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The background of the NS-Dokumentationszentrum

At the initiative of citizens  

Since the 1980s citizens' initiatives and history workshops have activated the city's culture of remembrance. They proposed memorials, helped individuals like Georg Elser to belated honour and finally advocated a critical approach to the traces of Nazi perpetration in the public sphere.When in 1988 a state competition for a museum superstructure on the foundations of the Nazi 'Tempels of Honour' was advertised the City Council proposed that a 'House of contemporary history' be built. The plans were abandoned on account of the enormous public criticism of the handling of Nazi architecture.During the period which followed citizens' initiatives intensified calling for a pro-active handling of this central site of Nazi perpetration in Munich. Art events and exhibitions called attention to the history of the site. In 1995, for the first time, an information board was placed in front of the base of the northern tempel of honour, with references to the function of Königsplatz and the buildings in the Party quarter during the Nazi era.

New building at the  'perpetrator site'

Since the early 1990s Munich intensified its remembrance of the Nazi era with exhibitions and event programmes. In 2001/2002 the city council adopted the resolution to build a Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism at the heart of the former Party quarter. The decision by the Free State of Bavaria followed half a year later. When in 2008 the federal government agreed to take over a third of the investment costs alongside the city and the Free State, the financing of the project was assured.
From 2003 Munich provided extensive funds to promote the project. In 2005 three preparatory and accompanying committees (board of trustees, scientific and political advisory boards) and a scientific project group in the Cultural Department were created to prepare the planned centre.
In late 2005 the Free State of Bavaria made the site of the former 'Brown House' available for the Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. In 2006 the cellar remains of the 'Brown House' were exposed, documented and demolished. The draft by the Berlin office Georg Scheel Wetzel won the architecture competition for the design of the Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. Construction work started in summer 2011. On 9 March 2012 the cornerstone was laid. The building was completed in 2014. On 1 May 2015 the NS-Dokumentationszentrum opened its doors to visitors.

> Chronological overview of project history

See also

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Munich and National Socialism

Our catalogue of the permanent exhibition