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Exhibition concept: Munich and National Socialism

Child in a Uniform at a Nazi party rally in Munich, 1932 | Photo: Stadtarchiv München, FS-WRep-0060 (Kurt Huhle)

The Cradle of Terror

What are the origins of National Socialism and its ideology? How did Hitler come to power and why did democracy fail? What led to exclusion, war and extermination? Can we learn from the catastrophe of National Socialism? These questions have preoccupied historians for decades. They are still very relevant today – for each and every one of us.

Anyone seeking answers can find them in Munich, the cradle of National Socialism and where it grew into a movement. The Munich Documentation Centre faces up to this difficult past and seeks to explain National Socialism at a historical site.

The permanent exhibition "Munich and National Socialism" opened in 2015 examines the topics of the origins and rise of National Socialism in Munich, the special role of the city in the terror system of the dictatorship and the difficult process of coming to terms with the past since 1945. The guiding themes of the permanent exhibition include "Exclusion and Persecution", "Why Munich?" and "What has this got to do with me?".

The documentation includes photographs, documents and texts as well as film projections and media stations. Biographies examine the motives and scope for action of perpetrators and victims, followers and resistance fighters. Large windows permit the visitors views of building relics of the Nazi era. So the authentic sites become part of the documentation.

To address as many visitors as possible the information is presented on different levels and with varying profoundness to correspond to interests and length of visit. The documentation is subdivided into 33 main topics, presented in large format illuminated frames, which provide compact information and guide visitors through the exhibition.
The permanent exhibition is presented in German and English. There is a comprehensive exhibition catalogue (in German and English), a brief guide in several languages, a booklet in "simple language" as well as media guides on specific topics or for specific target groups.

See also

Munich and National Socialism

Our catalogue of the permanent exhibition