The historical experience of the Nazi dictatorship in a current and global context
Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism: History, Present and Future
The Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism (nsdoku) conveys the history of National Socialism with a view to the present and the future and considers the historical experience of the Nazi dictatorship in a current and global context.
In cooperation with the cultural department and the museums
This article about Munich's museums is sponsored by the Cultural Department of the City of Munich and was conceived in cooperation with the State Agency for Non-State Museums in Bavaria. The content has been coordinated between the participating museums and muenchen.de, the official city portal.
Why the nsdoku is worth a visit:
As the place where the Nazi Party – the NSDAP– was founded, Munich is more closely connected with the rise of National Socialism than any other city. The Documentation Center in Munich gives an overview on the crimes of the Nazi dictatorship at the historical site and conveys the history of National Socialism with a view to the present and the future. This place of learning wants to create awareness and fight racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination.
What to see? The exhibition focuses on the rise of the Nazi movement in Munich, the city's special role in the dictatorship's system of terror and the difficult way in which the National Socialist past was dealt with after 1945 up to the present day. In themed exhibitions, events, workshops and seminars, it considers the historical experience of the Nazi dictatorship in a current and global context.
What's special? The Munich Documentation Center is an international institution, it offers a museal and communicative space where people from different backgrounds and disciplines can come together. Through the large windows you can see some of the Nazi-era buildings and remains.
nsdoku: All infomation at a glance
- Location: Between Königsplatz and Karolinenplatz at Max-Mannheimer-Platz in the Kunstareal
- Museum category: Cultural history
- Children's program: Media guide for teenagers and for families with children from the age of 11, workshops on various topics
- Recommended duration of stay: 2 hours or more
- How to get there: U2 to Königsplatz, bus 100, 150, 58 and 68 to Königsplatz, tram 27 and 28 to Karolinenplatz
- Parking: Only public parking is available
- Website: www.nsdoku.de/en
Topics in the exhibition
In a space occupying around 1,000 square meters the historical exhibition "Munich and National Socialism" can be found on three and a half floors.They are dedicated to the following topics:
- The origins and rise of the Nazi movement in Munich | 1918–1933 (4th floor)
- Nazi rule and society | 1933–1939 (3rd floor)
- Wartime Munich | 1939–1945 (2nd floor)
- Confronting the Nazi past | 1945 until today (1st floor)
Using photographs, documents, and texts, as well as film projections and media stations, the exhibition shows how the Nazi state’s policies of exclusion and persecution functioned, as well as the opportunity structure and incentives it introduced to ensure the broad support of the population. It raises the questions: "Why Munich?" and "What does this have to do with me?" From time to time, temporary artistic interventions create a connection between history, present and future.
What you shouldn't miss during your visit:
- The large windows: The Documentation Center is within sight of Nazi-era buildings and remains. These include the former “Führer Building” and the plinth of the Nazi “Temples of Honor.”
- The art installation "Brienner 45": The media artwork by the brothers Benjamin and Emanuel Heisenberg is located outside the Munich Documentation Center. In a film collage the artists juxtapose and contrast texts from key Nazi-era documents with historical and contemporary images.
- Munich biographies: Selected biographies of perpetrators, victims, and fellow travelers as well as those of people who resisted the regime reveal their respective motives and scope for action (e.g. Walter Klingenbeck,1924-1943, Georg Elser, 1903-1945, and Anita Augspurg, 1857-1943).
- The media stations in the Learning Center: At four media tables individual visitors and groups can look in more detail at all the content of the exhibition "Munich and National Socialism" as well as the other topics.
Guided tours and programs
- Tour of the exhibition "Munich and National Socialism" in English: every Sunday, 1 p.m.
- Media guides in German, English, Arabic, French, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Greek
- Media guide for young people (in German and English)
- Media guide for families with children aged 11 years and older
Learning Center and library
One of the main aspects of the Documentation Center is to convey knowledge about the National Socialist era. For this reason, the museum has an spacious Learning Center with a library, media tables, databases and research terminals.
The learning and research zone aims to present complex content in a form that is as appealing as possible. You can find out more about the history of National Socialism and research selected topics in depth.
Events and activities
In addition, the Munich Documentation Center offers the following events:
- Different events on historical and current topics regularly feature guests from Germany and abroad from the fields of science, art, literature and much more.
- Regular series with various cooperation partners
- Bookable workshops and seminars on various topics for groups of children, youth, students and adults
The admission to the Munich Documentation Center is free of charge.
App "Places to Remember" and digital offers
- App "Sites in Mind": The free smartphone app allows you to look into Nazi history while walking around in Munich. It guides you to 120 places and environs that have a direct connection with the city’s Nazi history.
- "Learn and discover"-section on the website: find out more about current exhibitions and topics.
- Podcast "History is not the Past": Experts from the fields of science, journalism, art and culture discuss historical and current topics.
- Podcast "Münchner Zeitgeschichten": A participatory audio project by young people for young people, following the traces of Nazi history in Munich
- Online tours via Zoom in German and English
- YouTube channel with regular online events, exhibition videos and interviews
The History of the Munich Documentation Center
As the founding city of the NSDAP, Munich was more closely associated with the rise of National Socialism than any other city.
The Munich Documentation Center is located on the grounds of the "Brown House," the former headquarters of the NSDAP. The Munich Documentation Center gives this site a new purpose as an open place for information, exchange and discussion.
It emerged on the initiative of citizens who arose for a critical examination of the traces of the Nazis. The project was funded by the Federal Government, the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Munich and has been an institution of the City of Munich since its opening on May 1, 2015.
Accessibility and services for individuals with disabilities
The center offers a disabled access to the exhibition and to all public areas of the Documentation Center. The entrance has an electric door opener, the threshold is 3cm high. There are tactile site plans in Braille and cuneiform on the first floor.
- Special offers: Media guide in German Sign Language and International Sign Language, media guides and booklet in easy language (in German and English). A portable induction loop for persons with a hearing aid can be borrow in the foyer.
- Disabled access restrooms are located on the ground floor and in the basement.
- Folding chairs and a wheelchair are available in the foyer.
Plans for a new Memorial Site in Neuaubing
Eight Nazi-era barracks still stand on the site of the former forced labor camp in western Munich. The site has been used for a variety of purposes since the end of World War II. Two of the former camp buildings and the outdoor area around them will in future serve as venues for exhibitions, events, workshops, and seminars. The Neuaubing Memorial Site will not open until 2025, but there is already much to discover there – both on site and in digital form.
The interactive and interdisciplinary web app "Departure Neuaubing" is designed to accompany the development of the Memorial Site. It tells the story of Nazi forced labor in Europe and its lasting impact. The app uses narrative formats to make information about the past accessible.
At a glance
NS-Dokumentationszentrum MunichMax-Mannheimer-Platz 1
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