII with families, etc. They were very well educated in their young adulthood and are financially strong after being stripped of all but the clothes on their backs. God has looked after them--simply put.

Posted by
12099 posts

Hi,

If you want to see something close to a WW II military museum or connected sites in Munich, then I recommend the aviation part of the Deutsches Museum, where you'll see some of the German war planes of the war, includung the first operational jet fighter and the relevant displays along the wall. Be advised what you see there as regards to the planes themselves on historical accuracy, they're "sanitized." You don't find that to be the case when you see German planes in England. German war planes from WW I are also featured.

Near the Odeonplatz is the site where the failed Nazi Putsch took place in 1923: the Feldherrnhalle. The problem with that site it has changed as to which statues are there now compared to what I saw in 1977.

If you read German, you can see the plaque (no English translation) acknowledging the liberation of the city of Munich by US troops, (ie, by Patch's Seventh Army), located on the wall (left side) as you go from the Marienplatz to the small courtyard. It's left of the Tourist Office am Marieplatz, if memory serves here, or, just ask at the Tourist Office where this plaque is located exactly.

Posted by
12040 posts

BTW, the largest collection I've seen anywhere of German WWII equipment and uniforms is, surprisingly, the Royal Museum of Military History in Brussels. They also have a huge WWI exhibit.

Posted by
2081 posts

@ tom

" Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
Posts: 8934
03/10/14 11:35 AM

BTW, the largest collection I've seen anywhere of German WWII equipment and uniforms is, surprisingly, the Royal Museum of Military History in Brussels. They also have a huge WWI exhibit."

i was there last year and even though, they had some WWI & WWII stuff, there wasnt alot unless i missed out on something or things have been changed. I did see some armoured vehicles in a courtyard out back, but it consisted of about 6 vehicles, both allied and not.

happy trails.

Posted by
12040 posts

There's a large wing devoted soley to WWII.

Posted by
12099 posts

@ Martin....Thanks for a very informative, useful, and comprehensive list. Good to know. Examining the list I agree that to assert hardly anything has been done in Germany is totally inaccurate, all the more since reunification.

Posted by
266 posts

At the beginning of the English Garden on Prinzregenten Strasse is the Haus der Kunst. It was built as the Third Reich's first monumental structure of Nazi architecture and as Nazi propaganda. The museum, then called Haus der Deutschen Kunst ("House of German Art"), was opened in July of 1937 as a showcase for what the Third Reich regarded as Germany's finest art. After the end of World War II, the museum building was first used by the American occupation forces as an officer's mess; now it hosts an art museum and The Golden Bar, which was an officers bar after the war. The bar is so beautiful, drinks are great and the head mixologist has won several awards. The entrance is on the garden side. When under the portico, look up and notice the Nazi symbol in the tile work. The building is also near the surfers, who use the Eisbach river to show off their moves.

Posted by
15577 posts

I'll throw out 2, one might not be there any more. I'm thinking of the ruins of the Ehrentemple. This was a monument to the "martyrs" of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch. It was torn down by the Americans after the war, but the foundation was still there when our guide pointed it out in 2011. I have a hunch it might now be the site of the soon-to-be-completed Munich Nazi Documentation Center, as it is near the Koenigsplatz Museum Quarter, (Briennerstrasse and Arcisstrasse).
The other is the monument to the very real martyrs of the "White Rose" antiwar, or more properly, anti-atrocity movement. It is in the Hofgarten.