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Mirjam Zadoff, Director Munich Documentation Centre for the History of Nationals Socialism, and Arne Ackermann, Director Munich public libraries | Photo: Orla Conolly

Press information | 31 January 2019

Graphic Novel about Anne Frank Awarded Prize by the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism

‘Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation’ by Ari Folman and David Polonsky has won a prize awarded by the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism for the first time in 2018. In conferring the prize, the Cultural Committee of the Munich City Council followed the recommendation of the jury chaired by the director of the city’s Department of Culture, Hans-Georg Küppers. ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’ is one of the most important documents of the Holocaust. Its adaptation as a graphic novel follows the current trend of using alternative methods to convey difficult subjects like war or persecution. Employing a visual aesthetic familiar to teenagers, it zooms in on historic events to show them with a close-up directness; at the same time, the graphic realisation produces an alienating effect, distancing the reader from history. This dialectic of immediacy and distance opens up a space in which to portray and convey emotions, fears and hopes and to show the inner world – the thoughts and experiences – of this young girl hiding from the Nazis

Anyone who thought there was nothing new to say about Anne Frank’s diary is in for some surprises from Folman and Polonsky in whose narrative and drawings the story of the Amsterdam backyard is retold with extraordinary vitality, conveying the feeling of claustrophobia, the lack of privacy, the silent conflicts and the danger posed by news from outside that time and again brings Anne’s complex, yet monotonous everyday life into sharp focus. The visual depiction of Anne’s inner life as she responds to her environment, sometimes with irony, sometimes with derision and increasingly with dejection, is particularly impressive. The images, most in colour, a few in sepia, bring home to readers the fears, emotions, day dreams, memories and hopes for the future of this intelligent young girl; but increasingly also her nightmarish fantasies, which grow out of the ever more detailed reports about the camps and the imminent threat of annihilation.

 ‘Folman and Polonsky’s “Diary of Anne Frank” brings together central aspects of the work of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism at the interface between knowledge, education and art. The authors have translated the history of the Holocaust into an artistic language that enables readers to comprehend the unimaginable and the unutterable. The powerful effect of their haunting images reaches even those readers who have little knowledge of history or reading ability. To address this difficult subject requires a great deal of courage, sensitivity and skill from the artist. Folman and Polonsky have made a valuable and pioneering contribution to efforts to create a continually evolving, lively culture of remembrance’, the jury stated, explaining why it had chosen to award them the prize.
A plenary session of the Munich City Council decided on 23 November 2017 to award a biannual prize of the Documentation Centre worth 8,000 euros for outstanding publications and activities designed to educate people about the crimes of the Nazi regime and about the consequences and further repercussions of the Nazi era. The key criteria in nominating candidates for the prize are high-quality, a broad social impact and a modern, future-oriented design.

 ‘Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation’ is available in all Munich public libraries.

On April 30, 2019, the prize of the NS Documentation Center Munich 2018 will be presented to the two authors Ari Folman and David Polonsky by the Cultural Officer of the City of Munich, Hans-Georg Küppers. The laudation will be given by the director of the Jewish Museum Hohenems, Hanno Loewy.
For further information and interview requests, please contact

Dr. Kirstin Frieden | Tel. +49 89 233-67013

> Download press release | PDF 153 MB

Press Release | 10 January 2019

Preview of the programme for 2019/2020 at the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism

In 2019, the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism will intensify its focus on issues of an international, current and political nature in several exhibitions and a new programme of events. These issues will be discussed in their historical context and their implications for the culture of remembrance examined. Racism, genocide and the Holocaust are the main themes of the programme for the coming year. They will be addressed from both a historical and a contemporary perspective in a series of lectures, discussions and other formats. The future of the culture of remembrance and the political dimension of museums and memorial sites will likewise feature in the Documentation Centre’s programme of exhibitions and events.

The new programme will be realised in cooperation with many different partners from Munich, other parts of Germany and abroad. The programme was devised under Mirjam Zadoff, who became the Munich Documentation Centre’s new director in May 2018.

‘The doors of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism open in many different directions. Our programme seeks to reach both the increasingly diverse Munich public and an international audience’, says Director Mirjam Zadoff. ‘Our topics are just as diverse as our public is. A growing number of people are starting to look to the past to find out why the changes in Europe and the United States are happening. They are asking why dictatorships emerge and why people vote against liberal democracies in favour of authoritarian regimes that are precursors to dictatorships. Why have egalitarianism, open-mindedness and diversity come under fire and been replaced by exclusion, homogeneity and blinkered views? We are observing a newly awakened interest in history, especially the history of the twentieth century. What this means for our programme is that – alongside the traditional Nazi themes – we will seek to draw connections with the current situation, to develop a more international focus and to adopt a more interdisciplinary and participatory approach. Over the past year we have launched many new initiatives, entered into new co-operations and tried out different formats. The significant increase in visitor numbers has strengthened our resolve to continue along this path.’

Communicating history to a broad public is a central mission of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. To this end, the Documentation Centre continually develops new participatory and inclusive educational programmes that convey a knowledge of history and encourage people to engage in a critical examination of current social and political questions.  As well as evolving a digital strategy, the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism has resolved in the coming year to focus especially closely on the question of how to make the history of the Nazi era and related topics accessible to a diverse audience, many of whom have a migration background, and to create a basis for discussion. The concept and substance for the memorial site at the Forced Labour Camp Neuaubing will continue to be developed in the coming year.

The following is a just a brief selection of the distinguished speakers in our diverse programme of evening events: Géraldine Schwarz (22.1.) Christopher Clark (31.1.), Ibram X. Kendi (18.2.), Omer Bartov (24.6.), Ian Buruma (27.6.), Andrea Pető (1.7.) and Roger Cohen (4.7.). Alongside big names like these the Documentation Centre will be providing a platform for young people to express their views. Come and discover new, exciting and surprising themes from many different spheres, including history, music, literature, art, pop culture and film.

As part of our educational programme in political history we will be offering a Spring School devoted to how to approach the memory of Nazi crimes at historic sites and in families. The central focus of this programme will be how contemporary society deals with the memory of the actors of the Nazi era and what kinds of repercussions Nazi crimes continue to have to this day. The Spring School will take place from 1 to 4 April 2019 and is designed for multipliers, teachers and students.

In June, a congress of international experts will convene to discuss the subject of ‘Gewalt im Nachkrieg – Post-war Violence 1945–1949’. The conference, which will be attended by many well-known guests, will look at the post-war years in Germany and Europe as a phase of unrestrained violence. The participants will apply new approaches from violence research, looking not just at actors but at spaces, situations and practices of violence as an entire scenario.

The following exhibitions will be shown in 2019/2020:

Ronit Agassi. The Fifth Season

Not Black and White. An Intervention in Colour
THE CITY WITHOUT. Jews Foreigners Muslims Refugees

Tell me about yesterday tomorrow

> Download Press release | 625 KB

Press Release | 25 Oktober 2018

A lively place of remembrance for Neuaubing: concept approved for the former forced labour camp

On the site of the former forced labour camp in Neuaubing a lively place of remembrance is to be created by 2022 as a branch of the NS-Dokumentationszentrum München. The Documentation Centre is seeking a new approach in its educational work that will forge links between the historical significance of a place and its current cultural use. In a meeting on 24 October, a plenary session of the Munich City Council approved the concept for Neuaubing presented by the Documentation Centre.

The site at Ehrenbürgstraße 9 is the only former forced labour camp in southern Germany to have been almost entirely preserved. In two of the eight historic barracks and in parts of the grounds the long repressed Nazi crime of forced labour will be permanently commemorated. Today, the site of the former camp in western Munich is an established, socio-culturally diverse location. It is used by artists, tradesmen and two educational facilities. The development of the project will involve a lively process of exchange with the current users.
Munich Cultural Officer Dr. Hans-Georg Küppers commented, “The concept promises a timely and future-oriented experience and appraisal of this historical location and its history. I am glad that Mirjam Zadoff has enabled the project to be realised in accord with the current users.”

“In Neuaubing we would like to offer new didactic formats, which will contribute to the development of a participatory and action-oriented culture of remembrance”, said Mirjam Zadoff. “As well as communicating historical information the site is intended to make people reflect about both the past and about socio-political questions, such as current forms of exploitation.”

In the grounds and in one of the preserved barracks, a multi-media exhibition is to be realised employing a variety of methods. Alongside the history of the site itself, it will also provide a comprehensive and accessible picture of the history of the forced labourers in Munich and of their living and working conditions. It also will portray those who profited from the system of exploitation which included both Munich companies and state and municipal administrative institutions. A second barrack will served as a “remembrance workshop” with multi-functional furnishing and will give young adults the opportunity to find their own ways of addressing the past – for example, together with the artists.

Intensive research into the history of the labour camp complex and into forced labour throughout the city has been in progress at the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism for some years now.  The current state of research is documented in a publication issued in April 2018: Zwangsarbeit in München. Das Lager der Reichsbahn in Neuaubing (Forced Labour in Munich. The German Railways Camp in Neuaubing), published by the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Metropol Verlag 2018, ISBN978-3-86331-040-0, 28 euros.

Winning entry by Arnold Dreyblatt in the art competition for a memorial to the Nazi book-burning on Königsplatz: View with visualisation of the monument. | © Arnold Dreyblatt

Press release | 9 May 2018

Arnold Dreyblatt Design for a Memorial to the Nazi Book-Burning to Be Realised

On 9 March 2018, it was announced that the US artist Arnold Dreyblatt would create a memorial to the book-burning on Königs­platz. His design, entitled ‘Die Schwarze Liste’ (The Black List), was chosen in a competition held in 2017. Today the Culture Committee decided to follow the jury’s decision and realise Dreyblatt’s design.

The circular monument will be erected on the central gravel area in front of the Staatliche Antikensammlung, the place where the Nazi book-burning is presumed to have taken place on 10 May 1933. The walkable disc made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic will be set in the ground and will have a diameter of just under eight metres. It will form the base for a spiral consisting of 9,600 letters spelling the titles of the 359 books by authors banned in Nazi Germany. The selection of titles is based on the historic “black list” compiled by the Berlin librarian Wolfgang Herrmann and published several times in May 1933, which formed the basis for the books chosen for burning at the time.

The book titles in the spiral follow one another without any punctua­tion, thus producing chains of words with myriad associations that create new connections and meanings: ‘GERMANY’S THEATRE BISMARCK AND HIS TIME SOMEONE TELLS THE TRUTH THE ARTIFICIAL SILK GIRL … ON FIVE MARRIAGES FROM THE TIME THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO IMAGES OF THE METROPOLIS THE LESSING LEGEND ON HISTORY AND CRITICISM’. This continuous line of text is intended to open a ‘poetic window’ on a lost world and at the same time recall its active destruction. The spiral form references the spiral of smoke and burning pages that can be seen in historic photos of the book-burning. The jury praised Dreyblatt‘s design because it focuses primarily on the intellectual and cultural achievements of the authors rather than just on the act of burning and destruction. The jury thought the art work communicated a multi-dimensional message and that it would have an impact both in the present and in the future, prompting those who see it to reflect on Nazi ideology and to take an interest in the banned books themselves.

Born in New York in 1953, Arnold Dreyblatt has lived and worked in Berlin since 1984 and has made a name for himself as a composer and media artist. Many of his installations in public space are devoted to subjects connected with the culture of remembrance, in many cases the processes of remembering and forgetting, of collecting and archiving. Particularly worthy of mention in this context are Dreyblatt’s works for the Ravensbrück Memorial Site (‘Liberation’, ‘Calendarium’ and ‘Inmates I & II’, 2014/15), for the Berlin-Hohen­schön­hausen Memorial (‘Das Dossier’, 2013), for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (‘Inschriften’, 2010) and for the Jewish Museum in Berlin (‘Unausgesprochen’, 2008).

A budget of 120,000 euros has been allocated for the competition and the realisation of the art work. Apart from the memorial itself, there will be a panel explaining the work and a website with back­ground information on the Nazi book-burning. The inauguration of the memorial is planned to take place before the end of 2018.

> Download Press release 9 May 2018 PDF | 523 KB

> Press images Design by (c) Arnold Dreyblatt PNG/ZIP | 3,1 MB

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zadoff, Director of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism | Photo: Orla Connolly

Press Release | 3 May 2018

Mirjam Zadoff Appointed New Director of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism

On 2 May 2018, Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zadoff will take up her appointment as new director of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. In this post she will be responsible not only for the programme of exhibitions, events and education but also for networking and representing the Documentation Centre. Her brief will also embrace the further strategic development of this place of learning and remembrance, including content and organisation.

Mirjam Zadoff was previously Professor of History at Indiana University Bloomington in the United States, where she held the Alvin H. Rosenfeld Chair in Jewish Studies. A native of Innsbruck, Austria, she completed her doctorate ‘summa cum laude’ at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich in 2006 and obtained her post-doctoral qualification (Habilitation) there in 2013. Zadoff, who is forty-four, looks back on a career of extensive research and publication activities. Her research and teaching have focused primarily on Jewish history and culture and Holocaust studies. As an initiator, coordinator and director of major research and educational projects, she has gained management and leadership experience. The conferences and discussions she has led have earned her high acclaim in both academic and non-academic circles. Mirjam Zadoff has won many awards, in particular for her innovative concepts in continuing education, designed for students, researchers and teaching staff. For many years now she has regarded her work in education as addressed not only to an academic audience but also to a broad public. Her special areas are the Holocaust, racism, anti-Semitism, refugees and migration.

‘With Mirjam Zadoff we have gained a highly competent and experienced historian as the new director of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. Building on what has already been achieved, she will bring a fresh impetus to the Documentation Centre, further developing both its content and its international connections. The Documentation Centre is a place of learning and remembrance for a broad public. Mirjam Zadoff will continue to ensure that the programme of exhibitions, conferences and education relates the past to the present and thus endeavours to counter racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia’,  Dr. Hans-Georg Küppers, Director of the Department of Arts and Culture of the City of Munich, commented.

Mirjam Zadoff succeeds the founding director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Winfried Nerdinger, who headed the Documentation Centre from October 2012 until April 2018.

‘An awareness of history and an understanding of democracy are closely connected – I have experienced the different ways of approaching this during my work in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United States. As the contemporary witnesses gradually fall silent and calls are repeatedly heard for an end to remembrance, the significance of an institution like the Munich Documentation Centre becomes all the greater. Xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism are part of the present. Growing nationalism and right-wing extremism pose major challenges for our democracies. Countering these developments is a task for all of us. As director of the Documentation Centre, I look forward, together with my team, to playing an active and sustained role in ensuring that a critical and future-oriented confrontation with the Nazi past takes place in the public sphere’, says Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zadoff.

> Download Press release and CV Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zadoff, 03.05.2018 | PDF | 492 KB

> Download Press image Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zadoff | (c) Orla Connolly | JPG | 3,7 MB

Press release, 05.10.2017

Prize for educational projects about National Socialism

The Munich City Council has commissioned the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism to award a prize for outstanding publications, activities or projects that make a major contribution to educating the public about National Socialism, about the crimes of the Nazi regime and about the consequences and continuing impact of the Nazi era. The prize, worth 8,000 euros, will be awarded every two years from 2018 onwards. 

In selecting the projects the jury will be looking for high-quality contributions with a broad social impact that are both in tune with the times and oriented towards the future. A jury of six experts from German-speaking countries and five honorary members of the City Council will propose international publications and projects for discussion and then recommend a candidate to receive the prize. The final decision about the selection of the winner will be taken by the City Council.

“The inflammatory slogans of hatred once again being spread on a large scale today by right-wing populists and right-wing extremists bear a shocking resemblance to Nazi propaganda. The extreme right wing’s xenophobia, anti-Semitism and obliviousness to history are now penetrating mainstream society. We must counter this with a decisive 'Never again!',” said Dr. Hans-Georg Küppers, Cultural Officer for the City of Munich.

“Our task at the Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism is to educate the public and to make clear where the inhuman ideology of the Right has its roots. The prize which we will award from 2018 onwards will honour contributions that support our work,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Winfried Nerdinger, Founding Director of the Documentation Centre.

In German

> Pressemeldung, 25.04.2018 | Neuerscheinung: Winfried Nerdinger, Erinnerung gegründet auf Wissen. Das NS-Dokumentationszentrum München | Remembrance based on Knowledge. The Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism
Download PDF | 309 KB

> Pressemeldung, 25.04.2018 | Neuerscheinung: Zwangsarbeit in München. Das Lager der Reichsbahn in Neuaubing
Download PDF | 278 KB

> Pressemeldung, 25.04.2018 | Neuerscheinung: Wolfram Kastner. „Nicht ich provoziere, sondern die Umstände provozieren mich“
Download PDF | 698 KB

> Pressemeldung, 16.04.2018 | Neuerscheinung: Dirk Heißerer, Bruder Hitler? Thomas Manns Entlarvung des Nationalsozialismus
Download PDF | 161 KB

> Pressemeldung, 13.04.2018 | Wie erinnern? Symposium zum Abschied von Winfried Nerdinger
Download PDF | 207 KB

> Pressemeldung, 28.11.2017: Neue Sonderausstellung: Nie wieder. Schon wieder. Immer noch. Rechtsextremismus in Deutschland seit 1945
Download PDF | 51 KB

> Pressemeldung, 26.10.2017: Zeitzeugin besucht das ehemalige Zwangsarbeiterlager in Neuaubing
Download PDF | 51 KB

> Pressemeldung, 19.10.2017: Abschluss der Grabungen auf dem Gelände des ehemaligen KZ-Außenlagers Allach
Download PDF | 49 KB

> Pressemeldung, 13.10.2017: Neuerscheinung: Die christlichen Kirchen im „Dritten Reich“
Download PDF | 44 KB

> Pressemeldung, 05.10.2017: Preis für Projekte zur Aufklärung über den Nationalsozialismus
Dowload PDF | 50 KB

> Pressemeldung, 13.09.2017: Ausstellungseröffnung „Erinnerung Erinnerung bewahren. Sklaven- und Zwangsarbeiter des Dritten Reiches aus Polen 1939–1945“
Download PDF | 50 KB

fileadmin/user_upload/08_presse/Sonderausstellungen/erinnerung_bewahren/erinnerung_bewahren_pdf/01_pressemeldung_erinnerungbewahren.pdf> Pressemeldung, 05.07.2017: Neuerscheinung „Stadt und Erinnerung“
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> Pressemeldung, 21.06.2017: Eröffnung der Sonderausstellung „Alfred Hrdlicka. Wie ein Totentanz – Die Ereignisse des 20. Juli 1944“ von 22. Juni bis 27. August 2017
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> Pressemeldung, 07.03.2017: Eröffnung der Sonderausstellung „Angezettelt. Antisemitische und rassistische Aufkleber von 1880 bis heute“ von 8. März bis 5. Juni 2017
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> Pressemeldung, 11.11.2016: Kein Gräberfund bei erster Untersuchung auf dem Gelände des ehemaligen KZ-Außenlagers Allach
Download PDF | 96 KB

> Pressemeldung, 26.10.2016: Eröffnung der neuen Sonderausstellung „Die Verfolgung der Sinti und Roma in München und Bayern 1933-1945“
Download PDF | 60 KB

> Pressemeldung, 20.7.2016: Eröffnung der neuen Sonderausstellung „Adolf Frankl - Kunst gegen das Vergessen"
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> Pressemeldung, 23.6.2016: Präsentation des neuen Audioguides „Ehemaliges Zwangsarbeiterlager Neuaubing"
Download PDF | 83 KB

> Pressemeldung, 28.4.2016: Ein Jahr NS-Dokumentationszentrum München: Bilanz und Ausblick
Download PDF | 224 KB

> Pressemeldung: 200.000. Besucher im NS-Dokumentationszentrum
Download PDF | 74 KB

> Pressemeldung: NS-Dokumentationszentrum setzt digitale Zeichen am historischen Ort
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> Pressemeldung: Ortstermin Erinnerungsort „Zwangsarbeiterlager Neuaubing"
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> Pressemeldung: Deutsch-französische Extremismustagung im Zeichen der Pariser Anschläge
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> Pressemeldung „Aktionswochen gegen Antisemitismus"
Download PDF | 69 KB

> Pressemeldung „Der Warschauer Aufstand 1944"
Download PDF | 229 KB

> Pressemeldung Wechsel Sonderausstellungsbereich
Download PDF | 70 KB

> Pressemeldung 100.000. Besucher
Download PDF | 283 KB

> Pressemeldung Rückblick 1. Monat
Download PDF | 70 KB

> Pressemeldung Eröffnung
Download PDF | 74 KB



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Phone: +49 89 233-67013

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