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Dictatorship and Society in National Socialism

1933 | 1939

The second section of the exhibition on the third floor begins with the seizure of power by the Nazis in Munich. It portrays the systematic destruction of the rule of law and democratic structures and the simultaneous establishment of a regime of violence, arbitrariness and terror.

The mechanisms of the Nazi regime are illustrated in the exhibition by highlighting the two sides of the Volksgemeinschaft that stood in opposition to and conditioned one another. The exclusion and persecution of political opponents and those who did not conform with the racial ideology of the Nazis is described in some detail and contrasted with a society where “normality” meant looking away, passively watching or in some cases participating in these practices.  At the same time the exhibition looks at the resistance within various social milieus.

The Nazi ideological monopoly and indoctrination is also illustrated using the examples of art and culture. In Munich, which became known as the “City of German Art”, the cultural diversity of modernism was decried as “degenerate” and replaced by the guiding principle of “German art” as something to aspire to. Other areas of focus include the Munich Agreement, the role of the “Capital of the Movement” and the party cult that centred around Königsplatz. The escalation of violence against Jews and the murder of the sick are the final topics in this section and form the transition to the section on war and extermination.

See also